One can’t ever be mad upon hearing a new track from the outstandingly experimental, all female Japanese group OOIOO, especially when said track kicks off with a frantic rush of gamelan bells and careens headlong into a celebratory, Deerhoof-esque, downright anthemic dual-guitar riff that dropkicks you in the face with FUN! The aforementioned song, “Jesso Testa,” makes one want to abandon their shoes, throw on a billowy white ceremonial gown decked out with colorful streamers, don a wreath of fragrant summer flowers, and go cartwheeling through a tree-lined field until dizzy, taking breaks only to drink mead, allow a graceful butterfly to perch upon one’s finger, and ultimately wind up in the company of a hundred others in a similar trance, compelled to join in a dizzying Bacchanal of the most innocent and friendly variety.
“Jesso Testa” is taken from OOIOO’s upcoming album Gamel, due out July 1 on Thrill Jockey (PRE-ORDER HERE!!!!). Although the whole album is inspired by Javanese gamelan, you can bet that each track will take a wildly different approach to that intense musical style which has captivated so many, in a way only OOIOO knows how. The fervent and divided reaction that this unique group’s music has typically inspired since their mid-90s inception should be enough at this point to finally stop obligatory comparisons to founder Yoshimi P-We’s other (legendary) outfit, Boredoms.
Lucky North American readers can catch OOIOO on a rare tour of the continent in July.
OOIOO North American Tour Dates:
Tue July 15th - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Thu July 17th - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
Fri July 18th - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade Brooklyn
Sat July 19th - Boston, MA - Cafe 939
Sun July 20th - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
Mon July 21st - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
Tue July 22nd - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
Wed July 23rd - Detroit, MI - Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
“Something in the Air”
Helllll yeah, my boi Scott Davis ripping through rays of music sunlight with Virginia Trance. Sometimes you gotta go hill-side without some shoes and just stare into the oblivion of American. But it’s all shaded with them ultra protective lenses you cooled yourself with back at the last Quik-Mart. Now go forth and forage the uncharted road ahead. Find out where it leads.
Up the pathway, there’s “Something in the Air,” and it’s a heavy scent. It’s unlike anything you’ve whiffed before, but it smells spiritual. As if you were ascending the holiest of mountains. It’s it possible you’re only
7-inches from paradise? What do you plan on asking the guru that sits at the top?
Ima ask him if he snagged a second copy of Virginia Trance’s 7-inch release on Holy Mountain, and when he’s planning on giving it to me for pure spin peace. Scope the video for “Something in the Air,” and smell them chopped up fresh flowers, y’all!
…in the POWWAW
Swarvy. Goin’ lounge-beat. Gonna know ya block off that couch, yo. Headin’ on down to them filtered out repeat ad nauseam licks, Swarvy blows up Paxico’s POWWAW like a true G. Random synth lines going deep. Random sounds out that sampler it’s hard to decide what’s entirely truth. Unless you wanna relate “truth” to the entire live Swarvy set. And in that case, you done-better preach it. LOL - yo, someone free-style to these Paxico beats already or I’m gonna and overdub it on the next post. Kidding. Stoked to hear from the Paxico lead-mang the other day and had to front on this mix. Dig it, y’all!!
I’ve got to point out the glaringly apt symbolism on display: that the above video is clearly commenting on the impact Dilla had/has on a whole generation; that his musical presence will grow and fade, like so many other things in life, gaining and falling, gaining and falling; that human life may be short and bitter, yet still eternal and rewarding; that it’s possible to remain alive, even after a physical death, if only one can supply others with sweet, delicious jolts of life-affirming substance; that everything is cyclical; that death and rebirth are integral to a worthwhile existence; that we’re all a part of the same soil, giving back and forth, our nimble nutrients supplying saplings with guidance and direction; that everything is everything.
Night Slugs oddball Beau Thigpen (a.k.a. Helix) brings us a straight up, repetitive, relentlessly filthy, and violent club track. What I love about Helix is the obsessive quality of his music: the same sound over and over yet there is still an intense forward motion. “diss trak” goes for more tangible content than his past work, which uses almost no vocal samples. Here, Helix draws from society’s preconceived notions of hip-hop (gun shots, anti feminist slurs, groups of guys yelling) and uses these elements so much that the violence becomes almost soothing and cyclical, or perhaps just numbing. The best part of it, though, is that I am probably reading too much into the poetry and politics of this track; Helix’s primary reason for producing this track (or “diss trak” I guess…) was so that it could bang in clubs. “And is that my iPhone ringing in the background? Oh, no, just the music…” Maybe it’s presumptuous of me to call “diss trak” a surreal American dreamscape, but just listen a couple times in a row… I’m snuggling in its icy, dangerous embrace.