Bloody Panda Chanteuse Yoshiko Ohara readies solo album
After years of fruitful collaboration with various colleagues in her adopted hometown of New York City, Japanese vocalist and established visual artist Yoshiko Ohara is releasing her first solo album, Ringing In Our Wrists. Best known for her mesmerizing performances as lead singer for the now-defunct NYC experimental doom outfit Bloody Panda and collaborations with OCEAN and KAYO DOT, Yoshiko is expanding her repertoire ever further into the outer reaches of strange, unearthly music, and unleashed her formidable talents upon the public on March 19th via Ice Level Music, a new label run by Toby Driver (Kayo Dot, maudlin of the Well, Secret Chiefs 3)
Ohara composed and recorded all the songs herself in addition to creating all the accompanying album artwork. She embraced the random on Ringing In Our Wrists, treating her audio material as pure sound rather than attempting to compose logical songs. Using the visual cue of the waveform as it appeared on her computer screen, Ohara rearranged the tracks to create visual tableaux that mirrored the imaginary artworks in her head. As such, all the sounds are created by accident, not written as music but created as an art work. Using a combination of field recordings and synthesizer generated noises Ohara’s freshman album merges the painter’s eye with the musician’s ear, taking the listener on an inward journey to a place where those two synaptic impulses merge into one.
Her haunting, eerie vocals and visceral live performances have become the stuff of legend amongst those lucky enough to catch her both with Bloody Panda (who All Music decreed to be “one of America’s best bands”) and at more recent solo outings. Comparisons to multitalented demonic divas like Diamanda Galas, Jarboe, and Keiji Haino are apt, but there is only one Yoshiko Ohara.
The New York Times has praised her band’s “nightmarish, rubato art-songs,”and the Village Voice lauded “the ashen throat of singer Yoshiko Ohara, whose dynamic range covers the ground between Diamanda and PJ Harvey in drones, squeals, and screeches.” Decibel Magazine hailed her as the driving force behind the band’s “haunting, evil, beautiful music,” CMJ wrote of how “Yoshiko Ohara wails and howls as though she’s in a perpetual state of mourning, and it’s the perfect complement to the doom and gloom riffs,” and MTV applauded their “”dense, despairing songs that tumble, clatter and drone through the ether.”
Watch a recent performance for a taste of what lies ahead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvg2GDdJw90
More info on Bloody Panda: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Panda