Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
In Japanese, Taiga means "big river"; in Russian, it's "forest." Both are apt descriptions for the dense, winding, jungle-like music OOIOO craft on this, their fifth album. Not to push the connection too much, but Taiga's multilingual meanings could also allude to the band's magpie-like ability to pick the most vital, interesting sounds from other cultures and fashion them into what feels like world music from an alternate universe. Despite the Japanese and Russian meanings of "taiga," the most prominent influence on Taiga comes from Africa: dense African jazz and lilting African folk-inspired guitar melodies play large roles on most of the album's tracks.
This fifth full-length from the all-female Boredoms offshoot puts rhythm at the center of eight varied tracks, a sustained adrenaline kick coursing through constantly changing landscapes. Right from the get-go, the beat takes over. What is "UMA” but one continuous drum fill, shot through with gym whistles and punctuated with exuberant cheerleader yells? Even cool jazz "KMS," with its weirdly time-signatured bass slides and trumpeted fever dreams, is layered over an unstoppable drum beat, heavy on the cymbals but buzzing with sudden bursts of snare.