The OhOhOhs have made a name for themselves over the years as a live acoustic techno duo in Frankfurt and beyond. Whether through rousing concerts and summer festivals, on dance demonstrations or at funky parties. The show they delivered on stage each time was definitly worth a visit. When observing these two hyperactive music-geniuses while getting crazy on their instruments during a live concert, it´s impossible not to dance along. The trademark of the artists has always been to fabricate the technoid electro sounds completely by hand. So you have to be fast.
Of course Florian Wäldele and Florian Dreßler still love the freaking out at the concerts and the electro music, these events will continue to exist. But more and more ideas came up with the desire to compose works as well in other genres with drums and keyboard instruments. For example in classical music. And so in the last few years a new creative project has been created: the “Oh!chestra”. The naming fits like a glove.
It is also a reflection on the musical origins of where both come from. Before the electrosound, things started differently. Back to the roots and classical music. Since 2015 their first experimental pieces have already been filmed and tinkered and in 2017 finally appeared the finished and brilliant debut album “Vierhändig” at Herzog Records. There are popular classic tracks which everybody knows, but they are played in new ways by the OhOhOhs, pardon, Oh!chestra. And since it is not an orchestra, but the Oh!chestra, of course, the Electrosound note in this special interpretation is also included.
The OhOhOhs visited me some time ago on Radio X and we recorded an interview in the studio. The interview is in German, but below you will find a large part of the conversatino written down and translated into English.
How did you start making your great music and when did the Oh!chestra project join?
FLO W: I’ll start from scratch. We’ve been making music for over twelve years now. And probably most people know us by the name “The OhOhOhs”. So more music like for clubs and with synthesizer and hell for leather, you can almost say that. We create a little festival mood. And now with the new project, that’s been happening since 2015 as well. We will not try a new look, but we can say, that we went back to traditional instruments. I’m a trained classical pianist and Flo actually plays the percussion and the drums, especially the Cuban percussion and Konga and Bongo in particular. And then we have the OhOhOhs connected with what we actually do. It is no longer that loud, not so much in the technique direction and more classical direction with piano and percussion. But still from the OhOhOhs we have taken that it pulsates and pumps and also that you can dance on it. Yes, sure. And now we have noticed that we are no longer 17. But rather 19. We just went 19. Joke. But you can put it this way: There is also the urge to play in the club at night, at 5 o’clock. But that will also be replaced by the fact that you want to make more music and play concerts, where people can listen a lot more. And it also gives you a lot more freedom to make music and not just this constant jackhammer blast. I think it all has changed a bit during the time, and so did we. But in a way by taking the essence with us and making more of what we can hear.
FLO D: What I have to add here, so there’s the Oh!chestra with the debut album “Vierhändig”, which was released by Herzog Records. But there are still the OhOhOhs! Of course! It´s correct that this concertante in the Oh!chestra is definitely in focus, because you have the opportunity to make more music. And with the OhOhOhs that’s more hammering. But we will give these concerts as well and you will certainly recognize us frequently in the nightlife.
The music in the clubs, that was nice techno, loud and you could dance to it and jump around. The Oh!chestra is already more classic, but it’s not just classic. You have a mix between electro and classical, but interpreted in your own way. You have re-set the pieces and played with your own note.
FLO D: Yes, that’s our own experiment. But with the recording, so we have a text on the website, because it is perhaps something wrongly explained. So it’s not that we record that and then re-process it, but rather seek a way, how can you play classical, for example. That’s not the only influence now. That’s a big part, but not the only one. Minimal music and polymetry is also an important part. And how can you partially re-think and reinterpret classical music? It’s more like working with sampled material. Actually we do not do that at all. Then when we pick up sounds that are more likely to come from a drum machine or sometimes it’s the sampled piano that’s lying on a pad. But it does not mean that you have that sample in mind, a phrase that you let run or something. If we have loopy stuff, then we play it ourselves.
FLO W: In some way you could say there are re-sets, but parts are not recorded. We actually use classical music as a kind of parcel. That’s actually a sample. That means a small piece of music, which in turn is suitable for reinterpreting it. It is said that you can play this in a loop and these loops are the basis for electronic music. In other words, we are a bit cheeky and take parts of famous pieces or even less famous ones, or we compose something that sounds similar. It is a kind of loan to the thought and music of that time. And then we make new music with it in the sense that we take the music and connect it with the technoid idea of Minimal and the music of that time. So the idea is already electronic, but the implementation is not electronic. The implementation is analog. That’s actually what we can say. So we want try doing something new in this world and today. Which is not so easy to do something new. It is definitly an aspect and conditiion we commited ourself to: We want to implement everything with our hands and do it selfmade. We don´t want to say, we sample something and steal that way. Everything is done by ourselves and happenes by ourselves.
All selfmade and copyrighted by the OhOhOhs.
