Riki Gooch is a drummer, produce and beatmaker. He’s been both band-leader and sideman and a DJ in various guises. He’s been making music under various aliases (Eru Dangerspiel, Cave Circles, Nil-Nil) across the last decade and a half and has been behind the kit (and sometime the MPC/sampler) for a range of artists including Leila Adu, Bic Runga, Orchestra of Spheres, Trinity Roots and The Labcoats. There are many other one-off and lasting musical projects in the Riki Gooch world.
And, in a current busy period of releases another of his monikers is unveiled – DJ OBOE is available on limited-edition cassette tape (and/or as a stream/download from Bandcamp). Inspired by Angolan dance music – “kuduro” – the hypnotic rhythms of the DJ OBOE album finds Gooch in wonky-techno mode.
The stuttering horn line of opener, NOPE, falls in under a thumping bass drum marker and skittering hi-hats, WIKKI WIKKI inverts this to have an air horn-like ‘melody’ riding on top of the groove.
These are beats and pieces that are scattered, re-collected and then sprinkled again – they fall over themselves, stumble, then tumble then recharge. The trance-like effect of these skittish, tampered-with grooves is perhaps best examined on the stonkingly good OBOE YOU DIDN’T.
Somehow DJ OBOE exists in that head-scratching world of Musical Folly Made Good. You can laugh at an absurdity – an implied simplicity/naivety – but there’s also an infectious, joyous, anthemic quality to much of the music (HEY TERRY). And the “world music” elements, the fiesta-vibe, are very clear on WHUNKY and the closing OPTIONS.
The longest track here, TRUMPETS, has some of the Aphex Twin world of mystery and mischief to it.