Kikagaku Moyo

Masana Temples

Guruguru Brain

Oct 18, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Psychedelic rock will always be subconsciously linked to the '60s and '70s, but for Tokyo's Kikagaku Moyo (which means "geometric patterns" in Japanese), the spirit of the style is very much a new form. At the heart of their fourth studio album, Masana Temples, is a mix of diverse rhythms and influences, including Krautrock, classical Indian music, jazz, lounge, and folk. An impossible band to categorize, the word "psychedelic" only goes so far.

The group started out busking on the streets of Tokyo in 2012, and in just six years have risen to prominence in their home country and abroad. Masana Temples was co-produced and recorded with Portuguese jazz guitarist Bruno Pernades.

The album's first vocal track, "Dripping Sun," is a shifting eight-minute epic that travels seamlessly from movement to movement with ease, before cascading into an overdriven romp. Other tracks, like "Nazo Nazo" and "Orange Peel" sway with more of a melodic predisposition, while "Majupose" and "Nana" flex with a core, unbreakable rhythm. "Blanket Song" is a remarkably peaceful closing number (with a hint of Fleet Foxes) to end an album that fills so many corners. The record is a fresh take on an often-elusive genre, but Kikagaku Moyo manages to pull it off with one of the more striking displays in recent memory. (www.kikagakumoyo.tumblr.com)

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