Both OhOhOhs: Yes, absolutely! Selfmade! Yes!
With the OhOhOhs you have released some CDs and meanwhile as well your debut vinyl for the Oh!chestra.
FLO D: The CD “Vierhändig” by Oh!chestras has been released on 3 February 2017 by Herzog Records. The number of tracks is eleven and there is an additional piece. This is a solo by Flo W., a piano solo. And it is only available online. That’s not on the record, but it exists.
FLO W: What makes this album so special is that the pieces are very different. There is a thought that already works like a central theme. But the style goes from pieces that are a bit larger and are very wild and rhythmic, to piano solo pieces that are very quiet and almost reflective. The range of the energy of the CD is very broad. What appears again and again in the pieces is the polymetry. There are such thought experiments with number games that overlap, thus shaping the technoid thought a bit. We both think that’s great. Things are not as clumsy as they often are, so one, two, three, on the floor and then techno is already done. That’s like sand on the sea. This can be also nice, but somehow we have the feeling that we do not necessarily need to reproduce that.
It does not take more Minimal in Frankfurt.
FLO W: Exactly. And what kind of flashes is this multi-level perception, which works differently at the same time. And of course, if you pack in the same musical space, then you can create wonderful musical polyps. And then the whole thing in the guise of a techno-track. That’s what we like very much. However, we also like it just to get detached only with beats and rhythm, which is followed by the melodies or beautiful and interesting harmonies. This fits more in the classic garb. And you can find that a lot on the record too. So it’s really from very far left to very far right. There is a lot to hear. It was also a long journey to fix and arrange all these thoughts.
FLO D: You have to say the name The Oh!chestra is also a bit of a wink. Because these different voices work side by side as well. So we partly see the pieces. For example, that you have a bass voice and above that comes a chord sequence and then another melody or another pattern is working. The same thing happens in percussion. And so you get a bit of a sense of an orchestra. But that is really very small. So the biggest cast is five people.
On your Youtube channel you have some quite nice videos. There are also some where you play with other musicians together. So you can grow there and make a bigger Oh!chestra out of it.
FLO W: Yes, absolutely! For concerts we get other musicians. From the classical area or from the non-classical area. The basic idea is that it is open in every musical genre. We also would like to have someone who is doing some Rap . So our wish is – that was the originally thought – that the Oh!chestra are quite many. Many people, including a string orchestra, there should be a harp, somebody on the turntables and one on the double bass and another at the drums. Something like that. And as well a choir. That’s the thought and desire so far. I think the direction is not so wrong, but so far and for now we prefer to shape and nurture this idea for ourselves. But there are always situations when we just open the door and say we invite guests. These are people we like to make music with and they can really come from different areas. Also like from jazz or classical or singing. Everything fits very well and the music is very open.
FLO D: The nice thing is that it still works perfectly just by us two. So if we’re playing live or on the go, it’s still a question of budget. It is often depending on your budget. For two, it is also relatively easy.
So other musicians who like your works and have ideas can contact you?
FLO W: Yes, absolutely. Of course we are happy. On our website www.theohchestra.de is a field with contact. People are welcome to write emails or requests for possible performances or ideas on how to work together. And in the present time naturally over the Facebook page. There exists a page for The Oh!chestra but we manage meanwhile everything via the OhOhOhs Facebook page. There you can contact us over the message function. And in the net it is indeed very busy. So if somebody feels touched by it, and if there’s any musical idea or direction, which would work well together, I really enjoy your messages. Of course we woulb be happy!
During the years you also made creative, inspiring and funny videos for performances and parties. To the Oh!chestra pieces there are also some very nice videos. Filmmaker Michi Druener of Klappe die Erste and the Traumschläger Kollektiv worked with you together for this movie project.
FLO D: That’s right. He did a very wonderful, great, fast, uncomplicated job. That was a big, big win for us. And at this moment again a big thank you to Michael. We have to say, it was a great help for us. He certainly enjoyed the work too.
The videos were completed exactly on time for the CD Release Party.
FLO W: Exactly, he did it. He was actually even nearly finished straight afterwards. A few months before the release he was almost done with it. Punctually it hardly works. So we were quite surprised. Normally working with people in the film industry have been not that punctual. So you realize that you have to wait and will be a bit behind schedule. Because it is also just a lot of stuff. Everything has to be spotted and then cut. And with him it was nothing like that. I think it felt like it took only around two days. He called and said: Guys, I’ve already sneaked a first version. Do you want to have a look? And we both have been speechless. Yes of course! If that’s really happening now. And yes, in fact, the man is keeping his word. That was great, a very extraordinary collaboration, really! And of course I would like to see something like this happen again in the future.
The name the OhOhOhs, does it has something to do with Floh and Floh? Your names? And did you have any ideas for the Oh!chestra already when naming?
