Young Om’s ‘Myths’ EP is a psychedelic & nostalgic nod to the sounds of South Africa and beyond

Young Om is a project by Paris-based, South African born producer and instrumentalist Dominick Pettersson. His debut EP ‘Myths‘ was made in southern France, Chicago and Paris and is now available on Wet Dreams Recordings. With a sound that is dreamy and nostalgic, the guitar-driven melodies pay homage to the uniquely South African tones of Mbaqanga.

“I love Mahotella Queens, a lot of that Mbaqanga sound and other things more from the 80s like Freddie Gwala. Apart from that my main thing is guitar-driven music like Congolese Rumba, a lot of stuff from South Africa like West Nkosi, also Middle-Eastern, Turkish stuff from the 70s, really a lot of folk melodies from all over the world. The psychedelic touch comes from loving the 70s take on all the folk that seems to be resurfacing now.”

Comprised of the tracks “Aquamango”, “Myths” and “Sundog”, the ‘Myths’ EP features only one sample except for the tropical birds on ‘Myths’. Here Young Om goes as far as constructing percussive instruments out of pistachio shells and jam jars. The dreamy and upbeat “Aquamango”, for which a music video has been released, is the opener of the EP and sets the nostalgic tone of the release. Based on a story surrounding a painting by Young Om it tells the tale of a magical mango. “I had this artwork that was a mango but it was blue and green. So I was like it’s an aquamango. I started putting magical properties onto this mango that would make the eater of this mango into this heroic huggable, loving thing that was into life and spreading a good vibe.”

The title track “Myths” explores the human connection we share with people from thousands of years ago all thanks to shared myths as well as how this connection is often ignored. “I think we distance ourselves from that former version [of ourselves] and we’re all leaping into this future. Which is cool but you have to take something with you. Myths are something that tether you but also send you flying.”

Closing the EP is “Sundog”, written towards the end of a European winter when the days are still cold but every now and then one gets the vibe that the seasons are changing. “[Sundogs are] something you can see in especially snowy, cold places like plains and they’re these two ellipses of light that follow the sun at certain times of the day and it’s supposed to be an omen of change. They run with you as you change.”

While fresh sounding, the ‘Myths’ EP is heavily nostalgic and the sonics feel familiar yet new. This is echoed in the music video for “Aquamango” with its lo-fi, homemade video aesthetics. “I have to say with the music it’s calling back to the people I grew up with, the music I grew up around, the people around all of that so nostalgia is the order of the day.”

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