10 May 2014
Kikagaku Moyo "Forest of Lost Children"
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
Plenty of great stuff has happened for Japanese psychedelic sorcerers Kikagaku Moyo (that's Geometric Patterns) since I reviewed their amazing debut less than a year ago. That debut was picked up for a vinyl release that sold out before the wax could even cool (this reviewer even missed out on a copy, sigh....), and they toured near and far, making friends and fans wherever they went, including conquering this year's Austin Psych Fest by all accounts.
Somehow they also found the time to release "Mammatus Clouds" - a longer, more exploratory digital and cassette only release that (notice a trend here) disappeared before wallets could be extracted from pockets (but fear not, Captcha Records & Cardinal Fuzz will be issuing a vinyl version of that in the coming months).
Most exciting of all though was the news that Beyond Beyond is Beyond (a label with the uncanny ability to consistently release exactly what I want time and time again) had them signed for another new album, and no procrastinating this time, my pre-order was in minutes after discovering its impending existence. A month later and it's rotating on my turntable and I couldn't be happier.
"Forest of Lost Children" showcases Kikagaku Moyo's impressive and rapid evolution effortlessly, with a good old fashioned album's album that fits together seamlessly as their definitive recorded statement so far, and makes me wish even more fervently that I'd had the chance to see them explore this stuff live at APF.
It's very much a head record, but it's much more laid back than the debut with the dreamy sitar and vocal interplay of "White Moon" lulling and soothing in a particularly tranquil, therapeutic manner, while opener "Semicircle" lopes along nicely with an off the cuff charm that makes it sound like a round the campfire improv.
Sandwiched between these moments of loveliness are a succession of jams that reach far beyond the normal sphere of influences with rhythms whose roots lie in African and South American music mingling effortlessly with those of their own ancestry and lingering traces of seventies Can.
It's an extremely intelligent album, but it's music for the entire body, not just for the head. It's got heart, it's got grooves that are unescapably infectious, and it's got the sort of soul that you just can't fake, and that made this listener feel like a much more spiritual being than I realised I was.
Vinyl, CD, digital and streams can be all be had here: