IN DEPTH: Oscar’s Cut And Paste World
17 May 2016
With his debut LP 'Cut and Paste' finally hitting shelves, we got London boy Oscar to put all the pieces of his musical pie together
Last Friday, London boy Oscar's debut LP 'Cut and Paste' finally hit shelves. Eclectic and evidently born from an inquisitive mind, it's an exciting listen that takes us from lilting indie pop to reggae tinges, to skittish synths and beyond.
To celebrate, and because we're fans of taking things literally, we got the main man in to cut and paste all the ideas and influences feeding into the record into one rather lovely collage. Three years at art school well spent, as you can see.
And what's more, you could win the signed original alongside a pair of tickets to Oscar's headline show at The Dome on October 4th. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line OSCAR ART to enter and have a read of Oscar's picks below.
"Warhol is a life inspiration in a way. He was such a prophet and pre-empted how weird the world would become in terms of everyone's obsession with fame and ephemeral success. I like how cut and paste his world is as well and visually I'm really influenced by him in terms of pop art and his iconography. And obviously he basically found the Velvet Underground. He seems pretty legit."
Althea and Donna, 'Uptown Top Ranking'
"It's a seminal reggae song: great production, great song. There's a lot of reggae influence on my album; 'Good Things' has a sort of reggae backbeat. My dad used to play a lot of reggae but I got really into it when I moved house and discovered this record shop called Hawk Eye near my house which is in quite a Jamaican area. I bought my first reggae 12” there and that kickstarted my love for it."
Buzzcocks, 'Spiral Scratch EP'
"It's an early EP of theirs and probably their most punky and attention deficit – every track is only just two minutes long, proper punk, straight in and out. I was listening to this quite a lot when I wrote 'Sometimes' which is why I included it. I wanted to make a punk tune and 'Sometimes' is my version of that."
Blur, 'Song 2'
"Classic. I used to listen to this as a young boy and I haven't stopped. They're a big influence and that song is probably one of the best punk tunes they've written. It's not from my favourite Blur album, but it's a great song and things like 'Breaking My Phone' were definitely inspired by that."
"It was my dad's and I used it a bit in my early gigs – I programmed a lot of the drums for the live shows and practiced in my room with this. I moved away from it when I started to get called lo-fi a lot; it annoyed me because I don't think it was an honest representation, it was just because I wrote things in my bedroom. But Grimes does that and she's in the charts. All good pop music starts from the bedroom anyway, that's where everyone writes."
331/3 book on 'Illmatic'
"'Illmatic' is one of my favourite hip hop albums of all time by Nas. The story's amazing; when I went to New York I was reading it and totally reliving it geographically as well while listening to the album. All the beats and the production on the record is really good; a lot of the drums I use are inspired by 90s East Coast hip hop".
Dick Hebdige, 'Cut and Mix'
"This book is all about dancehall and dub recording processes and the history of that. In a similar way that reggae has been influential, these recording processes have been too where it's very analogue with a lot of delay running through old tape machines. I took inspiration from their attitude to recording music, where it's all about the feeling rather than the technicality."
"This is my music journal – I started writing it in 2012, lyric notes and everything from finding band members to producers I wanted to work with and old gig posters. It's a proper scrapbook that I've managed to keep and I don't really go anywhere without it. I was feeling nostalgic and looking through it the other night and it's funny the things I was saying I wanted – just really modest things like to make a 7”."
David Evans, 'Appropriation'
"This was something I read a lot while I was at art school at St Martins and it was really influential because it was really the only kind of modern art that I liked. I really liked the idea of taking something old and doing something new with it; essentially sampling is appropriation and this book is like a manifesto in a way."
"They were my Mum and Dad's band and this is their record. It was post punk, new wave – pretty fresh stuff. There was a bit of dub influence, not massively obvious but a lot of punk had a vague influence in a minimalist way. I don't think I appreciated it when I was younger but now I can see."
The La's, 'There She Goes'
"Classic indie pop. When I first heard it I thought it was about a girl, and then when I grew up I realised it was about heroin as a lot of good songs are. It's not too saccharine, it's really effortless with a great hook, but it's quite dark and I like that bittersweet thing."
"My best friend. My musical companion. I bring him everywhere – it's a Casio PT-1 for anyone who's interested and it's amazing. It's compact and a really good writing tool. All the best keyboards are from the 80s."
Orange Juice, 'Rip It Up'
"It's unusual because it's very indie but funky as well. It's pretty progressive in a way, and I think it's the first indie track that used the Roland 303 synthesizer."
"There's a song on my album called 'Breaking My Phone' but really it's a metaphor for the frustrations of modern life and how communication can be misinterpreted and exaggerated because everyone's in touch all the time. It's also about a failed relationship. It's fully charged, unlike any iPhone I've ever known."
All photos: Charlotte Patmore
'Cut and Paste' is available through Wichita now
Oscar plays The Dome on October 4th. Tickets here: http://www.rockfeedback.com/concerts/detail/oscar
Win Oscar's handmade collage and a pair of tickets by emailing info@rockfeedback with the subject line OSCAR ART. Good luck!