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RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan

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OOIOO biography
OOIOO (pronounced oh-oh-eye-oh-oh) are an all-female Japanese group, that were formed in 1996, by Yoshimi P-We (Yoshimi Yakota), as a ficticious band for a photo shoot for Switch magazine (in Japan). However, they quickly garnered a following and in 1997 they opened for Sonic Youth.

Yoshimi P-We, founder, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of the band, started off her career in UFO Or Die in 1986, with eYe. Yoshimi and eYe then formed Boredoms, an experimental noise band in the same year; they released their debut album in 1988. Yoshimi is still an official member of Boredoms as a drummer and percussionist.

Yoshimi in OOIOO, vacates the drumstool in favour of guitar and vocals (and various other instruments) and designs all the artwork for the album sleeves and booklets as well as being the producer on TAIGA. In 2002 she was a guest on The Flaming Lips album "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" which she was also name-checked on and this launched her to the rest of the world.

OOIOO released their debut album "Eight" (also known as OOIOO) in 1998. The material on this debut album was much closer to that of Boredoms, but things would change with later releases. The album features guests eYe (on electronics), Julie Cafritz (Free Kitten) and Keigo Oyamada (Cornelius). This album was eventually released in the US by Kill Rock Stars.

Their next release, in 2000 was "Gold and Green" and this album featured guest musicians, such as Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda (Cibbo Matto), Atari (Boredoms) and Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms & Omoide Hatoba). This album mixes Krautrock and free jazz, with ethnic sounds, as well as the quirkyness of Japanese music and culture. The other members of the band at this time were Kayan (guitar) (who replaced Kyoto), Yoshida Atuhisa (bass) and Yoshico (drums). This album was finally released to the US market in 2005, including Yoshimi's artwork.

In 2001 the girls released "Feather Float" which was again an eclectic mix of music and styles, but this time much more avant-garde, heavier and noisy, yet still typically OOIOO. Maki was the new bass player on this album.

2004 was to bring the jazz-tinged, lighter feel of "Kila Kila Kila" to the world. A new bass player AyA features on this album, as well as Yuka Yoshimura on drums. Hatano Atuko guests on 'cello.

Their most recent release is the 2006 album "TAIGA" which translates to "Big River" in Japanese and "Forest" in Russian. This album is again...
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Thrill Jockey 2014
$29.54 (used)
Kila Kila KilaKila Kila Kila
Thrill Jockey 2004
Audio CD$10.95
$1.71 (used)
Feather FloatFeather Float
Birdman 2001
Audio CD$49.99
$8.47 (used)
Thrill Jockey 2006
Audio CD$11.02
$2.98 (used)
Gold & GreenGold & Green
Thrill Jockey 2005
Audio CD$11.59
$6.86 (used)
Armonico HewaArmonico Hewa
Thrill Jockey 2009
Audio CD$11.66
$7.11 (used)
Kill Rock Stars 1998
Audio CD$56.00
$14.99 (used)
Audio CD$40.38
$6.84 (used)
Eye RemixEye Remix
Thrill Jockey 2007
Audio CD$4.50
$3.00 (used)
Best of OoiooBest of Ooioo
Imports 2004
Audio CD$39.13
$12.54 (used)
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OOIOO discography

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OOIOO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.09 | 5 ratings
∞8∞ [Aka: OOIOO]
4.00 | 15 ratings
Feather Float
3.99 | 10 ratings
Gold & Green
3.00 | 6 ratings
Kila Kila Kila
4.59 | 39 ratings
3.15 | 7 ratings
Armonico Hewa
4.00 | 2 ratings

OOIOO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

OOIOO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OOIOO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Shockcity Shockers Vol. 2 - OOIOO Remix
0.00 | 0 ratings

OOIOO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Eye Remix EP

OOIOO Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.59 | 39 ratings

OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars TAIGA is definitively an avant-garde album. There's an absurd amount of experimental elements infused in each song. I found myself listening to the tracks over and over because there's just so much to discover every time it's heard.

It's very clear the focus on the rhythm and percussion instruments, as well a wide array of instruments to bring different sonorities to their songs. Overall, it reminds me a lot tribal music. Not only the percussion but the calmness and vocal style.

There are two main features in this album: the first being the guitar, which is sometimes gentle - such as the mellow, delicate intro of SAI - and sometimes distorted; and the second being the musicianship of the percussionists.

