Our Daily Bread 475: Kuunatic ‘Gate Of Klüna’.

October 21, 2021

ALBUM REVIEW/Dominic Valvona

Kuunatic ‘Gate Of Klüna’
(Glitterbeat Records) 29th October 2021

Laying down the foundations of an imaginative world of esoteric moon child and harvest adulation, pondered creeps around Shinto shrines and magical Japanese island fantasies on their 2017 EP Kuurandia, the between worlds and realms Kuunatic trio now unleash an even more encompassing conceptual narrative with their debut album, Gate Of Klüna.

In a way more in tune with their new label mates Lucidvox, the Tokyo-borne siren deities transform and then propel their homeland’s traditional ceremonies, rituals, exotic dances into a post-punk vision of the supernatural and progressive.

It’s said (in the PR notes and band quotes) that Kuunatic can’t be easily categorised or contained, fluctuating as they do on this mini odyssey that takes in Samurai Macbeth atmospheres and rollicking drum barrages and hallucinatory psychedelia.  It’s both a traversing and driving musical and voiced journey, which evokes snatches of The Raincoats, Slits, Itchy-O, Au Pairs, Black Angels and Acid Mothers Temple, whilst also paying respect to atavistic Japanese traditions. Because amongst the edgy doom, chaos, beaten drums and spikier punk moments you’ll hear the band’s keyboardist and vocalist Fumie Kikuchi playing a lighter, bird-like swirled Kagura flute, which sounds like a spirit lifting itself out of the heavier brooding maelstroms of ritualistic and ghostly ancestor invocations. The Japanese sound is unmistakable despite where it is taken – sometimes drifting into the Rus and Southeast Asia -, but the scope is large, inter-dimensional even. That moniker itself (or at least the “Kuu” part) derives from the Finnish for “moon” – inspired by the band’s original Finnish guitarist Sanni.

The album comes with (well in the notes for critics) a descriptive narrative; each track representing a chapter in a metaphorical, allegorical and plain fantastic story of pre-Christian venerated paeans, tolled bells for a new epoch and battles with cataclysmic volcanic erupted invaders. It’s their planet, and anything can happen to it; from pastoral celebratory mantra declarations that a Queen Harvest will surely come, to shuttered percussive psych-punk dances and magic mushroom visions.

Japanese music as you’ve seldom heard it – unless you were an avid reader of Julian Cope’s Japrock Sampler guide book -, Kuunatic offer a both unnerving and spectacular vision of the exotic, esoteric and ancient; moving between spiritual realms to conjure up a magical fantasy of doom, post-punk and experimental chanted brilliance.   

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

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