One Sentence. Supervisor’s “Onomatopoeia”

Hell, I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last post. These are the perils of finding that work-from-home/personal life balance. I think it was easier, when I actually had to go into an office. At least, then, I knew where the lines of separation existed. Oh well, these are the times we find ourselves living in.

Anyway, I thought I’d have more free moments to author a few posts in the prior intervening days. But clearly, that hasn’t happened. The plus side is I’ve found plenty of curious offerings to throw in the queue, for when I finally do find time to write up some thoughts.

Today, being my first non-work day since my last entry, has given me a moment’s pause to sit down and explore one of these findings. So let’s head over to Switzerland and tune our ears to the psychedelic Kraut-pop of One Sentence. Supervisor (the period punctuation mid-name is intentional), and their folkloric Middle Eastern stomp “Onomatopoeia.”

There’s virtually nothing I can find out about these guys online, other than their cryptic bios from their website and Facebook page, three albums on Spotify, a few music videos, and a live performance on KEXP, recorded back in 2017. I’m sure there’s more out there. But for the moment, it eludes me. And since I haven’t had a day off in two weeks, I’ll save the deep dive for a less pressing future date.

Of course, none of that background is truly necessary to enjoy the aptly titled “Onomatopoeia,” or for that matter, anything else by One Sentence. Supervisor – except for maybe the nagging notion of actually wanting to know more about them.

One Sentence. Supervisor’s biography only contains the simple phrase, “Temporär Musik für die Massen,” which loosely translates as “Temporary Music for the Masses.” I’m not sure I’d place their music in that broad of appeal, even if it does lack a sense of permanence (as does all things). But I’d certainly say “Onomatopoeia” deserves to be elevated to said level. It’s got just enough worldly groove and cultural spice to lift it out of the confines of typical indie rock and pop monikers.

It’s lyrics flow almost like Renaissance chants amongst kaleidoscopic grandeur. There’s Arabic instrumentation, an oud or other brand of lute, that’s prominent in the beat, flanked by the occasional guitar grind, a backing electro rhythm and a big beat bassy percussive drive. It all sways and swirls in a wonderfully fresh open-air earthiness that echoes in the halls of psychedelia, while owning the harmonic convergence of ethnic osmosis. It’s hard to fathom that it comes from a Swiss outfit.

Perhaps some of that might be due to Bahur Ghazi, a Syrian oud player who’s also based in Switzerland. Again, I know nothing about his background, other than what I’ve found on the internet. But there’s an interesting interview about his blending of traditional Arabic with jazz improvisation that you can check out here.

That’s all I got for One Sentence. Supervisor. I’ve only done a cursory listen of some of their other material. It’s all equally a little left-of-center, slightly off-kilter, quirky, and entirely unique. Plus, it’s got that Krautrock inspired sensibility, chiming motorik rhythms, crossed with shine and shimmer psychedelia, almost dreamy, yet peppered with a soft dose of acidity. The album I’ve been indulging is their second effort, “Temporär Musik 1 – 13,” which includes the concluding track ” Onomatopoeia” – apparently, it’s a bonus track.

Let’s hope I can pick up the pace in the upcoming weeks, or at the very least, find a balance to author more of these posts. No guarantees just yet. But I think One Sentence. Supervisor and their ethnic fusion boom “Onomatopoeia” is a great start.

Until the next one, stay safe and enjoy!

“Onomatopoeia” from the 2017 album “Temporär Musik 1 – 13.”