When she’ s not drumming up a storm in Japanese noise-rock pioneers Boredoms or inspiring Wayne Coyne (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is named after her), Yoshimi P-we fronts her own percussion-heavy band, OOIOO. Past OOIOO releases have run the gamut from neo-tribal rave-ups to psychedelic post-punk, one album never quite sounding like the next. It looks like they’ll continue to surprise on their first album in four years, Gamel, which takes its inspiration and much of its sonic palette from the classical Javanese instrument called the gamelan.
A massive set of bells, chimes, gongs and tuned percussion, a gamelan requires multiple players and is capable of producing a dense tapestry of sound. (I was lucky enough to attend one of the few colleges in America that had a full gamelan, and hearing the full thing in action, even in the hands of inexperienced players, was pretty amazing.) Instead of faithfully recreating that sound, OOIOO have incorporated elements of the gamelan into a mix of other electronic and acoustic instruments to come up with something that, judging from lead track “Atatawa,” sounds completely new.
Gamel is due out July 1st on Thrill Jockey. It’s available for pre-order here.