ITCHY-O: Burn the Navigator: CD

Itchy-O is a really unique band. They’re a thirty piece group that is primarily drum corps including odaiko and chudaiko drums from Japan and roto toms, but which also incorporates synth, vocoder, theremin, samples, guitar, and bass. There are many other instruments as well. Not all thirty pieces play at the same time and there is a chart on the CD booklet that shows who plays on what tracks. Also included are weird samples such as chimpanzees, cows, and birds. If you’re a big fan of percussion (as I am) some of this can be really hypnotic and catchy. I went online to watch some video of how this works live. They dress up like a mariachi band and the members playing non-percussion instruments carry their amps on their backs. It is an impressive thing to watch them come out and take over a stage (as they did playing with David Byrne), but as is often the case, it’s hard to translate the uniqueness and excitement to a recorded performance. If you think this sounds like something you’d be into, then by all means check out this album, otherwise you’re probably just as well off catching these folks live (especially in the Denver area since they don’t seem to play too often outside their hometown. Hey, have you ever tried to coordinate thirty people’s schedules? Exactly.) 

 –kurt (Alternative Tentacles)