Another important characteristic on TAIGA is the presence of electronic noises, ranging from heavily distorted background guitar to drone-esque sounds. They complement the songs and help each of them feel unique.

The vocals are also important to bring the ambiance of the songs. There's often high-pitched screams, wheezing, rat noises, and whatnot. While the background vocals are mostly pleasant, the main vocals are - I assume propositionally - horrific: raw, poor, and in a certain way natural. It brings the feeling that it's not a professional singer, but a regular person, who is singing. And this is definitively NOT a compliment. It DOES fit the album, but it's HORRIBLE. I mean it.

Each track is unique, which although all have the same concept - tribalistic percussion and experimentalism - it's still managed to make them different. I find the best track to be ATS: the first part soothing, with - unprecedentedly - good vocals, imbued with electronic background noises; and the second, extremely distorted and relatively heavy, energetic, and rather funky.

I can also highlight the epic and variant 15-minutes long SAI, the jazz-influenced UJA and the guitar-n-bass(-n-rat squeaks) trio duo KMS as other fine songs.

If you're into avant-garde, you DEFINITIVELY should check this out. It's an experimental fountain gone right.


 Eye Remix EP by OOIOO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
3.00 | 1 ratings

Eye Remix EP
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars After their tour of the "Taiga" album Japanoise avant-prog goddesses OOIOO released a little EP that offered alternative booty shakin' musical visions as interpreted by Yamantaka Eye which took the two "Taiga" tracks "Umo" and "Uma" and added all the expected DJ filtered effects to make a nice night on the town when too many mind altering substances have fully kicked in and allowed maximum inhibition to strut yer stuff on the dance floor.

While one would hardly expect already danceable experimental music to be even more danceable, i have to say that being a huge fan of the "Taiga" album i do have a soft heart for Japan's psychedelic punk version of the Go-Go's and their extraordinarily creative improvisational approach to music. While it seems impossible to improve upon the original versions, EYE REMIX delivers some jazzed up electronica that does adhere to some of the stereotypes of REMIXed albums but more than works.

Energetic but non-essential, still cute and caffeinated but not necessary for your complete guide to the OOIOO experience since the original versions of these tracks were already so cute, cuddly and danceable. However! If you are ever so interested in slipping this into your DJ list at some rave in Rotorua or even rural Russia then this little naughty kitty album can only stimulate hydroxyl functional groups to activate their true potential with nary a circumscription. The tribal drums are still intact. Just add some beatronica and voila! You have EYE REMIX

 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.59 | 39 ratings

OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars Amazing, startling percussion-and-voice-oriented 'tribal' music from this all-female band from Japan. Led by composer, drummer and lead vocalist Yoshimi P-We, this music will surely bring a smile to your face in the same way that hearing Magma for the first time will because it is so different from anything you've ever heard before and yet you can immediately appreciate the genius and virtuosity of the music and its musicians, respectively. The terms "tribal" and "cheerleader" used by other reviewers of OOIOO's music are quite appropriate and yet the music is anything but simple.

1. "UMA" (3:38) opens with drums (multiple?) and the call and response vocals of Yoshimi P-We being mirrored and answered by her band mates. Very little other instrumentation is added to this one other than more percussives, whistles, and a few industrial and spacey synth sounds. Infectious--like the work of a cheerleader squad on its audience. (9/10)

2. "KMS" (9:00) opens with some kind of electrified Japanese string instrument going through some scales in chord formations. A set of hand drums and multiple electric guitars (?) join in. The multiple electronic string instruments repeat their scales over and over, each presenting a slightly different variation in order to create a harmonic chordal effect. At 2:30 it all stops and a bass line enters, jazz snare drum and brass and electric stringed instrument take up the Coltrane-like multi-instrument chordal creation process. At 4:10 the instruments begin to diverge and travel their own individual, almost independent paths. Female lead vocalist soon begins keening over what sounds like a kind of Creole Tex-Mex Calypso. So unique and unusual! The next section, within which the vocalist whisper raps, sounds like South African music. Then it gets weird with syncopated drum "solo" with all kinds of computer electronic zips, pops and clicks. Electric 'guitar' takes over the lead and seems to beat the percussionists into submissive organization until the end fade. (8/10)

