Location: Berlin Established: 2015

Potted History: While the original idea was to set up oqko as a gallery to provide a home to the four inter-interdisciplinary artists that form this thoughtful collective, it’s good for us that they found themselves with a record label on their hands instead.

“We didn’t look forward to ‘traditional’ releases,” says their spokesperson. “The first release was just the EP’s artwork printed as a postcard including a redeem code, the second release was photo series addressing the topic of ice. We are more triggered by a conceptual convenience.”

Mission Statement: “The mission remains to explore, understand each trace of what we have done and being able to reflect, through different surfaces, meaning that instead of just reaching out in terms of material, we develop a discourse in understanding the medium as message.” Right you are then.

Key artists & releases: The collective consists of four members, Icelandic producer and cross-media artist astvaldur, DEKJ whose ongoing project focuses on the influence and integration of the sonic experience, Lvis Mejía, who describes himself as “an agent interested in evoking other perspectives” rather than an artist, and smog, an experiential sound artist focused in a diversity of musical genres. As for output, label sampler, ‘form_1’ is as good a place to start as any. It’s the first edition of an ongoing series that provides an overview of the future oqko releases. Including work by by Rodrigo Sigal, bugaev, HMOT and José Gallardo A among others, it comes beautifully packaged in a metallic envelope containing printed individual translucent foils with the info for each of the sound pieces.

Future Plans: Sound-wise, look out for a piece by respected Mexican composer, Javier Álvarez. “We are looking forward to finding a suitable and interesting format in order to pay justice to the value and original conception of the piece,” they tell us. Look out also for Romain Iannone’s ‘Nocturne Works’ album later this year. A Swiss graphic designer, the record is mostly short tape recordings and will come out as an acoustic/botanical study on cassette (natch) accompanied by a packet of plant seeds and an explanation of the family of the seeds included.

Any Other Business? We did ask. They tell us the key to all this is “Strength by unity based on the principles of friendship/respect/exchange/functionality and a key one: action”. It’s a fascinating project and one well worth keeping an eye on.

For more, visit oqko.org

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