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The next up was DJAO. He’s the kind of music you sway and listen intently to. Dark dreamy unexpected tones of rhythmic symetry that sounds off beat but somehow isn’t. Timeboy held it down as usual during AO’s set with some of the most insane projections I’ve ever seen. It was like being indoctrinated into some crazy cult where the entrance cost is a DMT inflicted trance to meet our alien brothers and hear what kind of music they get down to. I mean really. DJAO’s set was a trip through the next level. The pictures don’t do it justice but do give a bit of insight into the space we were being teleported through. -

The night started a little late as a late sound check held up the beginning of the Dropping Gems showcase at the HG Lodge. A small crowd of people waited patiently for the festivities to begin, while others grew impatient and headed up to Neumo’s. Determined to catch DJAO’s set (I had liked what I heard at his Street Halo session a couple weeks ago), I stayed outside and waited for the doors to open. About 20 minutes late the doors finally opened, and DJAO quickly began his set to a sparse but excited crowd.

DJAO’s doesn’t just fracture his beats; he smelts them down completely only to forge sludgy, washed out melodies and rhythms that seem to drift off into oblivion. But, even with his far out reimagining of the producer experience, there is a streak of nostalgia and appreciation in his work. Even in the murkiness of his set, one could pick out some not-so-direct odes to classic psychadelia and hip-hop. He was joined by a live guitarist, who, along with Timeboy’s tie-dye visuals, added yet another hallucinogenic layer to the affair. -

The eight annual Decibel Festival kicked off for me with DJAO at HG Lodge—albeit after a 20-minute delay. The local producer/DJ (aka Alex Osuch, set up in the club’s back corner booth, accompanied by a flannel-shirted guitarist [grunge acknowledgment!]) made the wait worthwhile with a set that freshly integrated shoegaze, ambient, and future-bass elements. Using a keyboard hooked up to a big desktop computer and a microphone, DJAO generated an oneiric ooze (enhanced by lushly layering his own vocalized “ooh”s), which benefited from his guitarist Zuri Biringer’s Emeralds-like spangles. At times, the woozy, glassy tones coasted over stolid, earth-moving beats, forming a kind of hauntological hiphop. At others, DJAO crafted quasi-pop songs so warped that they turned into smeared mosaics of melody. Keep a close ear on this guy. - The Stranger

DJAO, Wuhn EP (Dropping Gems, DJAO's five-track debut EP, Wuhn, is a phenomenal work of beautifully atmospheric music—like an amalgam of My Bloody Valentine's hazy interludes on Loveless, Board of Canada's Robitussin triphop, and the cavernous ooze of oOoOO. DJAO's productions sound at once grave and ethereal, menacing and spiritually uplifting.

Wuhn starts with "Underbrush," which fades in with an ominous gust of ruptured Morse code and forlorn drones, until DJAO (25-year-old Seattle DJ/producer Alex Osuch) delivers brutal cudgels of bass and beats, the sound of a behemoth pounding on a castle door—very insistently. This is a deceptively infernal introduction, though, as "Through the Fields" drastically deviates from it, recalling—yes—the Field's sweeping, angelic techno. "Taigamoss" features calming "oohs," drifting guitar tones, Tibetan bell chimes, and erratic beats like heavy-bag punches. "Moon Sun Ravine" is a slow-motion avalanche of chill bliss, like hearing a heavenly mashup of Cocteau Twins' and Seefeel's mellowest material in a postcoital reverie. On "Green Lake," shoegaze-rock guitar and synth and lightly reverbed vowel sounds radiantly swirl over clipped funk beats, ending things on a disorientingly uplifting note. Wuhn is an incredibly promising debut release, and it primes one for DJAO's performance at the Dropping Gems showcase at Decibel Fest on September 28 at HG Lodge. - The Stranger

Seattle resident Alex Osuch (a.k.a. DJAO) is the latest budding producer to contribute a release to Dropping Gems' growing discography. For his EP, Wuhn (artwork above), the Northwesterner presents five tracks of woozy, textural beat work, including this cut which marks the halfway point of the tender endeavor. Twisting and turning around a stuttering beat, Osuch lays down gentle layers of looped vocals which, when amassed together, flow with ease, creating a lush, ever-present drone throughout. A barrage of glitched wind chimes and microscopic, water-like splashes appear in the tune's uppermost regions, blurring the line between melody and percussion as the elements move in and out of focus within the blink of an eye. Like all releases from the Dropping Gems camp, the lovely EP which houses "Taigamoss" can be had for a "pay-what-you-want" price over on the label's Bandcamp page. -


Wuhn EP, 2011

"Wuhn is the debut release from Dropping Gems family member DJAO, aka Alex Osuch. The tracks appearing on Wuhn represent some of the most characteristic sounds found in his repertoire: organic rhythms, rolling sub-bass, and the enveloping presence of human voices. It attempts to describe, from beginning to end, a journey through a kaleidoscopic array of natural environments, each with their own tone, tempo, topography and synesthetic color scheme. The humid grittiness of “Underbrush” bursts apart to reveal the vast openness of “Through The Fields,” which climbs in elevation until the listener is deposited into the fertile rarefication of “Taigamoss.” From these heights the listener is transported, during the night, to the depths of “Moon Sun Ravine,” and after a prolonged psychedelic march he or she stumbles into sunrise and finally into the secluded oasis of “Green Lake.” By the EP’s end, attentive listeners may be surprised to find tree leaves lining their pockets, or creek pebbles in their shoes. The EP also represents the immense amount of loving support that Alex has received since beginning to make music in earnest, and exists to both reflect and transmit that feeling in return to his community and the world at large."

Hxdb / DJAO 'No Northwest Cycle 2 EP #1' 2011



Seattle native DJAO, aka Alex Osuch, has been a DJ for over a decade, but the last two years have seen him shift focus towards his work as a producer. It began at the in-office studio of a former employer, where he was permitted to come in after-hours and hungrily experiment late into the night. It’s been in the past year, however, that his music has really begun to take shape and flourish. After joining up with Dropping Gems, Alex began to produce in earnest, and his live performances have since evolved on a nearly show-by-show basis. His music covers a wide swath of the electronic spectrum, with no ultimate plan to settle on any single style. Instead it exemplifies the progressive tradition of mixing elements from different disciplines into a cohesive whole, in service to a central harmonic vision.