A Beginner’s Guide to… Kikagaku Moyo

Richard Birch explores the curious output of Kikagaku Moyo

Source: flickr

Modern psychedelic rock music has within it a decidedly conservative element – an insular attitude that music peaked in ‘67 (man), that all modern music is rubbish and that a musician’s life goal is to imitate that which came before. Kikagaku Moyo however take the spirit of ‘67 to be the key – to push the form forward, whatever that may mean.

The sitar becomes the lead instrument, yet it doesn’t feel at all like cliched raga rock. Instead, guitars drenched with reverb and tremolo form the backdrop to unearthly harmonies, while the drums form unobtrusive and atmospheric trills and frills around the lilting sway of the sitar and bass. It is perversely fitting, then, that a band so sonically supernatural should write their songs about nature. “It’s in three parts – first a blizzard, then a gentle stroll in the woods finding birds, foxes and squirrels, and finally a descent into a bottomless cave,” says drummer Go Kurosawa of new single ‘Green Sugar’.

The band’s aim of creating evocative landscapes with their music is achieved. Expressive and richly produced, their cavernous sound fuses airy musical forms with modern electronic techniques to hint at the other side of the psychedelic vision: the yin and the yang, the dark side of the moon. If you hear this band, you are hearing the future of neopsych.