Odder Otter: What is grown in the garden of hip hop?

Tuesday 30th, August 2016 / 11:14
By Willow Grier
Photo: Alexandra Leung

Photo: Alexandra Leung

CALGARY — “The thing I really love about hip hop is that what defines the genre is pretty loose,” muses Adam Odter a.k.a. Odder Otter. “It’s speaking rhythmically instead of singing and the music behind it is whatever you feel like making it. It’s entirely up to interpretation.” Odder Otter’s own experience with creative interpretation has led him through seven-going-on-eight releases, with composition varying from being entirely self-made to his current forthcoming project, which is largely a collaboration with The Hidden Garden Collective.

“I have a hard time holding onto things. Once I have a collection of songs I try to release it as soon as possible,” he explains. And with this emphatic anxiousness, one can begin to understand the forthcoming album, titled Garden Party or Aural Distraction For A Diminished Attention Span. The “diminished attention span” is multi-instrumentalist Odter. The “garden party” refers to the Collective, the partnership Odter describes as having “fallen into.”

Initially approached by J.Fisher of the Collective, Odter soon learned that the crew spanned several continents and despite its vast network, that it seemed to fit perfectly into the Otter’s wheelhouse. Strangers from across the globe came together to create a complex, varied, and surprisingly cohesive album. At times, the songs are reminiscent of Death Grips, with crunchy electronic chaos and glitch, at times, 8-Bit and mesmeric, and even still, there are more subdued, atmospheric and cerebral elements. The kaleidoscope of styles fit well with the challenging depth of Odter’s lyricism. Comparable to word wizard Aesop Rock for complexity of rhyme schemes, burgeoning vocabulary, and penchant for speaking about things few else would think of, Odder Otter songs are a delight to sift through and listen to time and time again. And you’ll have to, because you might miss some hilarious cleverness, or low-key philosophy.

“I’ve challenged myself to not turn down beats. If other people wanna make me beats, I don’t wanna say no, even if it’s not something I’m super feeling at the beginning,” Odter explains of his unique style. “I just figure out how to make it work and that’s made me more versatile in my writing.”

Thankfully, the album will be released alongside a lyric book, embellished with hand-drawn artwork by longtime friend and former bandmate Carson Long, so songs like “Baphomet Boogie,” “Mick and Rorty,” and the spectral and high flying free-verse denouement, “Tender Bravado Pt 2” will not go amiss.

Odder Otter will release Garden Party or Aural Distractions for a Diminished Attention Span in the month of September with touring dates and online content. Check https://www.gofundme.com/odterbromtour2016 to contribute to the album’s progress and get in on exclusive merch bundles.

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