The oddly named new wave duo EBN-OZN had one novelty hit, "AEIOU Sometimes Y" in 1983, and then lapsed into obscurity. Featuring Ned "EBN" Liben (synthesizer) and Robert "OZN" Rosen (organ, vocals), EBN-OZN was actually an eclectic act that saw no stylistic boundaries, venturing into synth pop, funk, and salsa with giddy enthusiasm. EBN-OZN was formed in New York in the early '80s. Rosen was introduced to Liben by an acquaintance of his girlfriend. Liben and Rosen were actually raised only a few blocks from one another, but they never met. Fans of punk rock and hip-hop, the two began spending time in clubs with one another, absorbing various forms of dance music from New York, Puerto Rico, and Europe. In 1984, EBN-OZN released their debut LP, Feeling Cavalier, on Elektra Records. Their lone album, it plays something like a Malcolm McClaren outing, full of cross-cultural stylistic pillaging and leg-pulling BS. The difference is that, unlike much of McLaren's work, it lacks any sort of concept that might redeem it.
Feeling Cavalier offers a messy mishmash of musical styles, with salsa ("Video DJ," featuring a guest turn by none other than Tito Puente); fake Africanisms ("Kuchenga Pamoja"); and Fairlight-heavy dance-rock competing for attention. And though the pair's hip irreverence sometimes pays off, as on the funny deflation of uptown artists, "Pop Art Bop," the jokes are more often broad-brush swipes on the order of "I Want Cash." The tongue-in-cheek tone also makes the earnest "Bag Lady (I Wonder)" seem even more out-of-place, although its clumsiness suggested the pair might be better off goofing around. The single "AEIOU Sometimes Y" became a staple on modern rock stations. Accompanied by a video that featured the ponytailed Rosen delivering a stream-of-consciousness rap about "this incredible Swedish girl," and with a more serious subtext about communication, it became a bizarre but deserved hit. However, Liben and Rosen were never heard from again after that, at least not together. Liben started working with Scritti Politti while Rosen created the house music outfit DaDa NaDa for his own label One Voice Records. Rosen eventually left the rock business, worked as a script analyst for Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, and began writing screenplays. Liben passed away from a heart attack in 1998. - AMG
Ebn-Ozn - AEIOU Sometimes Y (extended 12" mix)