Week in Pop: xCephasx, Krystle Warren, QOQO ROBOQS

Sjimon Gompers

The persistence & ever-evolving proliferation of Vancouver's xCephasx, oka Cephas Munga; photographed by Mescondi, aka Conor Cunningham.


Qoqo in gear-land; photographed by Jared Borkowski, taken at Table & Chairs monthly showcase presented at Seattle’s Vermilion.

Seattle’s non-binary purveyors of the true liberation of the spirit through the construction of music for all tomorrow’s warehouses & earbuds QOQO ROBOQS presents the world premiere for their new single & visual for “Cable News” that sets out to break through the world’s idiot boxes witth amplified beats, inspired electric sequences & poetic chants. Part of the Seattle based art collective TUF—a female/nonbinary/trans DJ/northwest phenomenon—QOQO ROBOQS announced the upcoming arrival of their LM PRIME-R available later this fall with a message to the current despot-in-chief via visuals by Zach Zimmerman & Michelle Morandotti from Ceramic Films & produced in Washington D.C. sporting Alison Odwoski’s original footage. With Qoqo Maria’s whispered vocal loops of the president watches…, the “Cable News” obsessions that trickle down from the executive branch, with the media masses lapping up every toxic Tweet (that allegedly suffices as, ahem, news/buzzworthy dribble fit for reporting) and empowering the angry legions of tiki-torch wielding cowards. QOQO ROBOQS fights the waves of discrimination, hate & hysteria with a subversive hyper-techno-ballad that sends out a psychic saber of civil defiance/disobedience that pushes toward a destiny of a greater state of civic consciousness.

Having previously gifted the international pop culture communities with the singles “breathe into me” & “As If I“—QOQO ROBOQS keeps the creative electronic currents humming, thumping, where more than ever their sound becomes fashioned as tense soundtrack to score the current political climate & fallout in a time where the free world powers harbor white nationalists, empower their rabid fan base & equate neo-Nazis, KKK & other alt-right trolls to the protesters countering these unsettling campaigns of hate. The visual team of Alison Odwoski, Zach Zimmerman & Michelle Morandotti along with QOQO ROBOQS made this video prior to the horrific events at the Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally that claimed the life of Heather Heyer and it could not be a more timely wake-up call to executive branch in the wake of their acerbic & awful response to these horrific events.

The visual blend for QOQO ROBOQS’ “Cable News” mixes modernist analog transmissions with contemporary montages of subliminal rituals juxtaposed with the vintage & antiquated routines & rhythms of the past. Exhibitions of old school electronics are displayed as the ROBOQS drops all four-to-the-floor in a major way. The tense moods that QOQO commands combined with the creative collage of present meets past hints at the cyclical nature of society, our world, our ideas, their progressions, regressions & a whole lot more. “Cable News” offers up inconvenient truths with electro-impulse warnings & visual indicators that point toward a death of civility, civil rights, global/national securities & all that we hold dear. QOQO ROBOQS are not here to be alarmist but are utilizing the empowerment of electronic aesthetics to respond to an era of injustice, discrimination against POC, LGBTQ, immigrants & all the many both domestic & abroad that have been harmed by a government administration that has made a mockery of the proverbial house on the hill & displaced what can only be described as something beyond gross ineptitude of leadership. This is breaking news story for all the so-called undecided and/or unresponsive & silent schmucks that only empower our crisis state of intense adversity with a comination of apathy to being just willfully in-opinionated.

Cover from QOQO ROBOQS’ first release breathe into me; photographed by Jared Borkowski.

QOQO ROBOQS penned the following poetic manifesto introduction to “Cable News” & further imperative statements:


Techno​ ​was​ ​first​ ​given​ ​to​ ​the​ ​world​ ​by​ ​black​ ​artists​ ​in​ ​America.​ ​Let​ ​us​ ​never​ ​forget.​ ​Since​ ​the 1980s,​ ​techno​ ​has​ ​been​ ​a​ ​safe​ ​haven​ ​for​ ​the​ ​marginalized,​ ​the​ ​non-binary,​ ​the​ ​queer,​ ​the outcasts,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​orphans.​ ​It​ ​seems​ ​we​ ​need​ ​techno​ ​now​ ​more​ ​than​ ​ever.​ ​We’ve​ ​been​ ​taken hostage​ ​by​ ​one​ ​who​ ​takes​ ​pleasure​ ​in​ ​knocking​ ​out​ ​the​ ​powerful​ ​and​ ​powerless​ ​alike,​ ​basking​ ​in his​ ​own​ ​destructive​ ​image.​ ​Like​ ​Narcissus​ ​at​ ​the​ ​pond,​ ​the​ ​president​ ​watches​ ​himself​ ​on​ ​cable news.​ ​He​ ​leads​ ​others​ ​down​ ​his​ ​reprehensible​ ​path.

