Brooklyn by way of Tel Aviv artist O Mer employs DAW, synths and electric guitar to create minimalistic pop gems that are as catchy as they are arresting. Started as a one man band, the project has recently expanded to comprise a full band, which has brought the sound to new heights of sonic refinement. We asked O Mer a few questions about the creative process and his favorite gear.
You’re a self-described “multi-genre composer.” What does this mean to you?
It means that all I’m trying to do is to compose/write music, without adhering to one genre or any set of tools for that matter.
You had several collaborators on your latest EP, “Refugee.” What made you decide to bring other musicians into the mix?
These collaborators are my band mates. We’ve been playing and performing this music for the past three years and they have carved out room for their musical voice inside of my music that I can’t recreate myself.
You play both guitar and synths, but what’s been the most inspiring piece of gear in making your latest EP ‘Refugee”?
Undoubtedly Soundtoys’ Echboy, I know it’s not a physical piece of gear but I used it for so many things on this album, it would sound completely different without it. I use it for echo of course but also for gain, stereo image expansion and just the effect of the different algorithms in 0 ms.
What other synths (both hardware and software) did you use on the record and how?
I used the Arturia Minimoog, Prophet and CS-80 plugins a lot as well s a Dave Smith Mopho for more lead synth type of things and “effects”, a lot of the mop can be heard on “The Veil”.
How did you get that cool “pointillistic” sound that’s all over the song Refugee?
I used the hold function on a Boss DD-6 Pedal to loop a bunch of guitars on top of each other. I did that twice and panned each loop either dead right or dead left… that’s it really…
Was there a guitar pedal that kind of changed your life?
Yes, quite a few years ago I got an Electro Harmonix Pog 2 which made me realize guitar pedals go further than Overdrives and Delays… That was a very radical change in my relationship with my guitar playing which along with other things led me to start producing.
What’s on your board these days?
I have an EarthQuaker Devices Dirt Transmitter Fuzz which I use for a gated fuzz-square wave sort of thing and Talons Overdrive for a bit of dirt and EQ, I switch between these two with a Boss LS-2. There’s a blackened Boss OD-3 to push more volume into the Dirt Transmitter. I use an Empress Superdelay for every type of delay and also for the “crystal” type effect. I use a Boss PH-3 when I feel like throwing a phaser in the mix but that happens rarely.
Closer to my feet I have a Boss DD-6 for short loops, whose pitch I manipulate with a Boss PS-6, and I recently got a Chase Bliss Condor which is one of the most incredible pieces of gear I have on and off my board, right now I’m using it as a Low Pass Filter and a Tremolo.
Is there a person that’s been important in perfecting your recorded and/or live sound?
My bandmates for the past three years! Itamar Shatz, Yoni Marianer, Micha Gilad, Daniel Bloch and Stahv Danker.
What other emerging NYC artists are you enjoying these days?
I’m really enjoying Panther Hollow, the one song Barrie released recently is awesome, I love the new collaborations Akinyemi is releasing with Ateller, Kalbells‘ Ten Flowers LP is magic and Altopalo recently released two sets of two songs that really blew me away.