Optiganally Yours began with Pea Hix’s fascination with the Optigan, a keyboard manufactured in the early and mid-’70s by Mattel. An “optical organ,” the Optigan stores its sounds – which range from organs and strings to drum loops and sound effects – on a collection of celluloid optical discs. Hix found his first Optigan in 1995 at a Salvation Army, and eventually added a dozen more to his arsenal. He recruited his friend Rob Crow as a collaborator, and the duo’s debut album, ‘Spotlight on Optiganally Yours’, arrived two years later; its blend of spare, indie pop songwriting and production and strangely lush arrangements won critical acclaim. The group also contributed tracks to a benefit album for East Timor and March Records’ Reproductions: Songs of the Human League before releasing their second full-length, ‘Optiganally Yours Presents: Exclusively Talentmaker!’, in early 2000 on Absolutely Kosher Records. On this album the duo played the Vako Orchestron and the Chilton Talentmaker, which were slightly varied descendants of the original Optigan. 2001’s ‘Optiganally Yours De-Composed’ (2001) was a quirky remix album.
In 2014, they contributed a cover version of There Goes A Tenner to the album Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers For Reproductive Rights.
The album ‘O.Y. in Hi-Fi’ is their most recent release, composed during sessions between 2000 and 2017.
- Optiganally Yours. Discogs.com, retrieved 7 September 2018.