Magic Aum Gigi - Starring Keiko
In a limited edition of 200 copies, this sophomore release is an acquired taste, and certainly miles away from their drone-metal debut, 2004’s "My Metal Machine Music." Magic Aum GiGi here, with the help of singer Keiko, is a sort of concept record, with each of the four tunes driven by one of four instruments: guitar, synth, voice, and Jew’s harp. Depending on your taste, this is hit and miss. Keiko’s vocal performance has a drony, ethereal quality, though the melody is minimal and repetitive. In fact, all of the pieces are repetitive, which is never a problem so long as the melody is compelling.
In those terms, the guitar piece and the vocals work the best. The Jew’s harp piece takes some getting used to, but for me the experiment runs out of fun quickly. Likewise with the synth track: a bit too thin to carry the day on its own.
Magic Aum GiGi have already shown themselves to be restless and daring after only two releases. "Starring Keiko" is worth the effort, despite its lapses. Personally, a good guitar driven improv atones for a multitude of missteps. Here, there are only a few to surmount. This disc is a small blessing, but a blessing nonetheless.
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