Published Jan 16, 2020It's been almost six years since Japanese sonic pathfinders OOIOO released their last record, and almost as long since the passing of the group's co-founder and guitarist Kyoko. The silence has been deafening. If it wasn't for a vinyl reissue of should-be-classic Gold & Green a few years back, there would be a serious vacuum in the musical landscape that can't really be filled by any other band.
The adventurous musical unit have shifted their method of engagement and arrangement multiple times since their founding in the mid-'90s, but for Nijimusi, they've settled on a somewhat traditional set of rock'n'roll instrumentation: two guitars, bass and drums, augmented by electronics and led by the group's chameleonic vocals. This relatively straightforward setup belies incredibly high energy and creativity, as evinced by the noisy punkish blast of the title track, which leads off the album.
The press release actually says it best: "Just as a new discovery is actually a new way of looking to see what has always been there, OOIOO, seemingly from the core of their being, created a world of sound made up of parts well known that is strikingly precise and intensely original."
There are strident rhythms, passages that resemble the elasticity of funk and the exploratory nature of jazz, and there is an indescribable originality that sets this singular unit's music apart.
Experiencing the music of OOIOO is an incredibly satisfying series of sensations that seems to form an exclusive bond between creator and listener. It's a plunge into unbridled creativity that is the true essence of psychedelia. (Thrill Jockey)