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Ryley Walker/Kikagaku Moyo - Deep Fried Grandeur Music Album Reviews

Ryley Walker/Kikagaku Moyo - Deep Fried Grandeur Music Album Reviews
The jam-heavy live set captured between Walker’s four-piece band and the Japanese psych-prog quintet is a heady meeting of the minds.

Ryley Walker’s got jokes. By now, the songwriter might even be as known for his witty, self-skewering online presence as for his increasingly weird, increasingly excellent psych-folk. But one of his recent gags has nothing to do with the former and everything to do with the latter. In 2019, Walker launched Husky Pants Records, a “joke record label” (his words) for a series of minor releases. Was it really just for kicks? Or is Walker deflecting, setting a low bar to relieve some pressure before releasing honest and vulnerable music out into the world? He has blurred that line before.
Either way, Walker’s having the last laugh with Deep Fried Grandeur, which was released on Husky Pants after multiple labels passed on it; the record recently hit No. 1 on Bandcamp’s best-selling list. The album, a live collaboration between Walker’s four-piece band and the Japanese psych-prog quintet Kikagaku Moyo, documents their set from the music festival Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 2018; the album’s title is how they appeared on the festival’s bill. The organizers had asked Walker to choose another artist for a one-time jam, and his pick was no head-scratcher. Walker’s Deafman Glance and Kikagaku Moyo’s Masana Temples, both released earlier that year, shared similar cycles of gentle dis- and re-orientation, a sense of constantly interrupted traction, like getting lost in a huge cavernous art museum and passing through vastly different soft-lit rooms while repeatedly finding and losing the exit route. With only one afternoon to rehearse, the two bands hit the stage and hit it off.

Deep Fried Grandeur, split into two halves for vinyl purposes but really a product of about five independent movements, is an instrumental, krautrock-ish noodle journey that spans the spectrum from tactile texture-crafting to supercharged drives. In the first half of part two, “Shrinks the Day,” the scenery changes dramatically around a hoedown pulse. Ryu Kurosawa’s scorpion-like sitar pierces the quiet, but soon it takes off sprinting into a wide-open field, flipping into a major-key. The pile of sounds from these nine musicians were touched up for the album by Cooper Crain of Bitchin Bajas and CAVE, and comparing the final version to a bootleg of the actual performance reveals modest but shrewd edits: a guitar effect is enhanced here, a transitory section shortened there. It’s still a faithful document, and it sounds better trimmed and toned.

What Deep Fried Grandeur doesn’t have is that back-pocket compass of the best semi-rehearsed, semi-improvised jams, the kind where you have no idea where it’s headed but still give yourself over to it. It’s more like hopping in their backseat while they cruise through some hilly countryside roads that nobody knows intimately well, but aren’t brutally tough to navigate. The shifts are gradual, never on a dime, and the ride doesn’t toy with your memory by returning to melodic motifs after long, digressive stretches. Deep Fried Grandeur has a certain shelf life, but then again, the spirit of its origins was all about bright, short-lived sparks. You savor the brief chemistry, and then part ways, remembering it fondly.

Above all, Deep Fried Grandeur is just a joy to visualize. It’s nice enough to imagine yourself at the scene of two touring-calloused psych bands from opposite sides of the globe colliding on a third continent and immediately having a long, advanced conversation in a shared language. But it’s just as fun to picture the Can, Blue Cheer, and Grateful Dead songs that probably reached their headphones and car stereos at a similar time in Tokyo and Rockford, Illinois, years and years ago, setting the crash course into motion.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ryley Walker/Kikagaku Moyo - Deep Fried Grandeur Music Album Reviews Ryley Walker/Kikagaku Moyo - Deep Fried Grandeur Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 Rating: 5

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