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Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland | INDIE

Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland | INDIE
Band R&B Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Oy 'First Box Then Walk'"

A dizzying display of imagination, Oy's First Box, Then Walk is a giddy and effervescent roller-coaster ride of ideas and experiments. In this remarkably bold and assured debut, Joy Frempong (born in Bolgatanga, Ghana in 1978) showcases a wide range of vocal techniques and genre styles in a playful mix of jazz, blues, hip-hop, and electronic pop. She builds her experimental pop from a liberal array of electronic, acoustic, and found sounds and draws inspiration in doing so from childhood memories and an absurdist, dada-driven sensibility. There's an over-the-top quality to the album, with Frempong fearlessly wading into every kind of water no matter what lurks beneath the surface.
Four years in the making, First Box, Then Walk sounds like it was painstakingly assembled, with many of the twenty-six songs mini-set-pieces of peculiar and distinctive design. Some are fragments (the organ nightmare “Dangeroo”), some interludes ( the piano piece “World Whale”); most are in the two-minute range. Though most songs are vocal-based, there are instrumentals too (the rickety keyboard meander of “Kumakey”). There's gloopy hip-hop (“Sex”), low-riding funk (“Hatching”), a bluesy electro-chant (“Snake”), intricate vocal interplay (“Tooth”), plus accordion tomfoolery (“I'll Build My Church”) and a heady mix of Native chants, rhymes, and electronic mayhem (“First Box, Then Walk”). A macabre mix of creaky strings, recorders, and growls in “Trolls” evokes grumpy dwarfs stomping through the forest, while “Laundry” expresses Oy's envy for clothes in the washing machine (“Wow, it looks fantastic / How you move somewhat spastic / Oh, you dancing so fine / Bouncing in and out of time”). A small number of straight-faced moments are scattered amongst the oddities, including “Cloudy Gallery,” which plays it straight with three minutes of Oy emoting against a backdrop of piano lounge jazz. Straightest of all is a vocal-only reading of Billie Holiday's “God Bless the Child” that shows up as a hidden track at album's end. Though it obviously won't threaten to supplant Holiday's definitive version, Oy nevertheless aquits herself forcefully elsewhere on this hour-long opus. - Textura.org


First Box Then Walk, Creaked Records, February 2010

Appears on:

Filewile 'Blueskywell', Mouthwatering 2009

Infinite Livez & Stade 'Morgan Freeman's Psychedelic Semen', Big Dada 2008

and more...



Her first holler was heard in Bolgatanga, Ghana in 1978. Ever since, Oy (aka Joy Frempong) has moved around in space and sound, and taken part in many different musical entities. She is currently performing with several bands - electronic, jazz, hip-hop - such as Lauschangriff, Infinite Livez vs Stade, Filewile, Phall Fatale, and has collaborated with quite a few 'old cat' improvisational musicians. Thoroughly conviced by her vocal skills, Creaked gave her a free pass to create an album of her own. Joy completed a long-simmering project based on childhood memories, which had started out as entirely vocal outline and grew into the debut of the artist Oy. Drawing upon jazz, electronica and improvisation, Oy creates a matchless chemistry made up of kiddy-toy sounds, scraps of hip-hop, and various paeans of scat. Blending her voice with the mechanical utterances from samplers and other sound machines, she is inventing new and original ways of using the vocal chords. She brings an intense inner performance on stage, an alchemy of naïve innocence and solemn depth. A fervent fan of Nina Simone, Oy builds a listener’s world of intimacy and defiance, no easy trick! She is definitely one-of-a-kind.