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OOIOO: Gamel

Album Review

Boredoms offshoot bangs gong, gets it on.

This project from Boredoms member Yoshimi P-We has recently overtaken her ‘main’ band in terms of productivity and inspiration.

For this latest opus, P-We and comrades have sought to incorporate Javanese gamelan into the fabric of their sound. The fact Gamel took four years to make suggests that this wasn’t a task taken lightly. The instrument’s chiming, bell-like sonorities have been absorbed without cheapening them or compromising the identity the group have established on their consistently brilliant previous releases. The music is occasionally reminiscent of Master Musicians Of Bukkake’s rootless sprawl but witha lighter, airier touch and fewer ties to rock (with a few acidic guitar freakouts). If any western music is evoked, it’s the questing pan-global spirit of 60s/70s astral jazz and soul (Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders). But is it okay for a Japanese band to make off with and make use of an instrument so tied into Indonesian culture? As Tune-Yards did with the Haitian-influenced Nikki Nack, OOIOO have undoubtedly worked psychedelic wonders with borrowed materials. It may prove problematic for some, but it suits their freewheeling approach. JS ** **

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