OHN is a band that defies categorization; an interesting amalgam of diverse artists and genres that converge so seamlessly and well that you can easily convince yourself that they are together, playing, rehearsing, and recording 24/7
They are not—...
OHN is a band that defies categorization; an interesting amalgam of diverse artists and genres that converge so seamlessly and well that you can easily convince yourself that they are together, playing, rehearsing, and recording 24/7
They are not—although they do rehearse more before a live performance—but their ability to find the same sonic groove is no accident. Each of the members brings an impressive musical pedigree to the stage and studio and, more importantly, an attitude that pushing the boundaries outward and upward is good
Founding father, programmer and producer, Bill “Bildeaux” Sarver, has worked on material for talented artists such as Jarboe from the Swans, Riggs from Rob Zombie, Soak (Interscope/Sire) and Laura Scarborough. Chris Forshage (guitar, horn) has played with many acts including Larry and Grass. Andrew Tachovsky is a guitar veteran, previously sharing stages with Chris in the band Pura Vida. Brad Houser (bass, sax) is a veteran of several top bands such as Critter's Buggin (Ropeadope), The New Bohemians (Geffen), and Lila's Medicine. The most recent addition is Allison Scharf, who provides sensual vocals that mix perfectly with the sultry downtempo sounds
OHN’s material, featured on 2004’s Let’s Get It… and a 2005 release, In The End, All Things Begin, starts with Bildeaux generating rhythm tracks with a bass line and maybe a keyboard part or two. Members of the group then come in to lay down their parts, then Bildeaux edits, chops, samples and creates parts out of the various performances, and an OHN track is created
It’s a process that has some techno-structure, but it is not devoid of soul. OHN brings energy and emotion to their live performances, with artists riffing on the basic structure of the songs
“This is not an outfit that produces sterile ‘electronica’ and barely notices the audience,” wrote Marsha Mann in Insite Magazine. “These people know how to get it on for a live show."
For vocalist Scharf, involvement in OHN opened a new musical channel. “I played in an alt-rock band for several years, and I felt like I was constantly battling to be heard over the drums and distortion,” she says. “With electronica, I feel like I can utilize my voice in more ways: I can try for breathy, husky, soft, more aggressive, lower notes, higher notes.....whatever I think suits the song.”
As you’d expect, the musical influences that flavor OHN’s work are stunningly diverse, yet the band members are on the same page when it comes to applying it to their recording and performances. Sarver sums it up: “I am constantly listening to music of all genre types. I often hear old tunes and say "man, we gotta try that". I approach each track as an experiment to see if I can push my abilities and the musicians I work with to achieve something we have not accomplished before. That constant demand for something new is what keeps things exciting for me.
OHN’s fans know that any given album—or track—can be different from the last; an OHN album often covers many genres of music. “We’re always looking to experiment and push our musical abilities as far as we can,” Sarver says
BeatPick Beat of the Week by Beatpick Thought-provoking, genre-crossing Pop-Rock laboratory OHN are at the moment working hard on promoting their latest album “Revolutionary Revolution“, certainly the most mature piece of work the...
Collected Sounds by Collected Sounds Magazine a Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected SoundsDowntempo is a term that's been kicked around a lot and I guess that's what you'd call these guys. Though there are some really bouncy songs as...
BeatPick Beat of the Week by Beatpick Thought-provoking, genre-crossing Pop-Rock laboratory OHN are at the moment working hard on promoting their latest album “Revolutionary Revolution“, certainly the most mature piece of work the Austin-based ensemble have published so far.
The band’s formation is in constant evolution, having dropped from seven elements to just four, and with the fundamental addition of female vocalist Allison Scharf, who plays a key-role in the new album’s sound: an often brilliant crossover between Electronic Rock/Pop and more complex influences, such as Dub, Jazz and Downtempo.
“Any Way U Look At It” is a wonderful example of what OHN’s sound is today: starting with a percussion-driven Funk Groove, and soon developing into a masterful post-modern Pop patchwork, the song leaves no grounds unexplored, constantly swinging between jazzy sax solos, ethnic Downtempo Dance and highly melodic vocal interventions.
And as mastermind Bill Sarver’s elaborate texture rolls into full charge, Scharf’s vocals invite the listener to find empowerment in the modern Era, to “stand up, and ask the right questions…Stop acting so,so mad“: each sentence she pronounces is immediately underlined by the Sax, in a Question-Answer structure that leaves the phrases floating in the listener’s head, with undeniable hypnotic effect.
“Any way you look at it you can’t lose“: optimistic and uplifting, the chorus carries the listener towards an almost ambient-jazz bridge section, where the soulful Electronica OHN proposed in their first two albums regains the full center of the stage. Such transitions only great musicians and songwriters can afford to attempt.
