Gold & Green CD
Have I mentioned at any point how much I love Vision Creation Newsun, the 2001 album by the Boredoms? Surely I must have, because I will drop it into conversations about pet care if I can make it fit. Its is to me what Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music was to Lester Bangs - a record that opened up something dormant in what I thought was an already pretty free mind. Its shamanistic throb and cycling of drums, and beats and samples and shimmering effect pedal echo akimbo snakes up my spinal cord every time I listen to it, which is on average, twice a week for the past six years.
What I was shocked to discover upon listening to the new album by OOIOO, project helmed by Yoshimi p-I (guitarist for the Boredoms and inspiration for the Flaming Lips album bearing her name) is that she, and not charismatic Boredoms cult leader Eye, might actually be responsible for the lions share of the roar on my favorite record. The exquisite packaging of Gold and Green, printed gold ink on green image on photo paper and containing a book of hallucinatory ink and magic marker drawings alone puts this CD on a high plateau for great album-ness, but fortunately it doesn't stop there. Its Martin Denny on Ecstasy blare of sheer joy spills out at the onset with "Moss Trumpet" the same weird jungle-jangle of beats and rhythms activating my temples into higher conscienceless, or something like that.
This is a decidedly more organic affair than the highly processed Newsun, since her you hear a separation among the players (including Yuka Honda and Sean Lennon on the tabla and twinkle-harp exquisite "Mountain Book") and the weird instrumentation, like the compelling kazoo thing on "T < T < Tune" but the same psychedelic blowout is still very much in effect. Its takes on a hyperfunky punk-dancefloor persona with the stompers "I'm a Song" and a raga-meets-jungle glitch bliss on "I. N. A." but it all is stiches from the same silken thread, a mesmerizing penchant for chant and hand percussion and rampant OCD excitement. If I had more drug experience I could probably portray this more accurately, but I was unfortunately straight-edge in my formative years. What I can say is that this, like its predecesor is a glistening butterfly, a Sanrio lightning bolt, a convulsive jolt of happiness, a reason to keep soldiering on. Free your mind and your ass might just follow Yoshimi and crew into a technicolor new dawn. Exquisite stuff.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com