“Don’t count to four, count to five”, is what Sebastian Russ, known as ONDO, responded to his friend’s comment on the record: “It’s like my heart is stum- bling.”
His debut EP, Salvage, is no exception in this regard. In the five tracks that grace the EP, the born-and-bred Stuttgarter plays arrhythmically, and unevenly, experimenting with tempo and rhythmic changes. What the un- trained listener might identify as disorienting, and beyond their comfort zone, ONDO develops quite intuitively. “I didn’t intend to compose arrhythmically. I just felt that the track should sound that way.” Out of this came his first solo record, produced in the Stuttgart-based Studio St.Udio (aka UDIO / udiocollective.com). A windowless bunker, surrounded by rocks, subways, effects and computers. Somehow between worlds; an interim phase.
No longer in Stuttgart, but not yet in his new hometown of Hamburg, ONDO takes this surrounding up in his music and references the subway in his title track, Salvage. Spherical, standing, and repetitive sounds are broken with musical opposites. Soul and jazz meet electro, synth, and electric bass.
The multi-instrumentalist has his roots in live music, having played for many years in various bands and traversing various musical genres from jazz to rock to hip hop. Therefore, it’s particularly unusual to have recorded and produced a record entirely by himself, given his past experience as a collaborative musician.
ONDO’s wish was to actualise something rather personal and to no longer invest his own time into client-based work. Following several detours and endeavours in other disciplines such as performance art, media art, and sound design, ONDO is now again focused on his own music.
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