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4 stars Yoshimi P-We of Boredoms leads this avant-prog rock band. The first things that come to mind when I think OOIOO are eclectic, noisy, hypnotic and dynamic, psych-rock. The album opens with the fairly straightforward "Be Sure To Loop." After a lengthy build-up, the band enters and plays a repeated rhythm over and over along to the only lyrics, "be sure to loop." After that, things are so structured. The band's generous use of random electronic noises over repeated phrases sounds like it won't work, but it does. Vocals play a important role, be it screams, whispers or chants. It's really not important as to exactly what's being said, but more how it moves the song along and helps give it more variation. All of the instruments flow in and out of each other creating strange effects. Like, sometimes they'll be playing together and gradually drift apart into more looser ambient and experimental territory. Just about anything is possible here.

Despite all of the idiosyncrasies with the music, it all sounds very organic and natural- like it's supposed to be that way. All of the dynamics flow perfectly- it's loud at the right time, it's quiet at the right time. It's as if they know the perfect time when to give you a little break before pummeling you with the next psychedelic beat. This is probably the best place to start if you want to get into OOIOO. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, give "Feather Float" a try and you'll be surprised at how good it is.

Standout songs: "Be Sure To Loop," "Asozan", "1000 Frogs And 3 In A House"

Report this review (#125920)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
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

Report this review (#1357208)
Posted Thursday, January 29, 2015 | Review Permalink
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.
Report this review (#1915240)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | Review Permalink

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