By Kieran Webber
The three piece from Tokyo, Japan cultivate a sound and atmosphere that few others can, in a world of saturation they harvest something unique. The trio integrates heavy psychedelia with traditional Japanese music which creates an outlandish soundscape. The way that the two worlds collide throughout their ‘KUURANDIA’ EP is breathtaking and almost incomprehensible, it’s a whirlwind of heavy psychedelic beats matched with drawn out guitar backed by a tribal overtone which is present in the percussion and vocals.
Opening track ‘Distant Song’ encompasses the tribal setting with it’s pulsing drum section backed by high pitched chants. The vocals become almost celestial in nature and are backed by the occasional strike of the guitar, which acts as the songs anchor, ensuring the track remains grounded.
Psychedelia has a tendency to drift into different soundscapes, creating different imagery and emotions. Personally I feel psychedlia is at its strongest when it is making you feel on edge or uneasy and this is exactly where KUUNATIC finds its strength. This is felt particularly in ‘Spiral Halt’ as it’s dark and winding bassline for fronted by the Japanese vocals creates a tense atmosphere. The sense of foreboding created throughout is gut wrenching but it keeps the listener holding on in hope of some respite.
However, that respite will not be found within this four track EP, the dark overtones hang throughout particularly in closing track ‘Battle Of The Goddesses’, the thumping percussion with the swirling bassline feels like a track that warriors of evil would march to, it’s at its core haunting.
However, through the dark tones and unsettling atmosphere there are moments of incredible musicianship and genuine musical diversity. Their blend of traditional Japanese music that is cast into the psychedelic realm creates something that few if anyone has heard.
It’s hard to review music such as this due to its open nature, each listener will find their own meaning to it and their own feeling, which in turn is what makes this four track EP fascinating. For this record you should ignore the rating, ignore what I have written and listen for yourself, for my word are my representation of their body of art. Listen and succumb to their creativity.
You can Listen to ‘KUURANDIA’ in full here: