A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2000
Oldominion dropped their first single in 1999, “Don’t Kill Your Radio,” which established the group as angst ridden and wickedly intelligent. The following year, the group put out its second twelve-inch, “Parallel To Hell,” b/w “Serenade To Silence.” These two songs showed growth, not only artistically but also numerically, as “Silence” boldly featured eight rappers on the same cut. Then Oldominion put out a short lo-fi CD titled Book Of Fury, also in 2000.
Oldominion’s proper debut album, titled One, includes “Radio,” “Hell,” and “Silence,” plus eleven new tracks. Track one “Ezmerelda” showcases rapper Syndel and her densely-packed style. Despite having so many voices, “Serenade To Silence” is probably my favorite track on the album. The simple repeated guitar notes in the composition remind me of a meditative Om chant, which grounds the song for me. At the start of the CD an interviewer asks, “How would you describe Oldominion?” I laugh out loud every time I hear the reply, “Haven’t heard of them.”
By the release of One the various members were already embarking on side-projects. Onry Ozzborn would go on to collaborate with JFK and Rob Castro to make Grayskul. Destro Destucto and Nightclubber Lang would become Boom Bap Project. If the One album was a talk-radio program it would be the conspiracy-laden Coast To Coast AM show, hosted by the paranormal-obsessed weirdo Art Bell until his passing in 2018. Listening to Oldominion is like playing Scrabble with Hannibal Lecter, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Bukowski, imagination runs amok in a torrent of bizarre, fantasy-filled, and sometimes mundane lyrics. Take the ride. Written by Novocaine132