SAICOBAB

Sab Se Pu­rani Bab thRill JocKey Ja­panese ra­gas shrieked to­ward the avant-garde.

Prog - - Limelight - IF

when it comes to talk­ing a good game, SAICOBAB – the lat­est project from ex-Bore­doms/ OOIOO vo­cal­ist YoshimiO – can weave gold from straw faster than you can say Rumpel­stilt­skin. Sab Se Pu­rani Bab, we’re told, re­flects the deep con­nec­tions be­tween tra­di­tional In­dian and Ja­panese mu­sic and spir­i­tual prac­tices. There’s a sur­feit of chin­stroking stuff on nu­merol­ogy, equa­tions, sil­ver ra­tios and math­e­mat­i­cal con­cepts, a ca­sual prom­ise to mas­ter­fully blend clas­si­cal ra­gas with an­i­mated vo­cal melodies, but in com­par­i­son to the high­fa­lutin fine in­ten­tions of their com­plex man­i­festo, the re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion fetches up short. Granted, Yoshida Daik­iti is quite the sitar player, but in the con­text of this quar­tet (com­pleted by Akita Gold­man on dou­ble bass, Mo­toyuki Ha­mamoto on per­cus­sion and the clang­ing vo­cals of YoshimiO), recorded live and edited to in post-pro­duc­tion, SAICOBAB sound stul­ti­fied by their need to per­pet­u­ally chal­lenge. There’s none of the taut, hyp­notic, crescendo-bound power so char­ac­ter­is­tic of clas­si­cal In­dian ra­gas, nor the mel­liflu­ous shared in­tu­ition of im­pro­vi­sa­tional jazz, just nag­ging un­easy lis­ten­ing.

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