OMFO

OMFO

 Amsterdam, North Holland, NLD
BandEDMWorld

OMFO is a bandit in time and space, transforming ancient melodies into music for cosmonauts and spaceships. O.M.F.O. travels from the West to the East, from Amsterdam via Berlin to the hinterlands of the EU, the Carpates, the Black Sea right into the front garden of Asia.

Biography

OMFO is a bandit in time and space, transforming ancient melodies into music for cosmonauts and spaceships. O.M.F.O. travels from the West to the East, from Amsterdam via Berlin to the hinterlands of the EU, the Carpates, the Black Sea right into the front garden of Asia. With his ideas and his musicians he bravely goes where no human ear has dared to go before. Futurism meets folklore imaginaire or should we better call it Village Disco or Space Folklore.

OMFO is German Popov's stage name. He was born in 1966 in the port city of Odessa, USSR. Growing up in the biggest country in the world and being brainwashed by communist propaganda he proudly marched through the glory and misery of Soviet reality until all this came to an end. Unable to endure the pain inflicted by Perestroika G. Popov headed for the west, arriving in multicultural Amsterdam - a city associated with tolerant cannabis policy and frivolous behaviour. That was where G. Popov rediscovered the rich cultural inheritance that was left to him by the past. Utopian ideology, the moral and cultural decay of the Brezhnev era, the pathos of space exploration and ethnic diversity: all this made him ready to become OMFO.
G. Popov began his musical career playing gangster ballads and prison epics in caviar restaurants and fugitive hangouts together with Alec Kopyt. Taking advantage of world music lovers they played under the name The Children of Lieutenant Schmidt. After a while when this became no longer tenable G. Popov shifted his focus of interest towards space and cosmonauts. Jointly with a group of Soviet expatriates he created a band called Sputnik. Noticed by the adepts of electronic extravaganza Sputnik soon released their only album The Favorite Songs of Soviet Cosmonauts. While the band was beeping around glamorous clubs and private parties G. Popov explored another musical path - folklore. During one of his solo performances he was approached by a producer of a major Dutch new age label, who offered him his studio to make a recording. Shortly after, Oreade Music released an album under the mysterious name Isiric. To G. Popov's surprise this work was classified by the label as Worlds Healing Music. In contradiction to this classification, the album continues to inspire young intellectuals to experiment with psychedelic substances all over the former USSR. The secret of its popularity hides behind the Russian lyrics of exotic Siberian and Central Asian melodies, skilfully played on weird instruments and sung with quaint vocal techniques. Probably this was when G. Popov fully realized the inseparable unity of ethnic wisdom and electronics as a true folklore of the 21st century.
As the Nineties were wrapping up their legacy OMFO focused on his solo project Our Man from Odessa, collaborating with various electronic labels. Most of his early works were released on the small Dutch label Kidnap, founded and run by members of the ex-Soviet diaspora. During this period he also collaborated with a controversial diva from the remote republic of Tuva – Sainkho Namchilak - travelling the world and playing at big international venues.
As the new millennium kicked in, G. Popov and his friends found a new platform for their futuristic vision of sound and music. This is how Solaris was born. Presented not as record label, but as an art lab, this project was clearly inspired by Russian constructivism and utopian romanticism. The glamorous alias Our Man from Odessa gradually turns into the more succinct and enigmatic OMFO. During this period, OMFO comes into creative contact with projects and artists such as Metamatics, Aavikoo, Jimpster, CiM and Felix Kubin. All these names appeared on Solaris’ releases such as Aelita, Cheap Electric Paradise and Omnipresence. Music distributors and record shop owners still treat these impeccably designed albums as collector’s items.
A few years ago OMFO was contacted by Vladimir Lomberg – a like-minded person who was invisibly present behind various projects including Solaris and Kidnap. He put OMFO in touch with Essay Recordings - a record label that is exploring the hidden potential of Eastern European music. OMFO's works began with a successful remix of a track written by Shantel – the man who pioneered the fusion of Balkan music with electronic beats. After the remix was included in the internationally acclaimed Bucovina Club album, OMFO was commissioned by Essay to work on his new album. Responding to the demand for something new in this field, OMFO created Trans Balkan Express. Shortly after its release this album became popular throughout Europe and beyond, scoring hits; it was played on the radio and covered by the mass media. Experimenting with fresh concepts and ideas, OMFO immediately distanced himself from the rest of the producers working in this genre. The peculiar and somewhat humorous vision of a Carpathian villager, playing a native tune on an analogue synthesizer, made OMFO's music natural and a

Discography

CDs:
- Trans Balkan Express (AY CD 02) , Essay Recordings
- We Are The Shepherds (AY CD 21), Essay Recordings
- Omnipresence (AY CD 22), Essay Recordings
Vinyls:
- Gutsul Electro - The Remixes (AY 03), Essay Recordings
- Baghdub EP (AY 12),Essay Recordings

Set List

Tipsy Djinn
Sindbad the Spaceman
The Sorcerer
Expedition East
Pamiri Dub
Baghdub
Arabesque
Windhorse
Tajik Equations
The Lost Polyphonics
Pagansonic
Caravanserai
Siberian Abracadabra
Almasti
Kashgar Chai
Beauty Mark
Native Nocturne
Opium
Omnipresence