Pikacyu*Makoto ‘OM sweet home – we are shining stars from dark side’ (riot season). One of three forthcoming must have releases from the Riot Season sound lab – the others being Hey Colossus and Dead Elephant – both of whom equally loved here will feature to much brimming praise in a forthcoming missive shortly – though for now its this debut collaboration that’s been hogging the hi-fi of late and with good reason. Those of you who had occasion to hear the Acid Mothers face off with Stearica last year may have been pleasantly surprised at the way Makoto and Co where put through their paces – for between the grooves the usual trademark loose limbed freak outs and lengthy jams where buttressed and hauled in to an often tight discipline that saw everything from psyche, ambience, prog and dream pop being coerced from AMT’s formidable canon. We only mention this because we did at the time think we’d heard the last for a long while at least of an AMT platter sounding – well – not like an AMT platter. Think again.

Enter stage left Pikacyu of Afrirampo fame and Mokoto together as Pikacyu*Makoto not for the first time as both collaborated with their respective collectives for the hip joined Acid Mothers Afrirampo set way back in 2005. Limited to just 1000 CD only copies via Riot Season the pair rekindle their collective muse for ‘OM sweet home – we are shining stars from dark side’ – a thirteen track set that fractures, splinters and warps we suspect like no other record you’ll hear all this year. Playful and mellow – now there’s a descriptive word or two that rarely enter the Makoto vocabulary, those of you well versed in Mokoto’s collaborations thinking to yourselves how familiar it is to find him unwittingly taking over the proceedings may want to reconsider your position for this is Makoto in more considered and conciliatory mood allowing Pikacyu to take up the baton and take it she does pretty much leading Mokoto in turns by the nose or else dragging him by the hair across a multi disciplined genre defying set amid whose varied sonic tinkering breaches aspects of art / psych / jazz (as on the skewed art jazz math fusion of ’pigamelan-me gamelan’) / prog rock as well as no wave, nu wave and oddball grooves (the schizoid freefall of ‘pop! Spece! Jump!)..

Now there is shall we say a certain degree of the screwball here – those of you well versed in all things frank chickens (especially on the wired and crooked bubble grooved wonkyness of the wiggy ‘wild rose‘ itself impishly nodding to action paint bomb pop of her former charges), pop off Tuesday and native hipsters may well indeed crack a crafty smile for Pikacyu is as clearly bonkers as a box of Bjork’s her freaky vocals teetering insanely between out there spaced out caterwauling, to excitable child like shrieks and delightfully demurring kooky coos which often aside giving a freeform feel exudes the notion that she’s not quite on the same page as her erstwhile partner in crime who here appears happy to act out as her foil foistering flippantly fractured fringe flicking riff follies for fun.

‘om sweet home…’ is as devilishly distracting and fracturing as it is disjointed, its neglect of conformity or any identifiable pattern or given approach means that it leaves the would be listener constantly reeling wrong footed, that’s not to say its un-listenable or hard work – it clearly isn’t – in fact it finds Mokoto for his part delivering some of his most potent licks for what seems like an age and more. Opening to the almost mystical like Tibetan monastic chants of ‘OM marijana FU?’ (the same track is revisited later on wherein its housed within a far out and sultry Asian mantra whose timeless curve peels away to a lost primordial tongue) the set soon blisters into the bearded stoner gouging 70’s swamp fuzz of ‘birth star’ – a colossally mesmerising nugget clipped with Pikacyu’s almost Sonja Kristina weird folk like dream tones erupting and splintering in its final throes to find Makoto jettisoning off on some mind wiring kraut rocking trip towards the depths of the third eye. While elsewhere things are flipped on their head for ‘the ginger chai’ as the onset of opining bliss tipped post rock like purrs weave deliriously into a line blurring dream popped psychotropic carnival which like ‘om marjana FU’ is loosely retraced on ‘back to your house over the rainbow’ allowing Makoto ample opportunity to exert some wig flipping pyrotechnic riffola. Easily filed under freakishly fried.

 published – June 2011

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