XOXO is one of those avant-garde musique concrète albums that simply defies categorization or deconstruction: it's part science-fiction, part neo-Dada, and part assembled sound collage, but with any category defined by its process of creation such as this, it becomes impossible to define. The album -- which is being touted in some circles as "the Sgt. Pepper's of noise records," though it's certainly not as buoyant and upbeat -- was crafted from a variety of instrumentation, samples, loops, prepared guitars, even a dildo. Yes, a dildo. Paul McCarthy's vocalizations are truly improvisational in nature, with a scattershot nightmarish quality that has to be heard to be believed. Joe Potts, meanwhile, contributed sounds created on "Chopped Optigans," which are instruments reconstructed from dismantled '70s optical samplers made by the Mattel toy company. The album was assembled over a period of more than three years by the four members who called themselves Extended Organ. Tom Recchion, Fredrick Nilsen, McCarthy, and Potts originally came together in 1997 after their longtime association with the Los Angeles Free Music Society, where they supported each other's art and music and even performed separately and in various combinations for more than two decades. This release, however, marks their first time as a foursome (they have performed live shows on rare occasions since coming together).
AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas