• SHARE

As drummer and sole female in the Boredoms, Yoshimi Pee Wee has often been overshadowed by Seichii Yamamoto’s virtuoso guitar playing and Eye Yamataka’s idiosyncratic charisma. But listening to the fourth album from, OOIOO, her all-girl group, one wonders if Yoshimi hasn’t quietly been directing all along.

The crux of the Boredoms (in the their latest incarnation at least) has been dynamics: disparate sounds gathered into great crashing crescendos. “Kila Kila Kila,” OOIOO’s new album, does the same thing but with the volume turned down. The Boredoms create huge sonic tantrums at the modern world. OOIOO shapes a flight of the imagination. Both demand attention, but one is a slap, the other a caress.

As such the songs on “Kila Kila Kila” unfold rather than start. A bell tinkles, a woman’s voice warbles, a few notes float out of a guitar. The effect is chaotic but in a dreamy, indistinct rather than grating way. “Sizuku Ring Neng,” for example, begins with Yoshimi’s shamanic grunts and groans then layers it with gamelan percussion, a chirpy female chorus and fuzzed-out guitar. Yoshimi takes her time in putting the musical ingredients of each song into place, and when they are there, directs them to a shivery climax.

Though nominally a rock band with guitar, bass and drums, OOIOO has hopped on the tribal-rhythm bandwagon. “Kila Kila Kila” relies just as much on African drums and other ethnic artifacts as OOIOO’s tight rhythm section to give discipline to its songs. Just when it seems there is too much space, too many sounds and a song threatens to fly apart, the rhythm section reinstates order. The album also owes a debt to free jazz of the Sun Ra or Alice Coltrane variety, both in the operatic sprawl of many of its songs and the loose interplay of instruments. A whiff of the otherworldly hangs about the whole album; the use of tribal instruments and the bow to free jazz are spiritual as well as musical. More than just an eccentric rock album, Yoshimi has crafted a rock ‘n’ fairy tale.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)