HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

30 September 2009

Masaki Batoh - 'Kikaokubeshi' (The Now Sound)

The yin (or maybe yang) to A Ghost From the Darkened Sea, Kikaokubeshi is another six tracks - though this time its longer, slower, and at 33rpm. As well as instrumental, dark, dense and minimal in comparison to Darakened Sea's folky songs. The raging storms of dark psych that Ghost are known for are more prevalent here, though Batoh avoids any obvious guitar heroics or vocalising. 'Magakami' brings in some rock drums and church organ, though it still maintains an anti-rock experimentalism, like a group improvisation to a dark film soundtrack. 'Ebb' begins the second side with some melting vocal mumbles that start to make sense after awhile, though its got that great sound poetry feel, filtered through the rising sun. I infrequently feel the desire to pull this one out, though in the organic drone/psych genre it's first-class. It's not actually all that droney yet it has that huge, expanding "ball of sound feel" and it reminds me of what the psychedelic/minimal underground was doing in the late 90s. It hurts to say this, but this type of music has lost a lot of its value to me. When this came out, sure, it was awesome and refreshing especially given what I was into at the time. But after ten years of a wonderful, dynamic, exciting underground of home-tapers and bedroom psych wizards, I'm no longer looking for this Out sound -- or rather, I don't really think of it as 'out' anymore. When I listen to Batoh's record I don't apply this criticism because it predates that stuff for me, but it's true -- instead of being excited at the nearly infinite amount of underground psych, I just find it all starting to sound the same and my jaded ears gloss over the nuances that make these records so rewarding. Avoiding that gloss is a major challenge for anyone in these media-saturated times and I try my best, but it's inevitable with the onslaught of effects-pedal guitar/synth ambience continually clutttering my inbox of consciousness. I digress, again, and unfairly so; Kikaokubeshi is a winner and I think these days you can get a CD 2-fer with this and Darkened Sea together -- truly the way to go, if you can't score the wax.

No comments:

Post a Comment