Omon Ra
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Omon Ra

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"Omon Ra - The Halls of Medicine"

Omon Ra
The Halls of Medicine
(Fixture Records)
Omon Ra's first album on Fixture Records, The Halls of Medicine, sounds as if it was recorded inside an astronaut's suit. Daniel Miller and Zachary Fairbrother's psychedelic folk is filled with contradictions, such as mixing Sonic Youth-inspired drone with lyrics that could come out of a Devendra Banhart songbook. There are subtly pretty moments, too, like the sparkly sounds on 'Continued Use.' The back-up vocals on songs like 'Heavy Boots' conjure images of drugged-up kids' choirs, like the Langley School Music Project on peyote. 'Lovebomb' is your chance to dance. This isn't always accessible pop but it's going somewhere.
---Sue Carter Flinn
- The Coast


"Omon Ra - The Halls of Medicine"

Omon Ra: The Halls of Medicine
Halifax duo Omon Ra's new album The Halls of Medicine rocks like a psychedelic hurricane. The band mixes pawn shop guitars with found objects as percussion to create a disc that could only be compared to the pop sensibilities of Animal Collective and the hypnotics of My Bloody Valentine.
The Album flows along with acoustic guitar reminiscent of a stoned after hours jam and emotional cathartic singing. On tracks like "Brownie Tam Tam" and "Fingers In" the band plays like Beck in half time with simplistic chord changes and powerful percussion that draws the listener forward.
Omon Ra's biggest accomplishment in the band's soundscape is the use of background noises, separate from the guitars and drums, to the catch the listener's ear. The songs are interspersed with different electric guitar and keyboard drones, giving even the sparsest track a more psychedelic atmosphere.
The only downside of the album is that the tempos generally stay at a slower beat, drawing listeners down rather than lifting them up. But that's probably the idea.
Omon Ra has created your new favorite psychedelic album to read On the Roat along to. Buy this album.
--Matt Ritchie - Dalhousie Gazette


"Review in Beatroute Magazine"

"Omon Ra embodies a mental recovery of friends finding meaning in their own musical journey. The band's unique and enigmatic folk-gazing sound reflects beyond the distant stars to reach remote planets far away. The Halls of Medicine is the most recent release from Omon Ra and, by far, their most complete record to date.

The Halifax ensemble was inspired by daily visits to the mental health floor at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and late-night opium-induced jam sessions in various north-end attics. A bridge is formed between the spaced-out thoughts and random choice of chords towards a cohesive purpose for the record. The Halls of Medicine is filled with beauty and chaos to ironically create a sense of recovery in each song."

--Drew Marshall - Beatroute Magazine


"Blastitude.com review"


BLASTITUDE.COM REVIEW OF THE HALLS OF MEDICINE
Thanks to Andrew MacGregor, aka Gown, for passing this along to us!

"OMON RA: The Halls of Medicine CD (FIXTURE) A couple guys from Halifax, Nova Scotia recording dragged-out zoner-folk that is capable of some pretty exquisite atmosphere, especially on a mid-album run of three songs, "Kon*Tiki," "Continued Use," and "Heavy Boots." The whole album isn't on that level - at times it's a little too indie rock, other times a little twee, and sometimes the main guy's droopy voice seems just a little like a put-on, but for the most part these guys are definitely on to something, comparable to Sic Alps but a little more patient, less truncated, more willing to just let a song be what it is."

http://www.blastitude.com/27/index2.htm#reviews - Blastitude.com


"Interview in the Coast"


Interview in the Coast
Omon Ra has a firm grasp on the

possibilities of space, both within the music they create and the
vast solar system spread out above us. Their unique take on what could
be described as blues-tinged folk hybrid---with a healthy dose of
experimental bravery to boot---takes equal pleasure in letting spaces
within the music breathe, while also sounding pretty "spacey."

Roommates Daniel Miller and Zachary Fairbrother appear to have a
substantial interest in space's great unknown. The two formed Omon Ra
shortly after meeting. A week after bonding over Miller's stellar
record collection, they were jamming, and now they craft some of the
trippiest, spaced-out music you're likely to hear in Halifax. Great for
dealing with hangovers, too---it's like "Sunday Morning Coming Down" on
acid.

