Woob Information

It was while trawling through an acquaintance's web pages that I came across a reference to Woob. Described as dark and moody ambient music it piqued my interest, especially after seeing the album cover for 1194 (I am a sucker for penguins). However reading a description of the music and finding a copy to listen to was an entirely different proposition. Most CD store staff looked at me blankly when I mentioned the name of the album and group.

Finally I chanced across a copy of it in Allans and got an opportunity to listen... It didn't take long for that record to find a new home. I am aware that Woob have released a second album, 4495, that isn't listed here for one simple reason - I didn't buy it. The second album lacked the mood and feel of the first and simply didn't grab me enough to want to buy it. This is something of a shame as the first album is very good, so I currently hold out vague hopes that there will be future Woob albums that are more worthwhile than 4495.

Thus far nothing has shown up though.


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Label: Instinct Records
Number: 720841-02942-7
Year: 1994

  1. On Earth
  2. Odonna
  3. Amoeba
  4. Wuub
  5. Strange Air
  6. Emperor
Running Time: 72:48

If you like ambient music, this album is one you have to hunt for. Seek it high, seek it low but whatever you do - seek it out. The music is classic ambient, drifting along - changing beats gradually with various audio samples working their way in where appropriate. Layered vocal samples back up the main tune and an omnipresent low synth back hum cap it off. The result is moody, dark and slightly ethereal.

Even more fun is that the album works well on either speakers or headphones with the headphone wearers, whilst missing out a little on the bass, gain on the clarity of the worked in vocal samples. Recognising the derivation of the samples is fun as well with various science fiction and horror films featuring, albeit distantly, this way.

Perhaps the most telling thing I can say is that this album, in my estimation, is the best challenger to MoodFood for the title of audio perfection. It has the same ambience and flow as the MoodSwings' effort but loses slightly on the style count, it lacks the MoodSwings' perfect sense of timing for reintroducing the more groovy based elements. Finally it doesn't have an as good concluding track, causing the album to end somewhat abruptly, whereas MoodFood eases you out gently with a piano piece to bring you back down to reality. Still these are minor quibbles on what is otherwise a masterpiece of the ambient genre.

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Philip R. Banks
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