To download the full track for free, click here.
OHN will be playing live at the next NAMM convention on July the 27th, and continue to attract attention from both public and music lovers, as recent use of their music for PBS television show Roadtrip Nation demonstrates. Listen to all OHN albums from their Beatpick Profile, here.
Collected Sounds by Collected Sounds Magazine a Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds
Downtempo is a term that's been kicked around a lot and I guess that's what you'd call these guys. Though there are some really bouncy songs as well. They are a nice blend of trip-hop, electronica, techno, dance, etc.
Lead singer (and main lyric writer) Allison Scharf's voice is a perfect match for the songs and it's hard to believe she hasn't been a member of this band forever.
They do a nice over of The Beatle's "Dear Prudence" that is new and fresh while still keeping the nature of the song intact. I usually don't care for covers too much but this is really nice.
These Politics" is kind of an anti-political, political song. Interesting twist.
I also really like "Big Lie'. It's haunting and her voice sounds fabulous.
This is a really nice techno record and while some songs could go on a party mix, the rest of it is for those chill days and nights. I really like it.
Insite Magazine Feature Article by Insite Magazine OHN - Revolutionary Revolution
An outstanding follow-up to their 2005 release In the End, All Things Begin. Austin’s OHN consistently produces rich, melodic, sensual and sometimes intense, electronic-based music…sort of a cross between Zero 7 and Japan’s Boom Boom Satellites with some Miles Davis and Fela Kuti added to the mix. Project leader and producer, Bill Sarver, brilliantly augments his complex programming and knob turning with keyboards, electric guitars and bass, saxophone, and the occasional trumpet or cello, creating a densely layered sound that provides a perfect counterpoint for the cool, yet plaintive vocals of Allison Scharf. Whereas Toronto’s Euphoria uses slide guitar and harmonica to add a country and blues tinged warmth to their electronica, OHN opts for jazz and funk elements instead, with equal success.
The album opens with the dynamic attention-getter, Attention, built around a loping, Latin polyrhythm that is a springboard for the swirling, stuttering, echo-drenched production. The smooth vocals and insistent lyrics (by Scharf) add just the right amount of dramatic tension, further heightened by Andrew Tachovsky’s jagged rhythm guitar and the searing solo guitar of Chris Forshage. Things get even more psychedelic with their excellent cover of the Beatles’ classic, Dear Prudence. Co-produced by Sarver and bassist Bob Amonett, the song begins with a synthesized organ crescendo, wooden block, and marching-band rhythm, then introduces Scharf’s airy, doubled vocal along with bits and pieces of other Beatles’ songs, slyly weaving in and out of the tune as it progresses…a fitting homage to the Fab Four and producer George Martin.
The third cut, Big Lie (with lyrics by Jason Decuir) shifts into a jazzy, downbeat groove with the extra bottom-heavy bass line of Joe Santori and haunting keyboard melodies by Sarver, himself. Scharf handles this languid ballad about deception and infidelity, with a Sade-like grace. What Does Soul Represent is an impeccably arranged, bouncy, breezy, soulful instrumental with sampled voice and flute, sinuous bass guitar and tinkling piano. The jazzy, up-tempo Any Way U Look at It has ‘instant airplay’ written all over it (for the savvy D.J. who gets it). With a catchy elliptical refrain and the sassy and stylish Afro-beat sax playing of Brad Houser, the cool and confident lyrics offer just the kind of life advice anyone could use. The next tune, These Politics takes it up a notch with Scharf’s smooth-as-velvet vocals floating on top of a driving, syncopated acid-jazz groove that periodically deconstructs then comes back together again.
The remaining four tracks include a spacey, leaden-boot stomp through the stratosphere, Space Cadet; a poignant down-tempo confessional with the beautifully textured guitar work of Tachovsky called Be With Me; the complex rhythm and keyboard driven, The World is Beautiful, that delivers a life-affirming if somewhat fatalistic message: and finally, the radiantly dark ‘Bitches Brew-inspired’ instrumental, Black seven, showcasing the trumpet and sax prowess of Forshage and Houser. It’s so rare these days to find an album where every track stands on its own and gets even deeper under your skin with each listening. Bravo to Sarver and his band of cohorts. (A+) (MM) See OHN Live at their CD Release Party on Saturday, April 21, The Karma Lounge. - Marsha Mann of Insite Magazine
91.7 KOOP Around the Town Sounds by 91.7 KOOP Around the Town Soun OHN and Austin Unsigned - details from 3/29/2007 show
02. OHN / "Be with Me" / Austin Unsigned (multi-artist compilation), or Revolutionary Revolution (Ohn's new CD)
OHN is one of my favorite electronic-oriented bands. I hesitate to call it electronica or techno because of the major input of highly talented musicians on guitars, horns, and bass who make the sound much more organic than typical electronica. The band is led by programmer Bill “Bildeaux” Sarver (Soak [link 1, link 2], Lila’s Medicine), who takes the recorded input of the other musicians and electronically mixes and mashes it into a new mix:
“OHN’s material … starts with Bildeaux generating rhythm tracks with a bass line and maybe a keyboard part or two. Members of the group then come in to lay down their parts, then Bildeaux edits, chops, samples and creates parts out of the various performances, and an OHN track is created.”