3. "UJA" (7:50) opens with some very West African-sounding tribal drum rhythms over which odd computer synth 'noises' snort and squeak while oddly distorted guitars interject their own scratchy sounds. At 1:33 Yoshimi P-We's vocals enter, alternating with King Crimson-like guitar leads, all playing over a hypnotically paced group drum and percussion weave. P-We seems to be calling the instrumentalists to action before an interesting primal "Ah-ah-oh-ho-oh" multivoiced vocal weave works into the music. At 4:10 a rather radical shift occurs into the music--a kind of P-Funk/PRINCE-like sound and rhythm structure--marching along at quite the celebratory parade-like pace. Synth sounds are shot in and out of the soundscape like lasers in a fight between Star Wars' Rebel Forces and the Imperial Army. The final outro with calypso steel drums and Casiotone-like synth is . . . fitting. (8/10)

4. "KRS" (3:44) is extraordinary for its use of drum rolls on a snare drum as a wave sound, pulsing, percussive synths and guitars and steel drums as and then the gorgeous multi-voice folk-like singing over the top. Like nothing else I've ever heard! (10/10)

5. "ATS" (8:07) opens with a gently paced percussion and bass weave within which more odd synth and vocalizations are interspersed. It sounds a bit like a TOM TOM CLUB song. The polyphonic weave continues unchecked for three minutes before things seem to break down--as if each instrumentalist has walked out of the room--when, in fact, they've merely each walked over to new instruments--which they soon begin to play. Hand drums. Vocals. Casiotone synth. At 5:05 a kind of barbershop quartet tuning chord signals the wholesale switch into a kind of Santana-like Latin rhythm over which epithets and Fripp-like solo sounds continue to flow from multiple voices and multiple synths and guitars. Great song! (9/10)

6. "SAI" (15:02) the longest song on the album opens with South African-like guitar riff that gets repeated over the next four minutes as the song's foundation. Distorted guitars, bass, voices, percussion, synths and more guitar lines weave in and out of the mix--though the opening minutes of this one are very vocal dominated. In the fifth minute it seems as if the vocals take over the song's foundation. Then, in the sixth minute, a slower, steadier percussive weave (tuned percussives) teams with electric guitar to give the song a solid center. Then 'monkey' voices enter and the tempo and melody change, though the instruments remain basically the same. In the eighth minute the guitar plays in thrashing chords with voices accompanying each thrash. The next few minutes continue to explore the uses and noises possible from the electric guitar over some very TOM TOM CLUB-feeling rhythm section work--and they're in a groove! Until 13:45 when we return to the opening guitar sounds and riffs with comic-like bass and drum play to end. A good song that almost plays out as if it were a song devised to experiment with guitar sound. (9/10)

7. "UMO" (3:31) opens with a scream from the girls before a soulful multi-drum base rhythm is laid down. Yoshimi P-We and her companions move into call and response mode again, like a cheerleader and her squad. Very catchy and amusing. Yoshimi P-We and her companions are in highly animated form. An incredible song that will keep you coming back for more! (10/10)

8. "IOA" (6:51) this one starts out chaotically before a chorus starts singing in what sounds (to my ears) like a Polynesian or Native American song. The strings, horn, percussion and drum structures accompanying this are quite unusually syncopated--almost alternating with the vocal sections but also partially or occasionally woven in with them. At the two-minute mark the tempo and weave shift--everything kind of comes together into a more tightly gathered group weave. Very hypnotic. A break from the vocals opens space for a lone synth to solo while the very tightly woven African rhythm continues below. Voices and drum-machine-sequenced handclaps join in with the African-like multiple lead guitar melody lines. Singular electric guitar gets a solo in the final minute. It does feel odd to hear anything in this album be left alone to stand out--which does not happen for very long as multiple synths join in till the song's end. Great song. (9/10)

Not for the faint of heart and yet not to be feared--this is odd but wonderful music! Like musical composition taken on by dancers or cheerleaders and/or nonmusicians. Truly adventurous. Reminds me of the 1980 TALKING HEADS when Brian Eno had the band members all try each other's instruments as an exercise in perspective and creativity.

A masterpiece of truly progressive rock music.

 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.59 | 39 ratings

OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is one of the most entertaining slices of Avant music that I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. Yoshimi P-We is the driving force behind this all female band from Japan, creating all the lyrics and music. She also helped form the experimental band THE BOREDOMS which I've had a lot of trouble enjoying so imagine my surprise at how much I enjoy this album. Yoshimi is a multi-instrumentalist playing guitar here and other instruments along with being the lead vocalist. With THE BOREDOMS she's the drummer by the way. I don't think I've spun this even once without laughing at some point at the brilliance I was hearing. This is so catchy yet experimental as they tow that line in between some how. There are three guests all adding some sort of percussion sounds, and calling this tribal music isn't too far off the mark, as this is all about the many beats and the crazy but oh so good vocals.

