SAICOBAB channels the vital energy of living music traditions through ecstatic performance. The quartet brings together four musicians whose understanding of ancient musical forms is matched only by their thrilling contemporary resetting of such styles. YoshimiO’s experiments in this field are well documented, from OOIOO’s incorporation of Javanese gamelan into their kaleidoscopic soundworld, to Boredoms’ electrifying modern rituals. Multi-instrumentalist Yoshida Daikiti reveals the human hand that shapes living traditions, as much through his fluid playing as his own collection of handmade instruments, while percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Motoyuki “Hama” Hamamoto embodies the metaphysical power of rhythm. The group initially coalesced around hyperkinetic, improvised live performances, but have since expanded into an increasingly daring series of studio albums. NRTYA, Sanskrit for “dance”, speaks to the spiritual power of music and movement, the group crafting transcendent modern ragas that push from profoundly physical playing to higher planes of existence.
The album’s title is particularly apt for music that speaks to the body as much as the spirit, threading from hypnotic meditations one moment to ecstatic freak-outs the next. Each track is a combination of the “raga” (melody) and “tala” (beat), with members often trading roles and slipping effortlessly from one to the other. YoshimiO’s wild vocal acrobatics and inimitable range shift from hypnotic chants to ethereal atmospherics and darting melodies, ducking and weaving around Daikiti’s serpentine sitar figures and basslines, eddying in psychedelic whorls or expanding outwards into infinity. Hama’s solid rhythmic architectures and deft polyrhythms are here enhanced by additional drums from Taketawa Yo2ro, slipping from subtle pulses that are more felt than heard to thundering grooves that drive the music from the fore. Beneath each track’s enrapturing immediacy, every melodic and rhythmic turn is pregnant with layers of meaning and symbolism, drawing as much on numerology and mysticism as the group’s flawless musicianship to imbue each track with incandescent spiritual power.
SAICOBAB’s music exudes a true reverence for living musical traditions while remaining unbound by orthodoxy, with the group fearlessly exploring the futuristic possibilities contained within ancient music. NRTYA explores the shared roots of Japanese and Indian spiritual practices in a tangible, intoxicating form. The electrifying energy of the quartet’s original performance is palpable in every track, eliminating established hierarchies with performer and listener alike entwined in the same cosmic dance.
SAICOBAB - SAB SE PURANI BAB Unboxing