OOOD take us on a Deep Flight for their 6th album
OOOD presents Deep Flight, out now via Iboga Records.
Legendary psychedelic trance outfit OOOD (aka Out Of Our Depth) have been making music since 1994 and have worked with many of the names and labels from the scene’s long history to produce some of Goa Trance’s classic tracks including legendary labels such as Flying Rhino, Phantasm, Matsuri and more.
For their 6th studio release they have found a home on one of psytrance’s leading imprints, Iboga Records.
It’s been nearly 9 years since their 5th album, You Think You Are was released on Vertigo Records, but the wait is finally over, and Deep Flight is here.
With this album, OOOD have taken everything they’ve learned in 27 years of music production to deliver 11 deep groovy, trance-inducing arrangements..
Deep Flight may be slower than their earlier works, but it is still unmistakeably OOOD.
The tracks are deep yet uncomplicated, ethereal yet grounded and fun with a smooth easy groove throughout.
Making use of physical instruments, the album is the perfect marriage between electronic and organic that takes the listener on a journey that traverses the sonic landscapes each track presents.
Strap in as we chat to OOOD about Deep Flight and nearly 30 years of psychedelia.
It was natural at that point to start writing with the idea of a larger-scale release in mind as they seemed open to what we were doing, and since we were in a particularly prolific patch it wasn’t long before we had enough tracks to propose the album in summer 2020.
It’s been 9 years since your last full-length album, You Think You Are, was released on Vertigo Records. As mentioned in the Iboga Records promo video for your upcoming album, Deep Flight, you went about creating this piece of work differently. Instead of putting an album together from material you already had, you intentionally wrote Deep Flight. How did this come about and what made you change the formula?
OOOD: The idea was to create something a bit different, something deeply trance-inducing that was both timeless and (hopefully!) innovative in its own way. When we first approached Iboga with the tracks that became the Snow Driven EP, our first release with them, we had already written a whole bunch of tracks at a similar tempo although only some of them were along the lines that we thought Iboga would like. Hooking up with them made us refine the direction we were working in, and obviously the idea of a potential album on Iboga crossed our minds pretty quickly! It was natural at that point to start writing with the idea of a larger-scale release in mind as they seemed open to what we were doing, and since we were in a particularly prolific patch it wasn’t long before we had enough tracks to propose the album in summer 2020.
Having successfully made music together since the mid-90’s, how does your partnership sail so smoothly and who oversees what aspect of a track? How does production work on an OOOD track?
OOOD: No relationship survives nearly 30 years without experiencing the occasional bump in the road, but there’s always been a lot of love in the band and the years have taught us how to compromise and share input, and how to let each of us play to our skills. In general, Steve and Colin share most aspects of the writing/production on this album (along with some great input from Ramsay on Bioluminescence). There is no formula or template to writing an OOOD track but often one of us will get a bassline and rhythm section together, and we’ll each take it in turns to have our way with what’s on the screen. We often write more than one track at once, and work on each in turn as we run out of steam on the other.
Not ignoring the elephant in the world, how has the pandemic inspired you to make music considering the lack of gigs and festivals? Where do you draw inspiration from in these crazy times?
OOOD: We’ve always known the dancefloor will rise again, and we’ve been writing partly with those times in mind. Our inspiration comes from many places; the natural world, other music, jamming over the track until an idea makes itself known, a conversation. Even just the sheer fun of the process itself – collaboration, creative problem solving, technical geekery – can provide a lot of inspiration.
Music is connected to experience, and there’s no better experience than listening to psytrance at a festival. Having formed in 1994 basically with the birth of Psytrance and the underground UK scene, what has kept you coming back for more? What about this genre as a music and culture is OOOD-approved?
OOOD: Back in the beginning of Psytrance, there seemed to be an extra dynamic at some of the parties that is hard to define; basically, a feeling of oneness with all things and the ability to enter a deep trance state that could help bring about a dissolution of the ego and help create a feeling of profound love, a deeper connection to the source and a feeling of the dancefloor as a collective. This does still happen at certain moments and special parties, and it transcends the normal/modern human experience, perhaps speaking to the various ancient trance dance happenings throughout the thousands of years of humanity. For all those who have felt something of this in a collective state there is a renewed faith in humanity’s ability to transcend our problems and help create a more loving, understanding, compassionate and harmonious world. It feels ecstatic and profound and once truly experienced cannot be forgotten and, in our case at least, must constantly be strived for. We try and write music to facilitate this.
We’ve always been an “album” band. Because our output is deliberately eclectic and arguably left-field, we just can’t write the endless stream of peak-time bangers that are encouraged by a focus on singles/ EPs…
The album has an “old School” feel in the sense that the tracks don’t have crazy, in your face drops, but rather present the listener with a journey that has bags of drive. How have you kept true to the essence of OOOD throughout your 20-year + career, especially when music has become so drop-driven?
OOOD: Drops are great, we’ve loved them since the beginning, and there are one or two OOOD-style drops in the album, but it’s true that with this album we’ve concentrated less on crazy technical trickery and tried to focus on creating a very trance-inducing experience, which can be lost with too many stop/starts/builds/drops etc. To get a deeper sense of the transcendent experience we feel there needs to be flow. The essence of OOOD is the people who write the music, and we’ve always tried to stay true to who we are as people and as musicians.
One could argue that people just want instant gratification and ‘single servings.’ What made you decide to create a full-length album in a time where music is so accessible that singles and EPs are ‘easier’ to digest?
OOOD: We’ve always been an “album” band. Because our output is deliberately eclectic and arguably left-field, we just can’t write the endless stream of peak-time bangers that are encouraged by a focus on singles/ EPs, which all need to grab the attention to get any traction. Releasing albums lets us get tracks out there that we love but which would only be releasable as part of a larger collection. It allows us to create a little 80 or 90-minute mini world of OOOD which has its own rules, and which other people might not otherwise get to hear unless they see us play live. We like to think that the album when listened and, especially, danced to becomes much more than the sum of its parts.
Deep Flight is deep, groovy, atmospheric, driving, organic, mechanic and takes inspiration from all spheres of electronica including techno, house, and of course, psychedelic. Forget thinking outside the box, why is removing the box important to OOOD?
OOOD: “Do not try and write out of the box, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth… there is no box. Then you will see it is not the box that the music comes out of, it is only yourself.”
Since this interview is to hero your brand-new album, Deep Flight, which just dropped on world renowned Iboga Records, let’s fly into the track list. Please give our readers a wordy teaser and describe the essence of each track in 1 word or sentence:
- Bioluminescence – Diving
- Kush – Driving
- Transnormal Highway – Rolling
- Mauna Kea – Climbing
- Kangchenjunga – Soaring
- Deep Flight – Flying and floating
- First Ascent – Playing and loving
- Esoterica – Grooving
- Snow Drifting – Asking and answering
- Tatra – Resonating
- Vourukasha – Coming home
You played Tribe of Frog’s 21st Birthday on the 25th of September. Having been the first live act to play there back in October 2000, how special is this return seeing as the festival itself is an institution of psychedelic trance, you are an institution of psychedelic trance, it’s the release of your 6th studio album and we’re in a pandemic?
OOOD: We love Tribe of Frog, the team behind it and the partygoers who make it what it is, and it’s always really special to play there. And for sure there were a lot of reasons to celebrate with this particular party! It was just an honour to be asked to play and add our energy to an event where everyone there had some reason to celebrate still being there, and still together on the dancefloor.
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