The band’s other veteran musicians are guitarist/horn-blower Chris Forshage (Larry, Grass, Pura Vida), guitarist Andrew Tachovsky (Pura Vida), bassist/saxist Brad Houser (Eddie Brickell & the New Bohemians, Critter’s Buggin, Zydeco Blanco [website, myspace]), and latest band member, vocalist Allison Scharf (Humblebums, Ciccialina, solo).
The OHN album:
With her very techno-influenced vocal style, Scharf gives the new OHN CD, Revolutionary Revolution, a different feel from their two earlier releases, which were almost entirely instrumental. A March 28 announcement at their web site says the CD is already available at Waterloo Records. The big dual CD release show (Lila’s Medicine [Bildeaux and Laura Scarborough] is also celebrating a CD release that night) will be April 21, 9 pm, at the Karma Lounge.
The compilation album:
Austin Unsigned – Austin’s Best Kept Secrets – Volume 1 was released March 15 by Austin Compilations, inexplicably on the same day they released another compilation CD with many of the same artists, Austin Mix – Volume 1 (which is available through their web site, at least). They have several other Austin artist compilations on the horizon including unplugged and country discs. This particular disc has a lot of talented artists in pop, pop rock, and r&b, with OHN and The Black and White Years (see our March 15 SXSW week playlist, Set 3, for the latter) being the notable deviations from the mainstream sound of the rest of the line-up, which is Dave Madden, Blake and Fallon, J. Price, Fairday, Rana, Adam McInnis, Meridianwest, and Topher Williams. - Charlie Martin of 91.7 KOOP Radio
Austin 360 by Austin 360 Ohn CD release at the Karma Lounge. I first stumbled across an Ohn CD a couple years back when I first started doing a show on KOOP radio. It was cool but a little too electronic for me. I rediscovered the band earlier this year when they submitted tracks to SoundCheck360. Frankly, I was blown back. The band’s overall sound has matured with complex compositions anchored by catchy polyrhythmic grooves, but really, it’s the recent addition of vocalist Allison Scharf that’s elevates this band into a whole new dimension. Her hazy voice wafts in and out over jazzy soundscapes with an effortless sensuality that’s hard to resist. In my opinion, Ohn is easily one of the most interesting acts in Austin right now. But why take my word? Listen for yourself. Cover unspecified, but free CDs for all who attend.
101.5 Chillville Catch of the Day by 101.5 Chillville Catch of the 101x Chillville made us the "Catch of the Day" for Jan 21st. Big thanks to Jason and Ray Dog for the support. Be sure to tune into Chillville Sundays from 9 to noon on 101.5 in Austin TX.
I, Full Monty, am pleased to bring you some local flavor as my “Catch of the Day”. I give you Austin’s own - OHN. This local band, OHN (pronounced “own”) has actually been around for a few years, and are putting the final touches on their 3rd album. Bill Sarver is one of the founding members of this mellow electronic band, which produces hypnotic chill beats accompanied by live instruments and vocals. Their sound can be funky at times, due to their selection of beats. However, the mix of guitar and violins that have been processed with a synthesizer keep the chill ambience alive. The difference with this third album, Revolutionary Revolution, is the beautiful vocals of Allison Scharf, who is the newest addition to the band. Her sensual vocals are the biggest change on this new album from the previous two, and work perfectly with the trip hop, jazzy sounds of the band. Look for the new album to come out in late February. My song selection is The Beatles cover of Dear Prudence.
Music Reviewer by Music Reviewer OHN is full of edge, modern flare, and a remarkable sense of confidence which commands the respect of all listeners. The strong, fast, and energized instrumentals are softened by the female vocals featured in this album’s repetitive but thoughtful lyrics.
