OOIOO, ‘Gamel’

Yoshimi started OOIOO on a lark in the mid-’90s, when she assembled some musicians she knew to accompany her in a magazine photo shoot. Fact soon followed fiction; two decades later, Yoshimi (also a member of avant-noise masters Boredoms) and her ensemble continue to break down boundaries of genre and intent. OOIOO’s sixth album is rooted in percussion-forward Javanese gamelan, but the centuries-old style only serves as launching point. The album balances precision and chaos that is both delightful and, at times, dizzying; on “Don Ah,” a stark tableau of percussion and voice is supplemented by a fluid psych-funk bassline, while the popping bass and pinging metallophones on “Atatawa” dart around gasped vocals and wah-wahing guitar. Yoshimi is an intrepid musical explorer, bringing together traditional and avant-garde forms in projects suffused with the noisy delight of discovery. “Gamel” melds past and future, resulting in a present joyfully reconfigured. (Out Tuesday) MAURA JOHNSTON


OOIOO performs at Cafe 939 on July 19.

Maura Johnston can be reached at
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