OOIOO - Gamel
- Stewart Smith
- 8 July 2014
The latest oouting by Boredoms' Yoshimi is a little like a Japanese Raincoats collaborating with Steve Reich
In parallel to leading Boredoms' cosmic drum circle, Yoshimi has journeyed through cute motorik pop, tropical disco frenzy and kaleidoscopic jazz weirdness with her all-female group OOIOO. For Gamel, two male gamelan players have been added, giving a disciplined momentum to the group's wonky DIY avant-pop. The effect is a little like a Japanese Raincoats collaborating with Steve Reich. While certain elements are repeated and reworked across the album, Gamel is not bound by rigid structures. Each track follows its own skewed logic, playing games with tension-and-release and confounding expectations, while maintaining a forward motion. 'Don Ah' moves through an introductory ritual of pentatonic vocal chants and tuned percussion, before switching into a tropical rainforest groove, topped with electronic birdsong and monkey shrieks. The giddy playground vocal chants of 'Jesso Testa' promise an explosive climax, only to sway sideways into a tangle of calculated wrongness.