Allison Scharf is the woman behind the sensual voice and is the latest member of the OHN crew. In addition to Scarf, the only female in the group, the band is comprised of other musicians from the Austin area including, Bill “Bildeaux” Sarver, Chris Forshage, Andrew Tachovsky, and Brad Houser. Bill Bildeaux was responsible for bringing the band together and as a highly experienced programmer and producer has worked on materials for many big name artists including Riggs from Rob Zombie. In fact each band member brings noticeable musical talent, style, and experience which has served to create OHN’s one of a kind electronic sound.
OHN likes to play with many genres of music and their variant tracks make this fact evident. They are not afraid to try new sounds and musical approaches. As the listener you never know what the next song might bring... it's like ordering up a type of musical mixed salad. It is easy for me to imagine such diverse and upbeat music found on the album Revolutionary Revolution being played religiously at your local coffee shop. It would undoubtedly create just the right atmosphere to convince you to have that second, even third cup of Joe.
So drink up and enjoy the sounds of OHN!
Beatpick by Beatpick Calling on all synthesizers, break beats, trumpet, saxophone, electronic, jazz and down-tempo lovers, OHN has sparked an electronic revolution! OHN is an Austin, Texas based band thriving in the lime light of their newest album, Revolutionary Revolution, their 3rd album released by Ill Dough Productions. Not only are their songs climbing the charts of radio stations such as CMJ RPM radio but a video for their third track Big Lie is already in the works with RobotBoy Films. It’s no wonder, because these new tracks are finger-snapping good. Revolutionary Revolution is soaked in smooth jazzy beats that intertwine with electronic sound, giving you a chilled relaxed feeling with a dash of energy.
Their first track Attention, is literally that. Its driving beats will grab your attention and lead you into a sweet guitar break. But don’t be fooled, the tracks to follow are a mix of medium and fast tempo with just as much instrumental creativity. The World is Beautiful for instance, begins with a touch of Latin spice that gradually enhances into a beautiful electronic sound with lyrics to match.
The album’s vocals by Allison Sharf, are a touch of Madonna yet silky, with each track having something great to offer, whether it sample vocals, some funk, sultry rhythms, flute or sexy guitar solos, you will find yourself wanting more. Need a better picture of how sweet this album is? Picture yourself in a chic sushi bar with groovy upbeat customers and rolled cigarettes-where everyone is sexy. Enjoy the sweetness here, at BeatPick.com.
OHN Band Members: Bildeaux, Allison Sharf, Chris Forshage, Andrew Tachovsky, Brad Houser, Joe Santori, Bob Amonett, Laura Scarborough.
Austin Monthly Magazine by Austinb Monthly Magazine By Ward Lowe
Straight from the Studio
June 2007 Issue
Many people hear the word "electronica" and think soulless, machine-made music- not so with OHN. The band's talent, plus founder/producer Bill "Bildeaux" Sarver's aptitude for blending each part with doeses of funk, jazz, and other rhythms, leads to music with plenty of heart. The psychedelic instrumental "Space Cadet" follows the up-tempo, Latin-infused "Any Way You Look at It, " and opener "Attention" has a driving beat that slides perfectly underneath vocalist Allison Scharf's soaring, dreamy vocals. Don't fear the electronica; embrace your inner techno fan.
Albuquerque Tribune by Albuquerque Tribune This electro-jazz-funk-World beat quintet from Austin layers its sound over electronic rhythms, with samples, loops and techno beats. And it occasionally throws in cello, sax and trumpet for good measure.
Big Lie" sounds like Sade gone electronic, and the spacey instrumental "What Does Soul Represent?" uses sampled vocals, while the Latin rhythms of "Attention" give way to a great guitar break. The group also does a great down-tempo, electro cover of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence.
8:15 tonight at Club 7, 515 Central Ave. N.W. 244-9302. And 10 p.m. Saturday at the District Bar & Grill outdoor stage.
Austin Music Magazine by Austin Music Magazine “Dear Prudence” has been covered by a fairly wide array of bands, from Jerry Garcia (who considered the song one of his favorites) to Siouxsie and the Banshees. So it seems like a natural evolution for Austin-based OHN to swoop past folk and gothic rock to produce an electronic version that is surprisingly natural and fluid.
The remaining nine songs are equally floaty and glide along. Their sophomore effort is a slinky mix of liquid beats, swirling sax, pulsing guitar and creamy vocals. Atmospheric and dreamy, Revolutionary Revolution masters both instrumental cuts and lyric numbers, with newcomer Allison Scharf’s buttery voice rounding out the quintet. The end result is an album perfect for both play and relaxation.
