Like fellow Canadian and Toronto native LIGHTS, Daniel Oh, who performs under the name d.oh, came to electronic music after dabbling in other styles. Listing his influences rock, blues, jazz, and pop, Oh began creating music in his bedroom while attending the University of Toronto. After solo acoustic guitar, electronic music is the easiest to create as a one-man operation. His debut EP, A Lukewarm Reception is, sadly, aptly named.
The first knock at electronic music is that it has no soul, which is nonsense. Oh proves the critics wrong on “Shut Me Down,” a number that could have come straight out of Philly circa 1981. The percussion rides a little high in the mix, but the John Oates-esque guitar keeps it together. Unfortunately it just doesn’t stick with you.
Oh explores hip-hop on “49.” Like the previous track it sounds pleasing but is lacking in hooks. The annoying sped up samples don’t make it go down any easier either. It’s almost as if he’s taken all of the appealing parts of the genres that most influenced him and consciously avoided them.
His big hit appears to be “Scaring the Child,” which mixes some cool electronic soundscapes with more irritating sampling. The hooks pop up midway through and are good enough to make you wonder why the whole song wasn’t built on them as opposed to being relegated to the bridge.
Production-wise, Oh displays a great deal of talent as, for the most part, everything is well mixed and none of the instruments fights each other for attention. Perhaps Oh’s future, at least in the near term, lies in helping others realize their sound.
7 Stars out of 10
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.