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OOIOO

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


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OOIOO picture
OOIOO biography
Founded in Osaka, Japan in 1995 - Still active as of 2017

OOIOO (pronounced oh-oh-eye-oh-oh) are an all-female Japanese group, that were formed 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 2006 album "TAIGA" which translates to "Big River" in Japanese and "Forest" in ...
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OOIOO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

2.18 | 7 ratings
∞8∞ [Aka: OOIOO]
1997
3.96 | 23 ratings
Feather Float
1999
3.99 | 15 ratings
Gold & Green
2000
3.04 | 9 ratings
Kila Kila Kila
2003
4.32 | 67 ratings
Taiga
2006
3.19 | 8 ratings
Armonico Hewa
2009
4.00 | 3 ratings
Gamel
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Nijimusi
2019

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
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cococoooioo
2004

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Eye Remix EP
2007

OOIOO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nijimusi by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Nijimusi
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars When it comes to putting the GRRRR in GRRRRL rock, nobody has quite done it as well as the Japanese group OOIOO whose moniker is basically code for giving the middle finger! If that's not punk ass bad enough for ya then the bizarre mixtures of sound that these gals crank out should convince you. OOIOO has been the off and on again side project of Boredoms drummer YoshimiO but after nine albums that date as far back as 1997, perhaps this should qualify more as YoshimO's main gig since Boredoms hasn't released any new material since the early naughts. One of the reasons for the six year delay in a new OOIOO album is because guitarist Kyoko died in 2015. RIP :(

Following in the footsteps of the Boredoms trajectory, YoshimiO has steered her OOIOO project into very similar arenas that incorporate the wildest aspects of noise rock and punk attitude with cosmic streams of psychedelia, jittery math rock angularities and experimental adventurism however OOIOO somehow has drifted into its own little nook of the musical world where it has sit snuggly alone since its inception despite each album taking on its own distinct personality. It's been six long years since this group has released anything new and with 2013's venture into Indonesian gamelan prospects on "Gamel" it has been speculated by true fans if any new OOIOO product would emerge after Kyoko's early demise but finally in 2020 it is so.

n i j i m u s i / に じ む し ( i n - English / b l e e d i n g ) finds this unconventional project breaking the silence with another slice of avant-rock that drops the pretense of ethnic flavors in favor of returning to the guitar roots of its past. Starting with " n i j m u s i " which sounds like a short snippet of a murder scene from a John Zorn soundtrack, we get screams, pummeling percussion and guitar chaos but with " n i j i m u " OOIOO of yore emerges with a Boredoms styled psychedelic groove along with a hypnotic beat, Japanese cheerleading chants and freaky swirls of noise flittering all about. Yeah, the girls are back! It's also apparent that the interesting stylistic approach of past albums like "Gold & Green," YoshimiO and friends are back to that classic layering effect where all the parts seemingly exist in their own universe but cosmically connect to create a greater sum of the parts.

Always following the band's already established traditions are the zigzagging effects of maintaining a groove while improvisational chaos is somehow tightly controlled into order but then set free and thus allowing a new development to emerge. Whether it's the funky guitar rhythms of " n i j i m u " in flight with stubbornly independent bass lines and busy jazzy drum rolls or the bizarre avant-garde freeform jazz-rock of " j i b u n " which disperses interesting delayed guitar effects along with a bass and a plethora of percussive sophistication, n i j i m u s i / に じ む し shows a back to basics approach where it eschews the overly rich production that has been more present on the more psychedelic albums and lets the girls showcase their math rock sensibilities with plenty of stop / start freneticism and angular abstractness somehow kept on a leash.

Never leaving their sense of humor far behind, my vote for one of the most hilarious track names in rock history has to go to the teeheehee eleven minute " Walk for "345" MInutes, While Saying "Ah Yeah!" with a "Mountain Book" in One Hand, Until a Shower of Light Pours Down" which takes the entire album's ideas and allows them to unfold at a casual pace rather than the punk infused freneticism that the shorter tracks unleash. This one starts out math rocky of course with off-kilter time signature and polyrhythms slowing unfolding into ever greater intensity and the type of track that allows the hypnotic effects build at a snail's pace until crescendo glory is allowed to explode like Tokyo when Godzilla is having a really bad day.