FLO W: Exactly, you got it to the point with the Floh. At first we did not know that with the Oh!chestra, but with the names, that´s it, Floh and Floh. Well, as we both are called, Florian. That was the namesake for this Oh. And out of this Oh the Oh!chestra is not so far away. And we thought it would be obvious. Exactly, we just always take the Oh with us, no matter what we do. Because both of us have been together for so long. As far back till into our musical beginnings. That’s why it’s so beautiful that you can see the Oh in the new project and as well prominently. With exclamation mark! There it is!
Film specialist Michael Druener from Traumschläger Kollektiv had made a nice video in which the Oh!chestra plays the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.
Another creative video by Michael Druener with a deeper insight into the Oh!chestra’s music and a performance of the two musicians.
The OhOhOhs are in the usual manner as well as in Oh!chestra lineup regularly in Germany, but especially in the Rhine-Main area on concerts, art events, parties and parties. More about the upcoming events and projects can be found on the gig-page or via the links in the INFOTHEK at the end of the article.
THE OHOHOHS ABOUT THEMSELVES ON THEIR WEBSITE
The two-man-formation „The Ohohohs“ are real cross-over fusionists. A classic pianist with an addiction to melody and repetitiveness meets a percussionist based in the afro-cuban music scene with a fondness for downbeats and funk. Being longtime friends the two have had many opportunities to play music together, listen to records and make plans. In 2005 a wild premier party triggered it all off, an old organ in front of the theater and drums from the just performed stage play, Flo and Flo turned into The Ohohohs and finally the crucial question was asked: „ …what do we actually want to do?“ It was an old Yamaha synthesizer that brought the answer… „Techno!“
Everything was to be played live, monotony and the shamanistic magic of electronic club music as a concept and the drive for a two-man band. Repeating and layered patterns backed up or broken by melodies form the structures of a live set. The lengths of the tracks, breaks or bridges are not fixed and therefore different and new in each performance which is channeled by the atmosphere of that particular night and audience. Always pursuing the happiness that would pay off the troubles and efforts of the rehearsal room, hunting the enlightened moment of the collective experience of a beautiful sequence, building up progression beyond boundlessness, a harsh break… well, simply the quest for music.
The Frankfurt-based duo describes their sound as a club-oriented electronic-riot mix. Elements of drum‘n‘bass and techno are being gathered and put through the mill mixed with a bit of 80s disco sound and punk rock fever. With The Ohohohs you can expect a wild rocking live performance. An act to make you go stark raving mad. Even techno skeptics will loose their minds. Even techno skeptics will lose their minds. In the studio, The OhOhOhs explore opportunities that combine acoustic instruments with synths, digital sounds and voice. The basic idea is to find spaces in the different approaches of electronic and acoustic music to flip perspectives. It can be beautiful and exhilarating playing a Bach Fugue cut into loops and combine it with a polyrhythmical conga-pattern trying to add an acoustically played delay effect while the feet begin to tap a 4/4 techno-beat… The OhOhOh-Oh!chestra will come alive!
RELEASES, FESTIVALS AND CONCERTS
Releases: EP “Vierhändig” Herzog Records, EP “WU” Compost Black Label, EP „Vier zu Drei“ Ohral Records
Concerts: Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey and Germany
Festivals and locations: Fusion, Heidelbergerger Stückemarkt, TransVormer, DigitalAnalog, Mensch und Maschine, Diskurs, Go-West, Mousonturm, Nacht der Museen, Museumsuferfest, Noyzboyz, OBEN-Festival, Lichter Filmfestival, YMCA, Römersee-Open Air, Sipgate, Sisyphos, Klunkerkranich, Hofserenade, Kiez Klassik, Dynochrom, Roten Flora, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Kulturforum Kiel, Garnier’s Keller, Sterntaucher, Molotow, Walhalla, Brotfabrik, Villa Nachttanz, Treibsand, Weseler Werft, Yaam, Jazztage Bad Homburg, Horst, Fabrik, Orangerie, Blaues Haus, Filmmuseum Frankfurt, Nebbiensches Gartenhaus, Atelier Frankfurt, Club Voltaire, Internationales Theater, Nachtleben, Graf Kauz, Schick und Schön, Parkside Studios, Clubkeller, Chinaski, Tanzhaus West, Haus der Begegnung, Günthersburgpark
Music for theaters: Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Ludwigsburg
Worked with and company: Ina Weisser, Die Segel, Max Reimann, Person Francis, Jamamo, Valentin von Lindenau, Juan Bauste Granda, Peter Eckert, Cia Torun, The Art Of Fusion, SiTew, Space Coast, Einzelkind, Robin Scholz, KlingKlangKlong
Vinyl Label: http://www.herzogrecords.com/de/artist/ohchestra
Filmmaker – Michael Druener
Photographer: The OhOhOhs, Michael Druener, Frau Fenster