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OOIOO - Taiga CD (album) cover





4.53 | 50 ratings

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4 stars Once again, OOIOO doesn't fail to surprise. I think I've referred to their music as "organic", and it couldn't be more true with "Taiga". If "Kila Kila Kila" got off much too slow for you, the opening track here more than makes up for it. Beginning with fast, tribal drum playing, "UMA" starts things off at breakneck speed. Soon, call-and-response chanting begins, almost like at a high school pep rally. This is really where most of the album's foundation lies- tribal-like drum beats. It's that which gives "Taiga" the organic feel I mentioned earlier. Just like in other OOIOO albums, the guitar loops and electronic blips and bleeps abound, but it's all held together by that one cohesive unit that gives this album its unique character.

Things slow down a bit in "KMS", featuring a sliding bass line and a great trumpet workout by Yoshimi. "UJA" brings more electronics into the mix and looping guitars, giving it an almost danceable groove towards the end. A personal favorite of mine is "GRS" has a beautiful vocal performance over an ever present accordion line and some steel drums in the latter portion of the song. Overall, it's very calm and refreshing. The album's upbeat nature is restored with "ATS" with the inclusion of more world percussion and the return of the chanting vocals along side various screams. The album's epic track, the 15-minute "SAI" takes the listener on a tangled path of dual guitar lines and more percussion workouts before sliding into an droning, atmospheric part, propelled by more drums and keyboard and vocal parts that make me feel like I'm in the middle of a jungle or on wild open plains. "UMO" is strongly reminiscent but a different expression of the opening track "UMA". The album closes with "IOA", probably the best song on the album. It feels like all of the ideas found previously are mashed up together, strained of the fluff, and arranged into a brilliant album closer.

I feel very strongly that OOIOO has something brilliant going on here and every time I listen to "Taiga" I think I'm closer to understanding it, and then I realize I'm not. Whatever it is, this is an perfectly executed album (if there ever was such a thing) considering the music being played. I find new things going on in this album each time I give it a spin. Who knows, maybe it will become one of my favorite albums.

Standout songs: "GRS", "IOA

Arsillus | 4/5 |


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