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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 239 - 02/22/16

Woo Music

Last August I checked out Woo's record Waxwings and I liked what I found. 'Woo?', you might ask. Well, long story short: Woo are brothers Mark and Clive Ives who have been recording and releasing their music for the last 40+ years. They write and perform music sometimes of the ambient and 'new age' kind, with solid elements of the experimental and indeed of a spiritual nature. They've been compared to bands/artists like Cluster, Brian Eno, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, the Durutti Column, Shriekback, and Animal Collective to name but a few. Short story long? Dive into their discography...

AWAAWAA makes me recall The Residents' (or even Snakefinger's) music (the calmer pieces) for a few seconds. That said, the Residents were (mainly) more far out, more far off in an art-music way, AND: Woo's music are more focused and softly melodic (and I am not saying that The Residents did not have melodies...). The album holds 16 tracks including a couple of short ones; preludes, intermissions, postludes: three tracks clock in at less than a minute (or so), while nine more tracks finish in less than three minutes! Instant instrumental music, right? Mark (guitars, clarinet, bass) and Clive (Electronics and percussion) have been writing and recording songs for so long, they probably know each other so good they can create music while communicating only by thoughts. Mind music or spiritual pop for the open-minded audience. AWAAWAA is melodic thought for food. The songs sound highly organic, and they appear like coming from one long, spontaneous jam. The odd little melodies and rhythm patterns take you to various and far off places... like off planet earth, for in the next moment to make you feel like being deep inside some magic forest, or in someone's safe, little garden for a meditative tea party. This could be the soundtrack to some strange fairy-tale. Not as wild and crazy like Alice in Wonderland, no-no, this is an adventure much, much more laid-back than that. Some of the titles are quite 'pictorial', like "Odd Spiral" and "Green Blob" which sound like an odd spiral and some green blob. "AWAAWAA", the title track, is a strolling track - it is both spirited and relaxed at the same time. Some of Woo's songs make me imagine this as music from a different time, like these are songs transferred through time... I am not sure if they're from the past or from the future, though, but my guess is that this is from the past for the present future. Hence the organic vibe and 'hue' of the music. Some highlights are "Tick Tock", "Ruby Past Lives", the aforementioned title track, "Fun, The Final Frontier", "Wobbly", and "Robots Dancing" to name but a few. This is futuristic pop minimalism from beyond any genre. Odd, different, and wonderfully refreshing.

Copyright © 2016 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Woo article/review: Waxwings.

© 2016 Luna Kafé