Kikagaku Moyo progressed from early days in Tokyo’s experimental scene to traveling the world with their mind-bending sounds, exploring different facets of psychedelia on each new release and blowing minds with a live show that was just as searching as their records. The shifting dimensions of Masana Temples are informed by various experiences the band had with traveling through life together, ranging from the months spent on tour to making a pilgrimage to Lisbon to record the album with jazz musician Bruno Pernadas. The songs came together in the wake of the band breaking up the communal house most of them had shared in Tokyo, with some members relocating to Amsterdam, and others moving to different parts of Japan. Transitioning from being based in the scene they had roots in to scattering around various locales made for an even more enhanced understanding of how mystically connected the sum of their parts were when the band reunited to record new material. The music is the product of time spent in motion and all of the bending mindsets that come with it.
The band sought out Pernadas both out of admiration for his music and in an intentional move to work with a producer who came from a wildly different background. With Masana Temples, the band wanted to challenge their own concepts of what psychedelic music could be. Elements of both the attentive folk and wild-eyed rocking sides of the band are still intact throughout Masana Temples, but they’re sharper and more defined. Without sacrificing any of their experimental impulses, songs are more composed and cohesive. Pernadas’ bright production meets with nearly telepathically locked-in performances, on both lazy cloud-like jaunts like “Nazo Nazo” or fuzzed-out expeditions like lead single “Gatherings”. Drummer/vocalist Go Kurosawa, guitarist/vocalist Tomo Katsurada, bassist Kotsuguy, sitar and keyboard player Ryu Kurosawa and guitarist Daoud Popal Akira act as a unit, with an intuitive attention to space and dynamics that could only come from years of playing together in every imaginable setting.