Cooioo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

These four Japanese women seem to delight in finding the most counterintuitive musical combinations possible. Their recent Taiga (Thrill Jockey) sounds like it was put together by somebody pulling slips of paper out of a hat: first she drew "analog synths," then "traditional Japanese drumming," followed by "steel pan solo," "loopy fretless bass," and "disco." (I'm pretty sure one of those slips said "everybody start yelling," too.) But no matter how outre the genre miscegenation that produces it, OOIOO's music is consistently, stunningly pleasurable. Their distaste for conventional pop structures and predilection for sharp stylistic turns make for plenty of surprises--"ATS," for instance, spends five minutes carefully establishing a soothing, spacey feel, then explodes into what seems to be the group's best attempt at a Santana impression. Founding member Yoshimi is also a longtime drummer for the Boredoms and recently recruited their front man, Eye, to remix "UMA" and "UMO"--sister songs from Taiga that marry punky girl yelping to heavy quasi-tribal percussion. Due out as a single on April 24, Eye's remixes are just as counterintuitive as the original arrangements, reflecting his simultaneous fascination with meditative post-New Age instrumentals and garish trance techno. Lichens opens. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12.


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