I/O - Polytone

I/O - Polytone

8 songs
45:43 minutes


The band layout consisting of guitar, double bass, drums and vocals hints at a general rock band, but I/O are anything but. Instead they deliver eight untitled tracks of rhythmic improvisation, where drum and bass are most of the time laying down a rhythmic, and often rather complex, rhythm pattern, and the guitar is playing loose figures above it all, with the vocalist making weird noises that can hardly be called vocals. At times it is dub-rocking, then it becomes jazzier, and at times just plain avant-garde, making it really hard for the generic rock fan to listen through these three quarters of an hour of music. The instruments used are familiar to all of us, but I/O are using them in a rather unorthodox way.

The fact that the improvisation lies rather on the rhythm than on the melodies doesn’t make the album more accessible. The production though is good and direct, with all the songs having been recorded live and without overdubs. Fans of experimental Japanese music, like former Can frontman Damo Suzuki (with whom I/O have already shared the stage in the past) or Boredoms could appreciate this very experimental album, and that even though I/O are from Italy. Interesting this is, but I have to confess that I won’t be listening to this grating CD anytime soon in the future.

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