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Raccoo-oo-oon - Is Night People

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Artist: Raccoo-oo-oon

Album: Is Night People

Label: Release The Bats

Review date: Aug. 13, 2006

Iowa City-based quartet Raccoo-oo-oon has leaped quickly from Midwestern uber-obscurity to a spot alongside some of the noise underground’s biggest players. Their first release, a cassette version of Is Night People was recorded less than a year ago. Since that time, the band has put out spilt LPs with Sword Heaven and Woods, a CD-R/CD on Time Lag and a cassette on Fuck It Tapes that has recently been pressed onto wax by Brooklyn label Woodsist.

With such a blast of music hitting the shelves in such a short period of time one fears of an oversaturation of the scene, ala Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice, but so far this has been far from the case for these dudes. As the recently remastered CD version of Is Night People shows, the band hit the ground running and shows no signs of slipping into slack.

Its scruffy sound polished by Pete Swanson of Yellow Swans, Is Night People is an oft-stunning album. The band’s grand whorls of fuzzed guitar, wheezing electronics, cilia demolishing coughs of sax and thunderous drums is devilishly avant-garde. Yet, gluing everything together is a primitive, tribal funk that keeps the listener’s head nodding while it spins.

Tracks such as “Uh-Oh” and “Fluff Up Your Fur” find the band splashing equal parts No Wave pummel and electronic tape destruction into a cocktail that is certain to blur the senses. “The Canyon’s Long Winding Words,” the album’s longest cut, spills out over seven and a half minutes, with shards of wire-strung guitar being lobbed from the thick mass, while the drums pound endlessly like Fela Kuti’s Africa ’70 on a week long rubber cement binge.

Still in their infancy, Raccoo-oo-oon has already released some of this year’s most impressive music. Keep an eye on these kids; the night is theirs.

By Ethan Covey

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