When the Japanese band Kikagaku Moyo started a few years ago, there were some Mt. Fuji-sized obstacles to overcome. A lot of Japanese clubs require the bands to pay pretty outrageous fees upfront for an event. So Kikagaku Moyo started booking shows themselves, building more of an accessible scene that eventually blossomed into a record label, world tours, and a cult following.
But before all this, Kikagaku Moyo actually had to learn how to play. The members are proudly DIY, not necessarily coming from musical backgrounds but sharing a real love for performance and group harmony. All-night jam sessions built around droning improvisations glued the group together. “Psychedelic [music] is not about playing good,” Kikagaku Moyo told Aquarium Drunkard. “It’s more about collective.”
You can still hear this collective ethos in the band’s latest offering, Stone Garden. As the name suggests, the EP is meditative, even when the guitar solos and psych-damaged atmosphere tip into the red. Kikagaku Moyo’s own name actually translates to Geometric Patterns, and you can hear an intense, purposeful method amidst the madness. “In A Coil” builds a mountainous, Can-esque groove that somehow continuously tops itself with each blistering solo break. And if you want to see this mountain in person–which you probably really should want to do–Kikagaku Moyo plays a rare Austin show tonight at Scottish Rite Theater.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX