OOIOO: Nijimusi (Thrill Jockey/digital outlets)

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OOIOO: Nijimusi (Thrill Jockey/digital outlets)
The key member of this long-running Japanese No Wave/avant-noise outfit is drummer YoshimiO of the Boredoms and what began as a joke/parody morphed into a real band, now up to its eighth album (previous outings are on Spotify).


As you might expect from the product description, sometimes this is not easy percussion-driven stuff (they have another drummer this time, Mishina, with Yoshimi on vocals, guitar and trumpet)

In places it makes previous outings like 2005's delightfully proggish and funky Gold & Green and the very engaging, sonically experimental Gamel of 2014 (which had two gamelan players) sound almost pop-ambient in the comparison.

While Nijimusi clearly comes from the same percussive place it is a much more frenetic outing and opens with the title track which is a 50 second blast of white noise, screaming, discordant noise and what-have-you before it takes off into a furiously placed Nijimu of abrasive guitar and propulsive drumming.

If there is any reference point for this it is perhaps early (and in Elsewhere's world) classic Yoko Ono.

Later there is a track entitled Walk for '345' Minutes, While Saying 'Ah Yeah' With a 'Mountain Book' in one Hand, Until a Shower of Light Pours Down (all lower case actually).

That title - which actually references two of their earlier pieces -- reads like an instruction poem from Ono's Grapefuit book, although the piece is a much more muted and restrained 11 minutes of prog-sploration for middle distance guitar which gradually picks up its pace around the midpoint and goes declamatory pop-Yoko on you.

But this isn't all difficult or confrontational: Tisou clips the funk ticket behind the yelping vocals, and Bulun morphs through weird folk as imagined by an avant-garde theatre troupe, wah-wah funk-punk pop and then off into a prog exploration before a spaceflight through hard rock. It's an impressive eight and half minutes which will keep you guessing.

In many ways, Nijimusi harks back to the experimental music of the late Sixties and pre-punk Seventies, and setting aside its most challenging Yoko/free jazz moments it is actually an enjoyable, different and weirdly psychedelic trip – with trumpet – into the unexpected.

In other words, it isn't for everybody.

You can hear Nijimusi at Spotify here


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