"UMA" opens with tribal-like drumming as the vocals join in along with backing vocals. So catchy! Bongos, whistles, synths and more help out. Insanity is the word and my head is spinning. Check out the vocals just before 2 1/2 minutes as she goes a notch higher than I think is humanly possible. Too much! Strange sounds a minute later when the vocals stop. "KMS" starts off fairly normal with outbursts of sound that come and go. Bongos join in and then we get a calm before 2 1/2 minutes with deep sounds. The drums kick in briefly followed by guitar as the deep sounds continue. Sounds like trumpet and guitar as these strange vocal melodies arrive after 4 1/2 minutes. Spoken words after 6 minutes along with some great sounding percussion work. Some inventive guitar here as well. The tempo picks up after 8 minutes.

"UJA" has lots of percussion and beats including vibes? Some weird vocal melodies come and go. A rhythm after a minute joins in. So much going on. Avant vocals start to come and go then the vocal melodies are staggered before 3 minutes. Cool sound. A change after 4 minutes as it picks up with drums, guitar and vocals standing out. Crazy stuff. It then settles right down 6 1/2 minutes in with vocal melodies, electronics and more. "GRS" has a drum intro as the organ pulsates. Vocal melodies join in before a minute. Sounds like vibes again. This is experimental and the least enjoyable one of the bunch for me. "ATS" starts out with percussion and vocal harmonies along with electronics. Those vibe-like sounds join in before 2 minutes. Some yells come and go as the percussion and electronics continue while the harmonies and vibes have stopped. Such an interesting track. It kicks into a full sound after 5 minutes. So good!

"SAI" is the 15 minute tour de force. It sounds like keys and electronics to begin with as this deep fuzzed out sound joins in briefly. Drums and distorted guitar follow. Desperate sounding vocals before 2 minutes along with backing vocals. Catchy stuff but experimental too. A calm 5 1/2 minutes in as we get percussion and more. Is that guitar making that noise? Some demented vocal expressions 7 minutes in and check it out after 9 minutes. Amazing! Devilish vocals a minute later. A great sound before 13 minutes as well. What a song! "UMO" like the opening track is around 3 1/2 minutes of tribal-like drumming, multi-vocals and it's uptempo and crazy with so much going on. Love this stuff. "IOA" is different with this Island-like sound that is lighter and pleasant but the vocals are anything but that. A catchy beat after 2 minutes and the vocals will come and go. Guitar joins in and synths as well.

I gotta give this 5 stars. To me this is very unique in the Avant and Experimental genres. I can't even imagine the time and innovation that went into making this recording.

 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.59 | 39 ratings

OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by marcobrusa

5 stars So original. So vibrant. If you have the time and place to listen to this album with your eyes closed do it. It was very rewarding for me at least. Always my priorities when i hear new music are originality (or "surprise effect"), variety and feelings (not any in particular, just strong, authentic and overall positive feelings that music provokes me). This album has those 3 items; it is very original on every level, abstract but somehow human, it is varied despite the abstract feel present in all songs, and provokes very weird feelings. I mean this in a positive way, because a weird song can be positive as much as a sad song can make me happy so that's why i listen to it. Do you understand? Another diamond from Japan. Last comment: the percussion is superb.
 Feather Float by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.00 | 15 ratings

Feather Float
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Yoshimi P-We is one of the crazy geniuses who defy all expectations, break every rule and gleefully revel in the contempt it causes. I have just learned that her solo all-female band OOIOO isn't just a random uttering of vowels to annoy the speaker but in fact is a 5-bit code representing giving someone the middle finger. Clever, yes. Just like the music she and her all girl posse conjure up on their second release FEATHER FLOAT, which i like to call "The Pretty Birdie Album" because of its spectacular and dynamic artwork (done by Yoshimi) which takes the bold bright colors of every young girl's Barbie's Dreamhouse and My Pretty Pony fantasies and turns them into a psychedelic and cloud chasing mind expansion. After being blown away by their outstanding album "Taiga" as well as by her work with the Boredoms, i was eager to explore her eclectic and experimental works further and this was the next album that found its way onto my player.

