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OOIOO - Gold & Green CD (album) cover





3.99 | 18 ratings

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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.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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