Woo – Awaawaa
PFLP-004 // NGC-001
Woo - Awaawaa CD
CD (includes additional bonus material) -
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Palto Flats and New General Catalogue are partnering to bring you Awaawaa, a new record by UK sonic experimentalists Woo, this January 2016. Woo is the longstanding project of British brothers Mark and Clive Ives, who’ve experienced a resurgent interest in their catalog in recent years. Featuring never before heard recordings from Woo’s archives, Awaawaa sees the band at their most evocative and psychedelic – presenting a suitelike, atmospheric collection of stunning miniatures. Recorded in South London during 1975-82, Awaawaa lines up chronologically with other Woo releases, such as ‘Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong,’ but touches upon synth, ambient, electronics, dub, and even krautrock (the Faust-like direct input guitar on ‘Green Blob,’ or the worldly title track, which wouldn’t sound out of place on an Embryo record). Some tracks, such as the brief, trancelike ‘Babalonia’ sound utterly out of time and place, and represent Woo’s unique and prescient vision. There are also moments of sublime beauty – ‘Robots Dancing’ features a repetitive analog synth line that transforms with the introduction of birdlike sounding tape and tenor saxophone.
As part of the release, Palto Flats has asked several video artists to produce visual interpretations of several of the songs from Awaawaa, as well as Woo themselves. In addition to Woo providing a trailer featuring music from the title track, this month will see videos from Scott Kiernan of ESP TV, as well as Diego Cohen, who’s done videos for Software, RVNG and Opal Tapes. There will be more to follow.
Woo is deeply excited for the renewed interest in their music, and see this release as one of their most adventurous, forward thinking records. We could not be happier to share it with you.
“Imagine the Penguin Cafe Orchestra raised on a diet of German kosmische and dusty Jimme Giuffre jazz LPs, and you’ll get an idea of the magic these brothers conjure up together. It’s a lovely addition to the group’s catalogue, and serves as both an entry into their world and a powerful origin story. Woo’s music is warmly familiar, yet not of this world; listen to Awaawaa and you’ll understand why.”
“Awaawaa is rich with handcrafted instrumentals that combine electronic and acoustic sounds. Most are soothing melodic miniatures that clock in at under three minutes, but within these seemingly simple compositions reside impressive kingdoms. “Simpti” conveys a mountain of melancholia in just under two minutes. “Wobbly” works through a complex synthetic melody with a comfortable ease.”
“The Ives brothers’ warped sonic strategies bring to mind Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project, which often ran recordings of classical piano and brass bands through a number of effects until they became a luminous haze. Had Voigt been taken with sunny afternoons rather than forests at midnight, Gas might’ve sounded like Awaawaa. In that manner, Woo could be seen as the estranged uncles of the Pop Ambient form, imagining a beatless, beatific future.”
What dazzles most about Woo material is often its sidestepping construction, not to mention the sheer breadth of the brothers’ influences. “Fun, The Final Frontier” sounds like an unlikely fusion of Gigi Masin’s 1980s new age ambience, Acker Bilk’s “Stranger On The Shore”, and fairground organ music. “Robots Dancing” seemingly blends krautrock, jazz and Kraftwerk, while “The Goodies” drags jazz-fusion through a hedge backwards, adding dub reggae and punk influences along the way. Then there’s the modal drone meets frazzled jazz of “Homage To Matta”, the psychedelic Balearic dub of “Green Blob”, and the exotic, Persian dream world that is “Awaawaa”.