It isn't sufficient to call the works of Yoshimi experimental, trippy, wild and weird because as with the earliest of Boredoms releases, this is beyond weird. It exists in its own musical world. There are really no rules to follow and the only thing that really keeps this from falling into pure chaos is the desire to keep an organic and rhythmic march through the album's run. The result of this highly experimental music is that it is both very approachable and truly unprecedented simultaneously. This is one of those albums i decided to comment a bit track by track because it's the only true way to convey what's going on. Far from a comprehensive description, it suffices to add that Yoshimi alone plays guitar, djembe, bongos, synths, keyboards, jew harp, talking drum and contribute all lead vocals as well as DJ scratches and other bizarre noises. The other girls include Maki on bass and handclaps, Yoshiko on drums and handclaps and Kyoko on guitar, handclaps and vocals. The GoGos or the Bangles this ain't. This is an amazingly talented bunch of women who display a wonderfully addicting feminine take on experimental rock. This album didn't grab me immediately like "Taiga" but it has sunk in and although not as perfect as that album it is a beautifully surreal sonic experience nonetheless.

1...The least interesting tracks are the first two. The album starts off with the overly repetitive "Be Sure To Loop" with a recurring groove in 4/4 timing that lasts 7:45. Way too long and kept me from enjoying this album at first. Nothing really interesting happens and hints at a total turkey of an album. This track should have been dropped IMHO.

2..."Oizumo" is a cover of a Kiyoshi Izumi song and although it is better than the opener it still is a rather monotonous space dance with a hippity hoppity bounce and straight forward 4/4 timing. Groovy for a dance party but not exactly interesting beyond. It does introduce elements of spacey synths and vocal chants. Should have been at the end or left out IMHO.

3..."Ina 咲くの唄" Now we get to the good stuff. Now we get a traditional Japanese koto riff only on the guitar. We also get some interesting vocal harmonies between the girls and the percussion becomes more complex with crazy time sigs. Still very catchy and groovy with the bass keeping all very accessible but the complexities are a welcome touch.

4..."Ina" morphs into "Ah Yeah!" with a steady groove and frenetic tribal drumming with high-energy declarative shouted vocals. Most lyrics are either nonsensical or Japanese. The song ends with a clever take on the C&C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" with Yoshimi shouting "Everybody Trance Now."

5..."Switch On" is a short frenetic drum jam for a minute before vocals appear and we get a minute of "oh, oh, oh's" with trippy psych guitar freakouts

6..."Jackson's Club Sunspot" has a funk groove with trippy echo effects and choppy time sigs

7..."Asozan" Trippy single sliding guitar which finally adds housebeat drums and vocals

8..."Baby Bamboo From Nose" Starts out with DJ record scratching and then adds frenetic choral type chanting by two girls in unison with a ping pong ball dropping as percussion. After a while we get a groovy bass, full percussion and guitars

9..."1000 Frogs And 3 Sun In A House" Middle Eastern musically inspired with strings and percussion and wordless vocals. Ends in crazy psych guitar lead eventually accompanied by full drums and briefly morphs into a different song. Sounds like something the Secret Chiefs 3 would come up with

10..."Ring Ring Lee" Guitar riff and syncopated percussion. Vocals in English and perhaps a koto? or some other traditional Japanese instrument.

11...Simply a hidden track of weird noise to end a strange album

 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.59 | 39 ratings

OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Starting out like caffeinated cheerleaders with a tribal drum circle it's obvious from the getgo that the all-female ensemble of OOIOO is a unique musical force and has peaked my full attention throughout the entirety of the album. Although labelled as experimental and to be fair, it is that, this isn't the kind of experimental music that leaves you wondering what drugs they were ingesting to come up with ideas that exist in their own universe. Not at all. This is highly accessible while simultaneously taking you on a sonic sidetrip that I for one have not had the pleasure of travelling before hearing this.

This album has eight tracks that are all only three letters long. It has many different musical elements but it's not hard to strip away the veneer to see what's lurking beneath the surface. These girls have truly mastered a complete fusion of noise rock with tribal drumming with a kind of traditional Japanese like guitar riffing surrounded by electronic effects. The vocals always make me think of Japan as there is a very traditional feel to it as well as experimental. This isn't avant-garde to the point where it seems like it was composed on other worlds.

