OOIOO

TAIGA (Thrill Jockey Records)

Anyone familiar with Yoshimi P-we's schizophonic work in Japanese avant-rock pioneers UFO Or Die and Boredoms was probably surprised at the circular, sometimes pastoral prog-psych minimalism of OOIOO. A decade after P-we's other group started, it continues to confound expectations with the percussive, global experimentalism of its latest effort, TAIGA. Drifting from the chant-heavy, twin romps "UMA" and "UMO" — which come off like a Japanese cheerleading squad on a drunken Carnival bus tour with a Brazilian bateria — to Ornette Coleman-style, free-fusion weirdness on "KMS," to the Afrobeat-tinged guitar grooves that power "UJA" and "IOA," Yoshimi and company literally veer all over the map. Though the band still touches on the spacey, trance-inducing sound of past albums, the skeletal approach with marimba and steel drums leans more toward Philip Glass and Steve Reich than the group's earlier krautrock pulse. Along with a recently issued, limited EP featuring a couple of techno freakout remixes by Boredoms founder Yamatsuka Eye, the songs on TAIGA prove OOIOO remains on the leading edge of modern rock's sonic laboratory. Dave Pehling

Details

OOIOO performs on Monday, March 26, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $13-15; call 771-1422 or visit www.independentsf.com for more info.
Independent

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