Kikagaku Moyo are a group from Tokyo who pair fantastical psychedelic folk with riffs, raga rock and krautrock. 'Mammatus Clouds' is an album length EP released in 2014 which features some of their most slow-burning and out-there work to date. All immersive droning rock, nature inspired jams, and sun-baked psychedelia, it's a brilliantly far-out listen.
Vinyl LP £24.49 GGB023LP
Repress LP on Guruguru Brain.
Vinyl LP £13.49 CFUL030
Ltd LP on Cardinal Fuzz in metallic gold screen printed sleeve.
We've got another tasty offering from the cardinal of fuzz Cardinal Fuzz this week, and this time they've gone all-out with sleeves screenprinted in metallic ink and an insert with some pretty psychedelic photos of the band playing live. This lot are from Japan (you might have guessed from the name) and specialise in a peaceful slow-burning trance-like sitarchedelia with roots in drone and freak-folk. The band name means "Geometric Patterns", inspired by hallucinations the band members experienced after playing together for six hours in total darkness.
I'm a little unclear even as to the instrumentation used here - the sleeve lists two guitars, drums, sitar and vocals, next to a picture of the band (I'm assuming it's the same band) where there is clearly a cellist and someone playing some kind of flute or whistle. Mysterious. As for the music itself, side A has a long jam, nearly half an hour, which plods along with a heady mystical restraint that brings to mind the likes of Carlton Melton or Sylvester Anfang, driven along by tangy sitar twang and out-of-body vocal drones. There's definitely some quite trebly bowed cello drones going on here too. It takes a while to pick up momentum but by the time they've built up a head of steam about halfway through it's quite engrossing.
Over on side B we get a shorter song 'Never Know', and a much shorter song 'There Is No Other Place'. The former follows a similar formula to side A; slow, free-flowing psychedelia based around earthy drones and physical textures that build to an almost chaotic drift of subtle melodic details and dense layered drones and brittle minimal drumming - this one goes way beyond the intensity of the opener with a caustic squall of Les Rallizes Denudes-esque guitar abrasion towards the end. The latter is a pounding little psych-fuzz song with a slight glam feel and heavily distorted vocals; a total departure from the rest of the album, this one wouldn't sound out of place on the next Fuzz record. Great LP for those who like hypnotic, slow-burning and physical-sounding psychedelia. Get used to their mind-expanding sound in preparation for their UK dates later in the year!
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- Mammatus Clouds by Kikagaku Moyo
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