Guruguru Brain (label)
11 October 2018 (released)
‘Masana’ is a word created by the band as their notion of ‘utopia’, a term coined by Sir Thomas More in 1516 as the title of his book that described an imaginary island representing the perfect society: literally: no place, from Greek ou not + topos a place. However, for this reflective collective whose name translates from Japanese as ‘geometric patterns’ the sense of place is prevalent, the feel of space redolent. The band’s disintegration, dispersal and subsequent reassembling has contributed to an aural articulation of psychic travel as inner sounds and outer moods unravel.
Desiring fresh impetus and ideas the band recorded with Portuguese jazz musician Bruno Parnedes and like Australian band Mildlife integrate and explore new territories that incorporate freak folk, pulsing motorik beats and Blue Cheer-like solid rock.
The sitar entrances on ‘Entrance’, the gateway to what lies ahead. The mellow jazz of ‘Dripping Sun’ starts like the Dr Who theme with a surf twang applied, a breakneck pace that slows to standstill before an eruption of echoes. ‘Nazo Nazo’ is a meditative sedative, an ambient and somnambulant groover.
‘Fluffy Kosmisch’ and ‘Gatherings’ remind of Anglo-Gallic ensemble Stereolab’s sonic experiments, with a nod to that band’s 1994 single ‘Ping Pong’ on the latter. ‘Amayadori’ subtly channels Simple Minds’s ‘Alive And Kicking’, tinkling keys that sparkle in the rain.
Whether the temple of the third eye or the altar of worship ‘Masana Temples’ resonates with truth vibrations proffering hope and idealism.
In a time when ‘psychedelic’ has been reduced to such visual shorthand as a paisley shirt and even Britpop’s 'Jimmy Krankie' Noel Gallagher has redeployed its textures to polish his own emissions, Kikagaku Moyo prove they are more than the sum of their (a)parts.