KIKAGAKU MOTO Masana

Pasatiempo - - PASA TEMPOS -

Tem­ples (Gu­ruguru Brain) The sounds of a sitar open Masana Tem­ples, the lat­est record by Ja­panese psy­che­delic band Kikagaku Moyo, with a spot of In­dian mu­sic that un­furls be­fore lis­ten­ers like a lav­ish car­pet. This in­tro­duc­tion leads us to “Drip­ping Sun,” a nearly eight-minute jam spot­ted with bub­bling bass, or­gans, and wah-wah ped­als, of­fer­ing flash­backs and adding Ja­panese lyrics to the head­ier mu­si­cal ex­cur­sions of 1960s Lon­don and San Fran­cisco. The dis­parate in­flu­ences con­tinue through­out the al­bum, as songs like “Fluffy Kos­misch” and “Nana” re­call the French-in­flu­enced retro-fu­tur­ism of Stere­o­lab, while the lilt­ing bal­lad “Or­ange Peel” of­fers an un­der­stated Brazil­ian feel. The glob­al­ized re­sults of the record re­flect the band’s per­sonal trav­els. The mem­bers re­cently up­rooted them­selves from Tokyo; some moved through­out Ja­pan, and oth­ers set­tled in Am­s­ter­dam, be­fore they re­con­vened in Lis­bon to record Masana Tem­ples with noted jazz mu­si­cian Bruno Per­nadas. On pro­duc­tion du­ties, Per­nadas helped the band re­al­ize a rich, finely bal­anced sonic mix, pro­vid­ing Go Kuro­sawa’s drum­ming and Tomo Kat­surada’s myr­iad gui­tar sounds with wide pas­tures in which to roam. While a healthy por­tion of the al­bum is given over to agree­able mid-tempo grooves and sunny melodies, the band also makes sharp turns, speed­ing up the rhythm and go­ing full Tech­ni­color freak­out, as on the back half of “Gath­er­ings.” The time the mu­si­cians spent apart is not ev­i­dent any­where — this is a band that is air­tight, fo­cused, and re­al­iz­ing their vast po­ten­tial. — Robert Ker

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