Brothers Mark and Clive Ives have been making strange improv experiments for almost four decades now, and this CD and vinyl LP on Palto Flats and New General Catalogue collects unheard WOO recordings from 1975-82. On Awaawaa they blend electronic gurgles and modular experiments with luscious jazz instrumentation and eccentric arrangements. They really don’t sound quite like anyone else.
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- Awaawaa by WOO
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 09 February 2016I’m now struggling to remember the time Woo weren’t in my life. The London experimentalists have such a magnificent sound that it is a whole genre in itself and their ‘Into the Heart of Love‘ has (ironically) singlehandedly soothed me through a recent relationship shambles. It sits there on the stereo and it plays and then I instantly feel better. What more could one ask for? I was so sure that I was going to enjoy this new collection of unreleased tracks that I’ve ignored our new rules about never opening vinyl and have ripped the thing open safe in the knowledge it will be coming home with me. The tracks here are from 1975-82. I’m not sure if they are in chronological order but the opening couplet of ’Odd Spiral’ and ‘Green Blob’ are much further into the sound worlds of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp than previous stuff I’ve heard. That ever familiar wobbly Woo sound appears in ernest on ’The Goodies’(!) with its rubbery bass runs and affected guitar strums. The gorgeous A side closer ’Tick Tock’ again shows the jazz influences that are scattered across their records. Elsewhere there are plenty of toy box Durutti Column instrumentals (‘Back on Track’) bleepy almost Kraftwerk instrumentals (‘Robots Dancing’) and delicious flamenco inflected summery jamzzz ’Sailing’. It might not be there best place to start (I’d suggest 'When the Past Arrives' or Into the Heart of Love) but this is another wondrous assortment of goodies.
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