Music News

Oh No

While his older brother and label-mate Madlib was digging around in the Bollywood crates for his latest Beat Konducta outing, Oh No came up with even-more-unconventional source material for Dr. No's Oxperiment. The superpsychedelic rock records that emerged from the Mediterranean and Middle East in the '60s and '70s have always been gold-mine material for collectors, due both to their rarity and the truly singular sonic nature. Although guitar god Erkin Koray may be a household name in Turkey, his driving, trippy, and thoroughly Turkish rock is appreciated by only a handful of freaks outside of the country. Here, Oh No borrows some records from one of those freaks — Stones Throw label head Egon — and splices together the wildest and weirdest bits of not just Turkish madness but also some Lebanese, Greek, and Italian mind-blowers. While Oxperiment is esoteric and evocative — just like all the other out-there adventures on Stones Throw — it also functions as far more than a weirdo sound collage. Threading together the bouzoukis, ouds, and fuzz guitars into a geography-free string orchestra while the displaced vocal ululations and hard-hitting percussion lines provide dizzying accompaniment, Oh No's masterful, beat-centric approach anchors everything. The result is an adventurous and exciting record that's as much a head-bobber as it is a head-scratcher.

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Jason Ferguson