It’s hard to suppress a smile with the news Kikagaku Moyo is back for another round on the speakers so soon after their lush masterpiece House In The Tall Grass landed last year. The previous album has hardly left the turntable around here and while the stopgap EP, Stone Garden, is a leap away from the pastoral tranquility that rounded out House, it serves as a call back to their more improvisational beginnings. The EP was carved out of freeform sessions in Prague, finding their way home to refined versions back in Tokyo. The first shot out of the gate rattles the listener out of the comfortable cocoon Kikagaku Moyo left us in. It’s a fuzz riddled stalk through the night with an air of danger dialed in.
Tonally they don’t embrace the menace, though, as they return to buzzing drones and winding sitars by the time the second track “Nobakitani rolls around. Each of the five tracks shows off a side of the band’s psychedelic fortitude – from instrumental fry to languid pools of acoustic shimmer and driving psych buckshot. Naturally, this is not as complete a statement as House In The Tall Grass, but it’s brevity is no discount to the band’s ability to wield tumultuous rhythm and crystalline serenity in equal measure. This isn’t the band’s next great leap, but it’s a pretty nice piece of their overall puzzle.
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