Inquisitive political artist, Mary Ocher returns with their first release in 5 years, marking a year since Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine. All proceeds will go to Kiev based Repair Together.
Inquisitive political artist, Mary Ocher returns with their first release in 5 years, marking a year since Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine. All proceeds will go to Repair Together: A grassroots organisation in Kiev dedicated to restoring damaged homes and cultural spaces, among other humanitarian goals.
Totalitarianism and the narrative of power as a theme.
These songs continue the exploration of the narrative of power, which is an underlying thread in Ocher’s writing, and much like “The West Against The People”, her last full length release, this collection is accompanied by socio-political writing (Mary Ocher – Power & Exclusion from Power Essay); here focusing on the Jewish-Ukrainian artist’s background.
The new tracks are the first to emerge of the recording sessions at Palazzo Stabile (Italy) with Norwegian microtonal artist Peder Simonsen and mixed with Mercury award winning producer Mike Lindsay of Tunng and Lump.
The collection opens with “The Curtain”; a pseudo Eastern-European folk hymn on the nature of totalitarianism, a reference to the iron curtain and the terrors of censorship and prosecution.
“The curtain is hiding the truth / from the masses
The truth / that we are all mere tools in its hands
The hands that hold on / to power and justice
No justice, but power / is all it commends”
English harpist Serafina Steer (Bas Jan / Jarvis Cocker) joins Mary on the sardonic post-punk “I am The Occupation”.
“Creases of Your Skin” describes a bleak, tense reality of war, and features a reference to the Jewish massacre at Babi Yar, near Kiev.
While “Love is Not a Place” is an anti-nationalist hymn, featuring Mary’s two drummers (aka Your Government). It will be released as a video, illustrated by found soviet footage and critique of old mens nostalgia, filmed in her home of former East Berlin. The video follows the thread of Mary’s writing and imagery – that includes the video ‘Arms’ recorded in Tel Aviv, ‘Washed Upon Your Shores’, ‘The Endlessness (Song for Young Xenophobes)‘ and ‘Across Red Lines’.
Prior to a pandemic interlude, Mary toured 30 countries with The West Against The People and Faust Studio Sessions, recorded with H.J. Irmler of Krautrock pioneers Faust, and featuring avant-garde legends Felix Kubin, Die Toedliche Doris and Julia Kent.
Her work won admiration from artists as diverse as Nan Goldin and Sibylle Berg, to pop figures such as Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Sean Lennon, Mogwai, Animal Collective, and many others.
The new EP is released via Underground Institute, a platform for culture founded by Ocher whose main focus is challenging female, multidisciplinary & genre-bending artists. The UI recently put on a three day festival in Berlin with Lolina, DJ Marcelle, Molly Nilsson, Ka Baird, Martin Rev, KMRU, Xiu Xiu and others.
artist Mary Ocher
title Power and Exclusion from Power
label Underground Institute
date 24th February 2023
01. The Curtain
02. Love is Not a Place (feat. Your Government)
03. I am The Occupation (feat. Serafina Steer)
04. Creases of Your Skin