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Woo is the uncategorizable project of English brothers Clive and Mark Ives. Since the 1970s, the duo have been recording a plethora of eclectic sounds, most falling under the blanket genre of new age, but spiraling out toward notions of ambient sounds, jazz, and other spiritual takes on modern music. They received some acclaim for their early releases, including 1982's Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong and 1989's It's Cosy Inside, but their work began to receive wider appreciation during the 2010s, when labels such as Drag City and Palto Flats reissued the band's albums, in addition to releasing collections of previously unreleased material, like 2014's When the Past Arrives. The brothers remained active all the while, digitally self-issuing material. The Ives brothers started making music in their South London home in 1972, recording tapes for their own amusement with no intention of reaching an outside audience. Eventually someone expressed interest in releasing their music, and Woo's debut came with Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong, released on a limited run of LPs in 1982. It's Cosy Inside appeared on Independent Project Records in 1989, followed by the much more obscure, cassette-only album Into the Heart of Love a year later. Throughout the following decades, Woo released over ten albums and continued to explore their liquid new age sound. They remained quietly active into the new century. Eventually, the extensive Woo catalog reached the ears of record labels that had cropped up in the decades since the band's inception. In 2012, Drag City reissued their 1989 album It's Cosy Inside, and Emotional Rescue subsequently re-released the duo's debut and 1990's Into the Heart of Love, making it available on non-cassette formats for the first time. In 2014, Drag City offered up the compilation album When the Past Arrives, collecting unreleased tracks from different periods within the group's vast recording history. Awaawaa, concentrating on further unissued pieces recorded between 1975 and 1982, was released by Palto Flats in 2016. Emotional Rescue closed out their trilogy of reissues in 2017 with 1991's A la Luna. All Is Well, one of Woo's numerous digital albums, was issued on vinyl by Slowboy Records in 2019. Celestial Railroads, an album of Woo pieces reconfigured by ambient/psychedelic duo Seahawks, was also released that year.
© Fred Thomas & Paul Simpson /TiVo
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