Quio: Like Oooh

Quio comes off like the infuriating classmate who seems intent on proving that charm alone can pass classes -- sure, she may often be right, but what will she have accomplished?


Like Oooh!

Label: AGF Producktion
US Release Date: 2005-10-25
UK Release Date: 2005-11-14
Amazon affiliate
Insound affiliate

It's easy to like Quio (pronounced "kee-oh") even before the first synth squelch of "Gliding", the first track on debut album Like Oooh!, seeps out of the speakers. She's not afraid to look vaguely like an awkward teenage boy on her album art, complete with thick-framed glasses and a white 2 Live Crew "Me So Horny" t-shirt. She has an affinity for close-ups of stuffed animals. She used to be known (and still sometimes refers to herself) as MC Looney Tunes. What's not to like?

Not much, honestly, as this easygoing, truly individualistic aesthetic translates nicely to the music on Like Oooh!. Quio is based in Berlin, but her flow is largely in the neighborhood of dancehall, as she twists words and syllables to whatever skewed beat she finds behind her, usually with a thick Jamaican-ish accent. Most of the production is done by AGF, and most of that is pretty excellent as well -- it carries the minimal vibe of grime, but it's a little bit too steeped in cut-up to land specifically in that genre. Elements of drum 'n bass, breakbeat, and laptop noise are all thrown into the mix, rendering the sound here pretty much unclassifiable. There's not much in the way of melody, but the inventive nature of the beats more than makes up for the lack of catchiness. In other words, I don't know exactly what it is, but I dare you to not nod your head to it.

Quio is at her best when she gets to freak out a bit, as she does to fantastic effect on "Masterpiece", the second track on the album. There's a fairly typical bell-tone based beat in the background, setting the stage for Quio to take center stage with a style that specializes in non-sequitur: "Years back I would have looked for the missing link / Now I slide on my belly in an icing rink" is nifty imagery, typical of Quio's couplets. Add in a few frustrated curse words and an odd chorus that repeats the phrase "Can't mingle with you," and we've got five minutes of decidedly odd fun. Other tracks, like the battle-flavoured "Bah Fangooh!" ("All plants will bow when I come along - so step back!") and "Gazon Gasolina", which appeared on the first Quio 12-inch, put her skill at wrapping semi-sensical words around awkward beats on display, even going so far as to toss off a couple of Das EFX-style iggedy-interjections.

It seems, however, that when you're looking for the perfect syllables to go with the broken beats, finding something coherent to talk about is a bit too much to ask. A few listens make it increasingly obvious that there's very little to be found behind the surface, and Quio uses her status as a goof to glide by on silly rhymes and a thick accent. On this note, opening track "Gliding" sticks out like a rose amongst daisies on Like Oooh! -- featuring the surprisingly mature voice of a 15-year-old known only as Lise, the track would fit in nicely on a downtempo compilation. It has strings, a beat that's not too awkwardly skewed, and Quio and Lise actually sort of making sense, eventually concluding on the thought that "Love is what we need, love is what we fight for". It sounds like a mission statement, but such a statement is too easily forgotten about in the wake of wacky hijinks.

The extent of the oddity is such that the many skits on Like Oooh actually fit in well with the actual songs. Unfortunately, this is an indictment of the quality of the songs rather than a rare sighting of quality skits.

Quio comes off like the infuriating classmate who seems intent on proving that charm alone can pass classes -- sure, she may often be right, but what will she have accomplished? Like Oooh is a fun enough way to get the Quio name out, grab a little publicity, and maybe even land a spot or two on some high-profile compilations, but it's difficult to see the album as something that people are really going to care about a month after they hear it. As much as I want to endorse an MC that busts into Depeche Mode's "People are People" without warning, and as much as I want to endorse production wizardry that works in a Ren and Stimpy snippet or two when I least expect it, I can't find praise more effusive than "eh, it's kinda cool". It is "kinda cool" -- "kinda cool", and nothing more.


From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.