Music Review | posted 29.10.2021
Kuunatic
Gate Of Klüna
Glitterbeat, 2021
Text Kristoffer Cornils
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Cover Kuunatic -     Gate Of Klüna

Psych’s not dead, and although the ongoing revival of the genre is probably due to the success of its lukewarm renditions through Tame Impala, it has also led to (more) interesting developments. While Psych rock has a long tradition of working with oriental(ist) motifs, a new generation of bands, from Kikagaku Moyo to everybody’s favourite indie psych band Khruangbin, has shifted the focus to South and Southeast Asian influences. Kuunatic could almost be included in this list, if their approach didn’t go much further – also in concrete geographic-cultural terms. The Tokyo trio still more or less picks up on the tradition of Japanese psych and noise rock starting with Les Rallizes Denudés to Boredoms and especially the more recent releases of YoshimiO’s projects OOIOO and SAICOBAB, but like the latter they pursue a decidedly intercultural approach and thus break away from the musical conventions of fuzz-driven jams. Thus their debut album Gate Of Klüna is infused with a psychedelic feeling above all, and not so much adhering to tried and tested formulas. Fumie C. Kikuchi, Shoko Yoshida and Yuko Araki may form a rock trio at the core, but they also work with instruments from the pool of classical Japanese music and use dub techniques, glistening synthesizers, lots of flutes and above all drums, drums, drums to break away from conventional structures. This wild mix of styles is held together by the vocals of the three, who usually sing in piercing unison with each other or, as on the free-form finale, the gamelan-inspired »Para Bennyà,« indugle in canon-like vocal cacophony. Thematically, »Gate of Klüna« is held together by the idea of an alien planet to which Kuunatic set off in 2017 with the eponymous EP »Kuurandia,« and in a way this helps in understanding this music: yes, somehow this is still psych rock, supplemented by rhythms from all over the world and occasionally breaking out into no-wave-like understatement. Above all, however, it succeeds in doing what most psych bands, despite their intentions, fail to provide their audiences with. »Gate of Klüna« however offers music from other spheres and, on top of that, takes the listener on a journey exactly there. Psych’s not dead, it’s just changed its cosmic address.

Please find »Gate of Klüna« by Kuunatic in the webshop of HHV Records: Vinyl LP
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