UNCUT - - New Al­bums - JOhNNy ShARp

Masana Tem­ples GU­RUGURU BRAiN 7/10 Ja­panese psych quin­tet step it up

Now re­lo­cated to Am­s­ter­dam from Tokyo and run­ning their own la­bel, Kik­aguku Moyo (“Geo­met­ric Pat­terns” in Eng­lish) sound more as­sured than ever on this fourth al­bum. You’ll find less me­an­der­ing jam­ming than on 2016’s House In The Tall Grass and more fo­cused, flinty grooves. They may re­tain a proggy pen­chant for antsy time sig­na­tures, but it’s framed within some win­ningly repet­i­tive, min­i­mal­ist and funky gui­tar mo­tifs and es­o­teric vo­cal hooks on tracks such as “Nana”, while the hop­scotch­ing rhythms, parp­ing bass and creamy male-fe­male vo­cal har­monies of “Ma­ju­pose” re­call Stere­o­lab at their most jazz-fan­cy­ing. Best of all is “Gath­er­ing”’s glo­ri­ously hyp­notic krautrock chug, ini­tially laced with trippy tick­les of gui­tar be­fore the tempo rises and the track bursts into riff-fu­elled flame.

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