There is a sensual female aggressiveness to the whole thing. Kinda like the Go-Gos joined Melt Banana and invited a tribal drumming circle to jam. Every song is different and the album flows to the end without a shred of boredom, well except for Yoshimi P-We who is also in The Boredoms. She alone contributes the guitar, vocals, djembe, bongo, synthesizer, piano, Jew's harp and talking drum.

This music is unique, intense and amazingly diverse. If you want a new musical trip that really falls outside the boundaries of any musical genres that doesn't leave you scratching your head in dismay because it is absolutely so outside of your musical reality then this is will surely grab your attention and sustain it throughout multiple listens as it has with me. Accessible and avant-garde. Bold and beautiful. Cute, cuddly and crazy.

 Kila Kila Kila by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.00 | 6 ratings

Kila Kila Kila
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars OOIOO are really hitting some experimental territory here, not that they were ever commercial, but with Kila Kila Kila they added enough free jazzy elements and noodlings to the point where these pieces start to lose structure and focus. Still, there's entertaining moments to be found, with some of them being incandescent.

As much as the chimes & bells tune "Ene Soda" is kinda pretty, it's not until almost a few minutes into the third track, "Shizuku Ring Neng", that things start to cook. Drummer Yuko Yoshimura really makes the difference here, connecting all the dots under her groove and providing the needed energy to keep the machine working. Yoshimi, meanwhile is coming up with all kinds of melodies and noises with various instruments while singing with a style that ranges from 'cute' to just plain 'weird'. I dig the "wona" chants going on in that tune; they induce that warm & fuzzy effect on me.

"On Mani" is another cool track, which brandishes string instruments and trumpets to carry the melodies over the funky rhythms. Aya has certainly gotten pretty good at her bass playing by this time, since when she joined she really didn't know how to play it. Then there's the epic "Aster", which would be my other favorite track just after "Shizuku Ring Neng", that starts slow and atmospheric, then swells into the wacky 'jazz over a tight beat' vibe the band seemed to be reaching for with this particular album. Other tracks don't hold my interest too well. "Northern Light" is saved by Yuko's stellar jazz drumming keeping things afloat, making her the most notable member concerning this release. She's awesome. The last track features some nice piano moments, but man does that tune takes its time to eventually go nowhere in particular.

This isn't an average affair. It's got great moments, and moments far from great, so an unsteady ride it is. And it's daring, adventurous and sometimes even fun, which certainly helps regarding its replay value. It takes a while to get there though, so patience is required.

 Gold & Green by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.99 | 10 ratings

Gold & Green
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars The new and improved Jane Fonda workout (complete with mescaline and psychedelic punk)

When I think about all girl bands I tend to veer into the vicinity of Spice Girls, Destiny's Child, The Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas and those awful Pussycat Dolls.... Until I crossed paths with PA some 6 years ago, I'd never in a million years imagine finding an act like OOIOO with 4 girls strutting their stuff in the more playful and obscure pathways of the avantguarde rock n roll quarters.

WTF?!?!?!! Was my first reaction, when I heard OOIOO. Like a cold sucker punch to the stomach, I'd have to man up to the fact that all my preconceived notions concerning women and music - make that women and experimental music - were basically faulty at heart. Here was a group of women who actually played progressive rock with the force and attitude of a screaming punk creature from the British gutter ca 1977.

I took a chance with this thing after attending a Flaming Lips gig in Denmark's most famous amusement park, Tivoli. I learned that Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots wasn't just a flash way of incorporating Japanese zing into an album title, but actually the name of one of the guests featured on it. 'Great Scott!' I thought to myself, when I then found out about her being in an experimental rock group from Japan with all girls, subsequently ordering their debut the day after with a massive hang over and weird memories of Teletubbies accompanying the entire FL gig dancing joyfully on each side of the stage...

Originally known for playing drums in Boredoms, Yoshimi P-We founded this group sometime around 1997, before opening up for Sonic Youth later in the year. She's played the occasional trumpet toot as well, but somewhere along the line - she switched to the guitar and just about any other instrument you can think of. On this baby she terrorises everything from synths, various flutes, djembe, piano, drums and santoor to a freakin triangle. Joined by fellow kamikaze pilots Kayano(guitar, vocals), Maki(bass) and Yoshico(drums, maracas) Yoshimi seems to have created a modern parallel to the rumbling wild and playful lands of Krautrock.........well at least with Gold & Green that is. There's a primal surge of energy running through the heart of this thing, and simply name-dropping acts like Faust, CAN and LA Düsseldorf feels oddly out of place - even if you hear all those acts emanating through in different layers of the music.