The secret of OOIOO is in how they manage to unleash the greatest noise and chaos factors that they can muster up but somehow corral it into manageable chunks that are well digestible however OOIOO states it best in their own words that they create sounds for no reason. These sounds come and go and disappear into the air like a sent as soon as they materialize and that atonal phrase that hold the meaning of words that existed before the advent of language are wonders of a vortex pulsing with life. Well, how could one possibly come up with a better description than that? All i can say is that i've been a fan of this band for many years now and while i consider the over-the-top percussion rich masterpiece "Taiga" to be the pinnacle of this band's creative charm, the truth is that these GRRRRLs continue to charm the pants off of me with creative twisted illogical musical constructs that somehow add just enough smooth operating elements to make it all work.

 Feather Float by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.96 | 23 ratings

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Feather Float
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It was on this album that the Boredoms' Yoshimi P-We and her allies had the task of taking what had been a one-off side project put together on a whim and seeing if they could make it sustain itself. "Be Sure To Loop" seems to be a sort of manifesto for the group's overall approach, influenced as it is by the repetitive motorik rhythms of classic krautrock. With a deft skill for coming together dramatically and then soaring off into their own disparate experiments, the instrumentalists take us on a journey which begins in comparatively ordinary dancey-trancey sort of territory only to take us out to the very edge of space.
 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.32 | 67 ratings

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Taiga
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars OOIOO are a collective of Japanese women with one mission in mind: to create some of the most intensely experimental avant-rock music out there. Boredoms drummer and co-founder Yoshimi P-We leads the gang in a percussion-focused psych-prog-world music mashup that sounds like little else on Earth. If you took Talking Heads at their most experimental and got them into a jam session with Magma, then pumped hallucinogenic gas into the studio, maybe something broadly similar would come out of the other end. I doubt it, though, because there's a certain pulsating intensity to this work which suggests a much more organised mind behind it than my analogy would allow for.
 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.32 | 67 ratings

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Taiga
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kaelka

5 stars Well I'm certainly not a "faint of heart". I mean, "The End Of An Ear" is still one of my favourites, and "Trout Mask Replica" too. I listen to Zao and Étron Fou Leloublan and Univers Zéro, and Hawkwind. I'm a Magma fan. In the 80s I saw Rip Rig + Panic on stage and it was great (and "God" still has a go in the player once in a while), and the Mike Westbrook Brass Band and it was nice. I am not adverse to the occasional bit of acid house or death metal. I'm definitely NOT a "faint of heart", at least musically!

And so I never thought I could still, at my age, be struck down by the musical lightning and lay on the ground, sprawled and quivering and speechless (that's an image, I'm perfectly fine, thanks). Not until I first heard those insane japgirls ("pictures of japgirls in synthesis" quoth the Bowie, in "Ashes To Ashes" if I'm not mistaken) howling at the top of their voice on merciless beats both heavy and ethereal, around screaming guitars and an impressive array of whistles, beeps and various unidentified noises.

How to describe what will assault your ears and your brain if you put "Taiga" on the turntable? Beautiful? In a way. Haunting? Certainly. Weird? No doubt. Infectious? Oh yeah. Addictive? It sure is. And venomous, undoubtedly. It doesn't creep on you, it jumps on you like boisterous children jump on a bed for fun. And it never lets you go, from its crazy thundering opening number (UMA) to the softer end of IOA. With a special mention to the 6th track (SAI), so beautifully built with its successive and different moods, the "proggest" of the eight.

 Is "Taiga" the work of a genius? Could be, yes. All I know is this : when, on my first listening, the CD came to the end of the last track, I immediately started it again. And again. Yep, I listened to it three times in a row, and a few times more ever since (and LOUD please, this music has to be played LOUD). Believe me, that doesn't happen very often. I won't do a lengthy track-by-track description, cause I'm unable to talk about music the wonderful way so many others do here. So I'll say only this : this is really great. It may not sound like anything you've heard before, you may not like it, you may even hate it, but it's a great album. Worth a try, really.

Somewhere between 4 and 5 stars then, but when in doubt be generous. So it's 5.

 Taiga by OOIOO album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.32 | 67 ratings

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Taiga
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars More like 'Jungle' - warm and tribalistic: 8/10

TAIGA is definitively an avant-garde album. It smells avant, looks prog, and acts -garde. 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 of 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; 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 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 the avant-garde genre, 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

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Eye Remix EP
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

— 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
4.32 | 67 ratings

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Taiga
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 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
4.32 | 67 ratings

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Taiga
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
4.32 | 67 ratings

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Taiga
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
3.96 | 23 ratings

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Feather Float
OOIOO RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

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

Thanks to Geck0 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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