Koko — Koko
(Bandcamp no#, 2015, LP/DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-20
Lest we forget that there is a virtually endless number of ways to push the boundaries of rock, this fairly recently formed Viennese band comes along to try something I, at least, haven’t really heard before. Musically, it can be thought of as rock crossed with electronics in a way that’s similar to Scandinavian bands like Funin or Vaiping, but the Koko twist is to include hints of hip-hop in the vocals, which are often somewhere between sung and rapped. In fact, the tone of the voice occasionally reminds me more than a little of Macklemore (which isn’t such a bad thing in my book, though might to others either be a negative or an inaccurate comparison). There’s also a slightly jazzy edge to the way the saxophone is used. The rhythms are sometimes funky, they rock pretty hard at times, there are some almost mathy rhythms, bright psychedelic touches, and some electronic interludes. And there’s an almost post-rock sense of drama the way tunes ebb and flow. But don’t think it’s a mess just because there are so many ingredients – it works pretty well as a distinct style of its own, not sounding like random elements thrown together without reason. Can’t remember the last thing I heard something really interesting from Austria, but Koko fits the bill admirably, and are definitely worth checking out.
Related artist(s): Koko
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.