Always managing to stick its sweaty face into the mix, we find tribal percussion, Indian rhythms, hypnotising drones of electronic fluttering bits - THE BEAT ladies and gents! - all of which interweave in extraordinary ways throughout the course of this album. These rhythmic acrobatics are to me the very key to the music. Not only used for traditional purposes, they tend to morph and zoom out of their shells and take on melodic forms. At the same time you'll find the flutes, synths and whatever else being played by Yoshimi mimicking the playful feel coming outta those rhythms - making for a totally unique sound.

With a little bit of J-Pop sensibilities, post punk, RIO, sensuous female gibberish vocals and Indian flair thrown in for good measure, Green & Gold moves away from the prevailing fad with most modern psych rock revivalists, where long and loose jams somehow manage to find their way onto tape. All of this album feels knitted together in a highly precise manner. Nothing is left for chance -not even the tumultuous parts. It's like looking at those breathtaking silk prints from Japan. Pinkish apple blossoms on a background of orange sun and withered trees. There's a similar search for perfection here, even if it takes the music to far away cultures.

Did I forget to mention that Sean Lennon makes a chorus cameo with some vocals? Or that I lost 5 kilos last summer just by dancing to this baby? I probably forgot about the Spice Girls too right?........ No? Well all I can say is that if you're a big fan of the Spice Girls, you're most likely going to love this played at the wrong speed in a dream inside somebody else's dream house. 4.5 stars.

 Gold & Green by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.99 | 10 ratings

Gold & Green
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars It took something like this to get me out of the doldrums and get back into the swing of listening and writing about music I dig. I've been playing this thing like crazy and it just gets better every time I throw it on. It's playful, mischievous and wild...kind of like that cute but crazy girl that wriggles her way into some slacker dude's mopey life to add spark in so many indie flicks and Korean comedies. And what a band name; I'll be honest in that I'm not too familiar with The Boredoms (in which Yoshimi is their drummer), and that the reason I got into this group in the first place was in fact their funky looking band name. Whatever works I guess, because this album will not be leaving any of my top lists anytime soon.

Avant prog isn't the easiest prog-pill to swallow, but once it's down the hatch the benefits will be felt. Gold And Green mesmerizes by swirling together serene sonic vistas with tribal drumming complementing a playful paganistic wink while sometimes soaring into frantic krautrock psychedelic madness. And some of this stuff grooves like one mean mutha! Damn I need a new pair of shades.

"Moss Trumpeter" sets the mood with its peaceful yet majestic trumpet melody punctuated by some heavy rhythmic percussion, catchy enough to entice yet different enough to wonder what the hell the next tune is going to sound like. I love nutty playful albums like this. The album's heart and soul reveals itself with three mini epics in a row, "Grow Sound Tree", "Mountain Book" and "I'm A Song". "Grow Sound Tree" starts off by a woodwind based loop, although played in organic and wistful fashion. Then the drums kick in. Yoshico is some kind of monster behind the kit, punching out these kickin' beats I get so immersed in that I don't even realize how bizarre and absurd this would sound to some random chump passing by. "Mountain Book" opens as this open air pastoral soundscape overlain with a real sweet vocal melody that repeats itself throughout as the music builds in crescendo to dizzying heights with some insane drumwork. "I'm A Song" has this funky vibe that comes across like a krautrock take on Japanese pop while evolving through occasional tempo changes. You can hear the band having a blast playing this utterly fun yet progressive number.

That ain't all she wrote though; this whole album is essential to my ears these days, although a tune like "Fossil" took a bit of getting used to with its odd chants that eventually won me over after a few plays of the entire album. "Ki No Rukujou Ressha" is flat-out greatness, an instant winner with a driving rhythm, great bass and guitar playing and an energetic playful atmosphere. "Emeraldragonfly" boasts some memorable vocals and one stellar change of pace boosted by strong instrumental skills. These gals can PLAY.

And there's "Idbi". Where would my life be without this song? I don't want to know. It's like a little kitten, puppy and bunny morphed into one cute but weirdly enigmatic critter. It's fun to whistle along with too.

OOIOO has a few other strong efforts out there, with Taiga being in particular noteworthy, but Gold And Green is my jam, and what a glow-in-the-dark wild gold and green colored jam it is!

Thanks to Geck0 for the artist addition.

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