Kikagaku Moyo


The Beauty Witch have compiled a treat for those in Manchester this evening, with Gorilla taking centre focus.

Opening proceedings, we have local band Inland Taipan, who have a new line up which incorporates additional viola and violin. The ethereal vocals and frantic guitar notes are complimented beautifully by the strings and create an other worldly feel from start to finish. It’s certainly not the happiest music you’ll ever listen to, but there are no holds barred and the delivery is mesmerising. People are impressed, that’s clear to see.

The headliners are Kikagaku Moyo (Japanese for geometric patterns), a Tokyo-originated but now Berlin-based psych outfit whose sound incorporates elements of krautrock, Indian ragas and acid folk. They balance heavy, crushing jams with softer, more contemplative moments, recalling Japanese psych groups like Acid Mothers Temple and Ghost, as well as their predecessors such as Far East Family Band and the Flower Travellin’ Band. The group was founded during the summer of 2012 by drummer/vocalist Go Kurosawa and guitarist/vocalist Tomo Katsurada. Joined by bassist Kotsuguy, guitarist Daoud Popal, sitarist Ryu Kurosawa, and guest vocalist/theremin player Angie Gotopo, the group recorded its self-titled debut in 2013. Two more albums followed in 2014, Mammatus Clouds and Forest of Lost Children, and they soon became darlings of the international psychedelic scene. In 2015, the group shared split 7″ singles with Moon Duo as well as Kinski and Acid Mothers Temple leader Makoto Kawabata. In 2016, the group’s fourth album, House in the Tall Grass, was released by Japanese DIY label Guruguru Brain and their latest LP Masana Temples, was released in October.

They start with what feels like a heavily improvised instrumental number but yet is clearly a cleverly coordinated piece, channelling all of the genres mentioned. The motorik beat drives the track and it’s the perfect introduction to their set. Highlights from the set include ‘Green Sugar’ from House in the Tall Grass with its stunning kraut rock countenance driving the track, with psychedelic smatterings overlaying to create an intoxicating mixture of sound.

‘Dripping Sun’, the groove laden lead track from the last LP is a track of contrasts; a funk groove is overlaid with psychedelic riffs to create something that falls in between. Its infectious vibe permeates to set feet tapping before changing tact to a slower, more melodic number with vocals being added as the final piece of the puzzle. ‘Kodama’ is a fan favourite, and its opening chords generate a cheer from the audience. Like most of their songs, it’s repetition that makes the tracks so contagious, add the intricate elements that overlay and you have something that’s really hard not to move to. The rest of the set is executed to the highest standard and fans leave the venue with a happy glow.

Kikagaku Moyo: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.