Sab Se Purani Bab

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Yoshimio (previously referred to as Yoshimi P-We) is best known for singing and drumming in the Boredoms and leading OOIOO, in which she sings and plays guitar, but she's also been collaborating with sitar player Yoshida Daikiti since the early 2000s. She joined his group Psycho Baba and appeared on their 2001 album, On the Roof of Kedar Lodge, and the group continued to perform and record, with their name eventually morphing into Saicobab. They contributed a cover of "Death Valley 69" to Confuse Yr Idols: A Tribute to Sonic Youth (2004), which featured vocals from Kim Gordon herself. After keeping silent for over a decade, the band returned in 2017 with Sab Se Purani Bab, their first album to see release outside of Japan (courtesy of Chicago's Thrill Jockey). On this outing, Yoshimio and Daikiti are joined by bassist Akita Goldman (of jazz combo Soil & "Pimp" Sessions) and percussionist Motoyuki "Hama" Hamamoto, who plays a traditional Arabic tambourine called a riq. Yoshimio doesn't play an instrument here, and the music is all the better for it -- her voice is so free and ecstatic that playing an instrument would be holding her back. Instead, she concentrates all of her energy into wailing, shrieking, and jumping around. There's no way anyone could simply sing these songs sitting or standing still, as the sheer kinetic energy required to perform these obtuse arrangements requires one to move rapidly and exert a whole lot of force. She manages to perfectly keep on top of the songs' impossibly complex rhythms, which are inspired by Indian and Japanese traditions, philosophies, and mathematical concepts. On a few tracks, such as "AWAWAW," her vocals are enhanced with rippling, swooping cosmic echo and decimated with rapid, abrasive glitching. While this adds some crunch to the group's sound, it's never as noisy as earlier Boredoms releases. It is highly electrifying, however, and ranks among the enigmatic, boundlessly exuberant vocalist's most joyous work.

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