Their name also draws upon the space theme. Omon Ra is the
title of a book by Russian author Victor Pelevin, centring around
government conspiracies, Egyptian and Russian mythology and space
exploration.

"We never thought of going in a spacey (direction). I just thought
Omon Ra sounded cool---like (famed jazz musician) Sun Ra; Omon Ra, it's
a good band name. Then we started to embark on this weird space vibe,"
says Fairbrother, a fourth-year music student at Dalhousie
University.

"All of a sudden we were passing sci-fi novels to each other and
just constantly talking about space," adds Miller.

Within the last year Omon Ra has released two albums. Monolith
1 is a beautiful collection of lo-fi acoustic ditties, highlighted
by playful arrangements and vocals that rely on reverb, creating an
extra instrument that Fairbrother likens to having a horn section.

"A lot of that stuff is tone worship," says Miller. He and
Fairbrother perform the Wayne's World "We're not worthy!"
arms-to-the-ground routine to emphasize the point.

Tone worship continues to be the theme with their second release of
2008, The Halls of Medicine, a more varied effort with extra
instrumentation and clearer vocals. It was released through Fixture
Records, a Montreal label that will also reissue Monolith 1 with
extra material added.

Omon Ra's musical approach is freewheeling and unafraid to delve
into unexpected territory. This aspect of their aesthetic they
partially attribute to a mutual respect for bands from the Krautrock
scene. The genre centred around wildly creative musical groups from
Germany in the late '60s and early '70s like Can, Neu! and Faust, bands
known for their willingness to try out anything, no matter an
audience's expectations.

"Faust is my religion," says Miller, regarding the band who actually
titled one of their most famous songs "Krautrock."

"We think Krautrock is the ultimate genre because it's so diverse,"
adds Fairbrother, to which Miller elaborates. "Not being self-limiting
in any way is what Krautrock strives for. It can span just about
anything over the course of a record and somehow it fits together. Each
record can be totally different but it's not off-putting in any way. It
still sounds cohesive."

This strive towards an anything-goes approach while maintaining a
cohesive sound will be expanded with the band's upcoming releases.
There's a seven-inch single on the horizon and a full-length album is
being prepped for fall. They've also upgraded their recording gear,
resulting in songs with a bigger sound and more upfront vocals.

Meanwhile, the band will continue to create music, swap sci-fi
novels and consider the infinite possibilities of the universe. They
even have a grand mission to plan for in the future.

"I would love to be the artist-in-residence at NASA," Miller
exclaims---a position currently held by American artist Laurie
Anderson. Fairbrother is equally open to this possibility. "Maybe
that's our mission!"


---Andrew Robinson
- The Coast


Discography

Monolith 1 - Fixture Records
The Halls of Medicine - Fixture Records
Omon Ra/Hostas Split - Retirement Records
Omon Ra/Chris d'Eon Split - Divorce Records

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Bio

Omon Ra is Zachary Fairbrother and Daniel Miller. The two met in the late summer of 2007. They bonded over Miller's record collection and sci-fi novels. They decided they wanted to form a rock band that encompassed their diverse backgrounds and musical influences.

Miller prior to Omon Ra played in various groups inside and outside of Toronto including Fallujah Brass and The Corners. In 2006, Miller produced Toronto based artist, Tradition, first record released on Blocks Recordings. He is constantly recording and producing artists in Halifax, including The Ether and Dead Dog. He is a history major attending Dalhousie University and a world traveler. Recently he has been making many home made music videos.

Fairbrother has just graduated from Dalhousie University with honors in composition. He has an interest in improvisation, through-composed music, and electronic music. He has performed with a variety of ensembles, including conducting the Upstream Music Ensemble through an original work he composed in 2008. The concert was recorded by the CBC. He has also performed with the SuddenlyListen music association, most recently for a performance of Terry Riley's "In C" and Louis Andriessen's "Workers Union." He has composed for strings, brass, piano, and percussion.

Over the last year the interest in Omon Ra has grown, they have three releases planned within the next year, including a release on American indie label, Borrowdeer. The band also has plans to move to France come 2010. In May 2009, as a part of the Obey Convention Music Festival, they performed in a three part collaborative set with experimental video artist, Amanda Dawn Christie, and Gown, known for his work with Thurston Moore.