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MP3 Oyo - Empire - EP

Experimental techno with hints of jazz, blues and dub.

6 MP3 Songs in this album (34:28) !
Related styles: ELECTRONIC: Electronica, ELECTRONIC: Techno-Dub

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My given name Vin Hill but my chosen one is Oyo. If I was wealthy I would be considered eccentric, but my current income level makes me merely insane. I don''t know what you may classify my work as but I consider myself an electronica artist and a product of the influences of avant garde jazz, techno, house, hip-hop and drum n bass. Genres don''t interest me as much as ideas and grooves do.

I was raised on the South Side of Chicago during the 1980''s and early 1990''s - an era when the ideologies of house and hip-hop battled for ears. It was also an era defined by Reagan''s Trickle Down Economics, the Mutually Assured Destruction foreign policy of the Cold War, weird hair styles, widespread crack use and rampant gang violence. I always considered myself an outsider for one reason or another. In the larger society, my skin color and poverty made me one. Within my community, my disinterest in joining a gang and my intellectual interests made me one. I still view myself as an outsider even as an artist because I refuse to pick a genre, insist on embracing new technologies and believe in the democratization of the art.

As a kid growing up in crime ridden Chicago, the only solace I found was in music. I knew I wanted and could do more than simply listen but my family lacked the money to help me pursue my interest. Worse yet, the schools I attended didn''t have the money to support a music program, either. From the age of 12 to 20, all I could do was dream about what I would do if I was somehow able to take the songs which danced in my head and draw them out into the world. I wondered if there were others like me who had a frustrated desire to express themselves and hadn''t yet found their voice.

Then, one day, I discovered the world of samples and computer based synthesizers. I set out on a quest to find my voice and express it through a digital medium. It was obvious that''s where the future was and I wanted to be part of it. Before long I had scraped together enough money to buy a low end personal computer and some software that could handle the task. Thrilled by the results, I forced everyone I knew to listen to every song at least once. Before long I was totally obsessed, stringing together tracks over lunch at work, foregoing bar hopping in favor of spending hours staring at a computer screen cutting and pasting to my heart''s content.

For a long time I didn''t think I would share the fruits of my labor with the wider world. Frankly, I didn''t think I had what it took and that my methods were too simplistic. That''s when I started getting curious about what other musicians who worked digitally were doing. It turns out they were all doing the same thing I was, sometimes with more hardware and sometimes with less. It occurred to me I was part of something bigger than myself and not putting my work out there was simply a matter of being scared to fail.

What finally pushed me over the edge was moving to Seattle, WA in 2004. I had spent 10 years in Des Moines, IA and was looking for some inspiration and a place where more people would appreciate what I was trying to do artistically. It was the best decision I ever made. Leaving the Midwest allowed me to feel like I not only truly left the nest but that I moved to a place where I was unfettered by my past, free to express myself and let all the feelings of frustration & elation flow through me and out into my art.

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