The other surprise is the process behind the birth of their albums. Each member records their respective parts individually in the studio, where OHN founder/producer/ programmer/keyboardist Bill “Bildeaux” Sarver manipulates each piece like blocks in a high level game of Tetris, finally meshing scattered bits into a cohesive cut. Perhaps a more fitting title would be Revolutionary Revelation, or Revelationary Revolution. The possibilities? With OHN, they are endless.
– megan renart
Aiding and Abetting Magazine by Aiding and Abetting Magazine Remember Propellerheads? One absolutely brilliant album and then poof? Well, Ohn has replicated that immediately-addictive organic electronic groove--complete with conventional song structure--and then rolled with it. This isn't Decksanddrums-worthy, but it's a lot closer than you might want to believe. Throw this on at your next party and see who gets down first.
Out Smart Magazine by Out Smart Magazine Recorded in Austin, this CD may be classified electronica by definition, but goes well beyond electronica's sterile, often-uninspired repetitiveness. Notable is a very enjoyable, whimsical elec version of Lennon/McCartney's "Dear Prudence." Available online. More: www.letsgetiton.com. —Review: N.F.
Smother Magazine by Smother Magazine If you’ve been reading Smother for some time now, you’ll remember the other two releases by electronic artist OHN that we reviewed. Here on their third installment in as many years, “Revolutionary Revolution”, OHN mixes in downtempo lounge chill-out music with abstract samples and smooth grooves. The guitars are sexy rock ‘n’ roll chops that add a lush distortion overtop of the sultry rhythms. Pleasant vocals are blended efficiently with soft synths and groovy pads all amid complex jungle rhythms.
The Bee Online by The Bee Online This album surely blows you away. I was really not expecting what I got, when listening to this album. At the radio stations I was randomly previewing artist from the RPM preview rack and I came across this little electronica outfit, OHN. Well this is surely a fusion of electronica, soul, jazz, and other tasty delights. Of course there is a female lead vocalist to add to the immersive sounds.
OHN goes into a genre all of there own, it’s difficult to explain there sound, beside the fact that it’s based on an electronic beat. Yet OHN has so much more to offer than the basic electronic. They can somehow intertwine, a saxophone soul with electronic beats and bird sounds and make it sound, just stunning. OHN sound is limitless, when most of the songs are a harmonically produced clash of random sounds. I have no idea how they make there sounds, sound so great together.
Allison Scharf the female vocalist in the group adds into the group a sound that is not like others in this genre of music. Her voice in the album is not the typical techno voice, but more of a singer songwriter type of approach. It’s an unconventional way to go about adding vocalist into a group, but her voice goes well with the music rhythmically, without losing her own identity as a singer.
This jazzy-electronica ensemble has a delightful array of sample songs on there Myspace. There album was recently released this month, you can purchase it off there online store.
NeuFuture.net by NeuFuture.net Ohn plays an electronic brand of pop-rock that comes out sounding like it is from a different period of music, especially during tracks like "Dear Prudence". With hints of Alanis Morrissette and Natalie Imbruglia during this track, Ohn makes a ploy to ensnare listeners of that genre. While the music has been heard in similar ways before, Ohn incorporates newer approaches and styles to turn the track into something relevant for 2007.
The style that Ohn creates during their "Revolutionary Revolution" is solid throughout the entirety of the track. Where it could be easy for the act to include arrangements that are not that challenging, the arrangements on songs like "Big Lie" push the vocals into another realm. "What Does Soul Represent"" is a track that is much more chill and influenced by the jazz styles of prior generations, and while the vocals withdraw during the track, there is still a vocal component to the song. "Any Way U Look At It" is a track that speeds things up slightly faster than "What Does Soul Represent"", including more in the way of vocals, but allows the act to have some institutional memory. The band mixes perfect amounts of instrumentation and vocals, in order to make something stronger than just an act striving to make it big on the radio. The disc works much better as a down-tempo, chill type of album rather than a "get up and rock" type of thing. With this accepted, individuals can be impressed by the ability of Ohn to craft a cohesive sound to their "Revolutionary Revolution" that while using other styles, does not fall into a rut of similar sounds.
I do not know where Ohn could go for their next album, but if the act wanted to craft something similar to what awaits listeners on "Revolutionary Revolution", chances are that there will be little in the way of complaints on my part. Tracks like "Attention" are stand-out tracks like how "Bubblegum" was the stand-out track on their prior disc. The funkiness of "Bubblegum" is replaced largely by a more chill and house-influenced sound on "Revolutionary Revolution". Ohn is an act that comes out with something that is challenging and new without going too far out on a limb; "Revolutionary Revolution" is a disc that individuals can get behind without having to inculcate themselves with cutting-edge music. Pick up this album wherever you can find it.
Top Tracks: What Does Soul Represent?, Big Lie