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OOIOO - Taiga CD (album) cover





4.44 | 65 ratings

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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.

Kaelka | 5/5 |


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