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Othon Mataragas

Biography

“Othon was a classical piano prodigy and despite the hedonistic, exploratory fervour of Pineal, the poise and chops of that discipline are part of what makes this music work – as is, of course, his delicious willingness to fuck with tradition(s).” (Quietus 2014).

 

In the Brazilian summer of 2012, triggered by a series of mind-expanding, Ego-shattering Ayahuasca ceremonies, Othon had a mystical epiphany; he realised that a great movement was going on inside him, an internal earthquake that would make him jump from the peripheries of his own mind right in the middle of the cosmic dancefloor. This experience lead to his latest critically acclaimed album ‘Pineal’ though his musical story started much earlier; a multi-awarded pianist by the age of 16, Othon moved from Athens to London to study piano at the Royal College of Music and composition at Trinity College as a scholar. While still at College, he began working on his first album ‘Digital Angel’ a post-apocalyptic avant-garde song-cycle that was released in 2008 by Durtro-Jnana, a cult label which released music from William Basinski and Antony and the Johnsons amongst others. Marc Almond, who had spotted his talent early, became a regular guest vocalist on all of  Othon’s subsequent three albums, which moved progressively from experimental to emotionally rich groundbreaking songs and productions. Othon’s third and latest album ‘Pineal’ (2014), quoted by The Guardian Guide as “think Throbbing Gristle scoring a chamber pop musical of Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision win – on acid”, received rave reviews in several countries, and besides it being nearly impossible to perform outside the UK (it required a minimum of 15-strong crew on stage!) it charted in numerous Greek charts.

 

Othon has collaborated with some of the cornerstones of forward-thinking electronic and experimental music, including the founder of Throbbing Gristle, Coil and Psychic TV, Peter Christopherson and Current 93’s frontman David Tibet, while his music has been remixed by Boss Axis amongst others. Always on the edge, Othon has been commissioned to write the soundtracks for some of the most provocative live art performances of the recent years, including shows by international renown artists Ron Athey and Franko B, while he is the first composer to conceive and write music for a pianist wearing boxing gloves, debuting his ‘Boxer Coaster’ at the Roundhouse. His partnership with Italian singer Ernesto Tomasini as Othon & Tomasini, brought them to several European countries, performing in some of Europe’s most distinguished concert halls and seedy night clubs alike. Othon has also collaborated with directors, designers and dancers, including US film director Bruce LaBruce, awarded fashion designer Nasir Mazhar and Royal Ballet’s longest running principal character artist Elizabeth McGorian

 

Othon made his DJ debut in Ibiza for the World Ayahuasca Conference in September 2014 and soon after he played in some of London’s most underground and forward-thinking electronica/techno parties, including ‘Kaos’ and his own new night ‘Papa Loko’, often as a hybrid live/DJ artist. Othon’s DJ sets move seamlessly between soul-shaking techno, explosive deep house and beyond, leading the crowds through one-off sonic journeys that are further enhanced by blending in some of his own carefully crafted samples and favourite soundscapes, ranging from Tibetan chants to otherworldly Ikaros by Amazonian shamans and music by minimal composers such as Wim Mertens.

 

Othon has recently completed a ‘Victorian Psychedelia’ album with Marc Almond and poet Jeremy Reed, based on the decadent classic by Huysmans ‘Against Nature’ and is finishing his new solo  album ‘Kodama’. His main focus now is to bring ‘waves of inspiration and healing’ to the dance floor and the living room alike.