6 Apr

To anyone who has heard the music of Kikagaku Moyo, it should come as no surprise that the band’s origins lie in hours upon hours of late-night jamming, illuminated by nothing more than the geometric patterns playing behind the band’s eyelids, resulting in a natural, free-floating sound, as of-the-earth as it is intergalactic.

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This may be the only unsurprising thing about Kikagaku Moyo.

It may be surprising that the band sharpened their improvisational skills by busking on the streets of their native Tokyo. It may be surprising that the band’s overall sound may owe as much or more to the Incredible String Band as it does to Acid Mother’s Temple.

But what’s perhaps most surprising about “Forest of Lost Children,” the band’s face-melting, recorded-ritual to be released next month by Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, is how utterly centered and mature the band sounds, especially given their relatively short lifespan as a band.

Boundless though they may be, Kikagaku Moyo here sound anything but lost, their child-like wonder manifested in a confident, courageous exploration of sound. Labels – psychedelic, folk, prog-rock, psychedelic-folk-mixed-with-prog-rock– do little to accurately reflect the spectrum of influences on display, let alone the more impactful realization of completeness in Kikagaku Moyo’s songs.

Even as the album’s first song, “Semicircle,” begins gently, it’s colored by a barely-concealed potential to run rampant, a secret stream of sound threatening to become a raging river. Maybe there’s a hint to the complex geometry of Kikagaku Moyo in the song title along; a part of the band’s sound, but owing its nature to being a part of a larger whole.

The contrasting-yet-complimentary conditions of shade and sun both figure prominently throughout “Forest of Lost Children,” this semi-circle, this sphere of sound becoming whole. Perhaps nowhere is this multi-dimensional approach more prominent than on the album’s two longest tracks, “Smoke and Mirrors” and “White Moon,” both as anthemic as they are transcendent.

Easily one of the most shimmering crown-jewels in the rapidly expanding BBiB catalog, look for Kikagaku Moyo and “Forest of Lost Children” to be found taking shape in the expanded minds of listeners everywhere.

Kikagaku Moyo have just released the extraordinary, 3-song, 47-minute explosions that is the “Mammatus Clouds” cassette, available from their Bandcamp page.

“Forest of Lost Children” is to be released May 20, 2014, and available for pre-order here

Kikagaku Moyo will appear at Austin Psych Fest 2014. Read our official Austin Psych Fest 2014 interview with Kikagaku Moyo here

“The experiences of the six bardos do not exist of themselves, they arise from the open space of the primordial nature of mind. Luminosity is the aspect of mind that gives rise to all these appearances: it is the environment that surrounds them, out of which they emerge and into which they dissolve. It is always present, like the sun in the sky, hidden behind clouds. At the moment, because of ignorance of our real nature, we experience everything as the confused manifestations of samsara. The sense of self creates a feeling of solidity, like the apparent solidity of the clouds veiling the face of the sun, but at certain moments a gap is opened up, through which we may receive a glimpse of the light of reality.”

–  Francesca Freemantle, “Luminous Emptiness”





  1. Friday News and Notes | You hear that?!? - October 21, 2016

    […] Just got my ticket for Helado Negro’s show at Strange Matter on 11/7 and was surprised to see another band listed as the headliner: Kikagaku Moyo. Checking them out now, both their album from this year — House in the Tall Grass — and this Revolt of the Apes profile. […]

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