Unite.​ ​Be​ ​strong.​ ​Fight​ ​hate​ ​and​ ​bigotry.​ ​With​ ​enough​ ​creativity​ ​and​ ​innovation,​ ​anything​ ​is possible.​ ​Techno​ ​looks​ ​to​ ​the​ ​future.​ ​We’ve​ ​been​ ​to​ ​outer​ ​space,​ ​we’ve​ ​mapped​ ​the​ ​human genome,​ ​and​ ​now​ ​we​ ​must​ ​find​ ​that​ ​glimmering​ ​kernel​ ​that​ ​will​ ​allow​ ​us​ ​to​ ​transcend​ ​our​ ​own propensity​ ​to​ ​destroy​ ​ourselves.​ ​We​ ​must​ ​change​ ​this​ ​procession—​within​ ​and​ ​without.​ ​And​ ​if you​ ​are​ ​feeling​ ​lost,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​place​ ​for​ ​you​ ​in​ ​techno,​ ​for​ ​techno​ ​families​ ​love​ ​and​ ​care​ ​for​ ​each other​ ​in​ ​the​ ​most​ ​expansive​ ​dark.

QOQO ROBOQS styled by Isabel Von Der Ahe; photographed by Nate G Midgley.

With​ ​love,​ ​QOQO​ ​ROBOQS

We​ ​cast​ ​off​ ​the​ ​binary​ ​aspersions​ ​we’ve​ ​been​ ​assigned​ ​in​ ​the​ ​light
Each​ ​a​ ​soft​ ​stabbing​ ​pin We​ ​move​ ​into​ ​the​ ​dark​ ​places​ ​left​ ​empty
Industrial​ ​dreams​ ​abandoned
Makeshift​ ​spaces​ ​transformed​ ​for​ ​worship
We​ ​praise​ ​each​ ​other​ ​in​ ​dripping​ ​sweat
We​ ​taste​ ​the​ ​minerals​ ​off​ ​each​ ​others’ ​cheeks
We​ ​hold​ ​each​ ​others’​ ​malformities
And​ ​bless​ ​ourselves​ ​with​ ​them

We​ ​act​ ​radically​ ​in​ ​our​ ​care​ ​for​ ​ourselves
Tenderness​ ​for​ ​each​ ​other
Here​ ​we​ ​make​ ​love
Here​ ​we​ ​dance
Here​ ​we​ ​gather​ ​our​ ​bodies​ ​together
Here​ ​we​ ​make​ ​techno
We​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​waveforms​ ​that​ ​connect​ ​us​ ​all​ ​cosmically
Here​ ​with​ ​delay,​ ​reverberation
And​ ​a​ ​relentlessly​ ​licking​ ​percussion
We​ ​make​ ​our​ ​shield​ ​not​ ​of​ ​light, ​but​ ​of​ ​sound
We​ ​fold​ ​time

Here​ ​our​ ​waveforms​ ​are​ ​larger​ ​than​ ​yours
Here​ ​our​ ​senses​ ​register​ ​change
The​ ​motion​ ​of​ ​attack
Decay​ ​release
We​ ​know​ ​the​ ​cosmoses​ ​are​ ​moving
We​ ​move​ ​with​ ​them
We​ ​are​ ​human​ ​animals
We​ ​route​ ​secrets​ ​for​ ​each​ ​other
Roadmaps​ ​for​ ​safety
We​ ​feed​ ​each​ ​other​ ​freely

We​ ​know​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​force​ ​that​ ​is​ ​trying​ ​to
Scatter​ ​us​ ​out​ ​of​ ​our​ ​power
We​ ​are​ ​salt
We​ ​are​ ​water
We​ ​will​ ​dance​ ​in​ ​the​ ​darkness
And​ ​love​ ​each​ ​other​ ​into​ ​eternity

Still from “Cable News” video shoot, QOQO ROBOQS talking to the spirit world & holding the salt; photographed by Alison Odowski for with Zach Zimmerman & Michelle Morandotti.

Warehouse Series

Taken this summer by me, Qoqo, at warehouse show I played in Seattle. It was a super special show as I got to play with some of my best friends in our little techno community, and it was put on by my friends as a sort of goodbye before they moved to Berlin to pursue their techno duo.

Warehouse photography appears courtesy of Qoqo Maria.

Warehouse photography appears courtesy of Qoqo Maria.

Warehouse photography appears courtesy of Qoqo Maria.

Warehouse photography appears courtesy of Qoqo Maria.

Listen to more from QOQO ROBOQS via Bandcamp.

LM PRIME-R will be available soon.

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