Tuesday, 15 April 2014

the sitar is back

This year is looking like it's going to be the year of the sitar with several of the new psych bands starting to include that evocative sound in their tracks... and who could have guessed there could be that revival a few years back.
But it's a tricky bundle of strings to get your fingers around and just because you play a guitar it doesn't always mean the sitar is going to be an easy crossover. Sure you can drone away on it nicely without too much effort but to get that Shankar attack that we all want to hear there's going to be a lot of pulling of them wires. It'll shred your delicate guitar shredding fingers in no time. And forget about attempting Shankar's speed that's gonna need a master and years of experience. George Harrison as we all know was a devoted servant to the instrument but he knew just how far he could go with that ancient of sounds and had the home grown talent to surround him when things became complex.
So these new psyche bands wanting to have a taste of the sitar in their tracks are right at the beginning stages. Hope they keep working on it though.. there's always an exciting fusion when rock meets the East.

So with Kikagaku Moyo the East is really meeting rock's East. These 5 guys from Japan have got a great sound. Their track “Streets of Calcutta” is an advance taste of their new album 'Forest of Lost Children' due for release in May, and like many of the Japanese players their enthusiasm matches the quality of the playing. No slurred background texture for the sitar here, oh no it's right up front with one great riff and plenty of attack.
The track starts off like a raw garage early Santana in rhythm and atmosphere.. similarly catch those background shouts early on adding to that vibe, then the sitar drills home the main riff with some sharp improvising from the guitars and the sitar for the playout . Dammit, these Japanese players are often so good technically, and they don't lose a thing in how this rocks. Really infectious tune.
Kikagaku Moy are touring the States soon and if they can capture this energy on stage they are going to lift the roof off a fare few venues.
Go to their record label, beyondbeyondisbeyond for the tour dates and pre-ordering the album.