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OOIOO: Gamel

Boredoms offshoot bangs gong, gets it on.

This project from Boredoms member Yoshimi P-We has recently overtaken her ‘main’ band in terms of productivity and inspiration.

For this latest opus, P-We and comrades have sought to incorporate Javanese gamelan into the fabric of their sound. The fact Gamel took four years to make suggests that this wasn’t a task taken lightly. The instrument’s chiming, bell-like sonorities have been absorbed without cheapening them or compromising the identity the group have established on their consistently brilliant previous releases. The music is occasionally reminiscent of Master Musicians Of Bukkake’s rootless sprawl but witha lighter, airier touch and fewer ties to rock (with a few acidic guitar freakouts). If any western music is evoked, it’s the questing pan-global spirit of 60s/70s astral jazz and soul (Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders). But is it okay for a Japanese band to make off with and make use of an instrument so tied into Indonesian culture? As Tune-Yards did with the Haitian-influenced Nikki Nack, OOIOO have undoubtedly worked psychedelic wonders with borrowed materials. It may prove problematic for some, but it suits their freewheeling approach. JS ** **

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.