Review Summary: YOUR HEAD ASPLODE
There was a time this last winter when I would get home from school and the sun would be setting. Ignoring any homework I had, I would retreat to the depths of my room, put on Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
and play Super Mario Sunshine. It may seem like an odd juxtaposition of music and game, but oddly enough, it was perfect for the conflicting moods of depression and the desire to get away from it for me. In June, as summer set in, my focus changed to Mario Kart: Double Dash! and with it my musical muse became Kitaro. After having a powerful experiencing while listening to Astral Voyage
for the first time, I moved to Full Moon Story
the following night. In fact, I believe I was drinking Mountain Dew: Code Red while listening to it, and it was quite the mindblowing experience.
Although the experience of listening to Full Moon Story
can at times be one of terror rather than of relaxation, unlike Kitaro’s other work, it’s just as mind-bending as anything else. He eases you into the world he creates with the sound of flowing water, dripping synths, and a hooting owl, a moment which recalls Can’s “Sing Swan Song,” which ironically was also made by a Japanese man only six years prior to the recording of Full Moon Story
, the difference being, of course, that “Damo Suzuki ain’t got nothin’ on Kitaro.” Like Astral Voyage
, after we are abruptly cast into Kitaro’s strange world, we are given no exit from it, though there is one exception here. Kitaro makes but one mistake, which is the inclusion of a strange a-capella group chant halfway through side one. It rudely jettisons the listener from what he has created and nearly sours the rest of the experience, as it fills so out of place amongst the other tracks that blend together so smoothly. The interweaving synth melodies are as captivating as ever, if not more so, and the production is better this time around so the details don’t get lost in a sea of distortion as often as they did on Astral Voyage
Like Truman Burbank once said, it is true that you really get the whole kitten-kaboodle with Full Moon Story
. You get the improvised synth build-ups backed by repeating melodies, occasional acoustic guitar, and tribal drums to drive the more anthemic pieces. His music combines melodies of the eastern world with western instrumentation, and although his critics would point out that too often repetition hinders the competance of his music, Kitaro faithful can attest that it does not, as it creates a trance-like state in the mind of the listener. It’s the kind of music that’s perfect for sitting back and letting your mind take you off, but one must be warned because when the synth melodies delve into the creepy side of the spectrum, the results can be off-putting. At about forty-five minutes in length, Full Moon Story
may seem overlong, but having both quantity and quality is hardly a complaint.
I highly recommend that you peruse local thrift stores for Kitaro’s work, because there really isn’t any reason not to. And believe me, it is a good feeling when you stumble upon something this amazing and obscure.
[In a jaded hippie voice]: I don't know man. Like all of them.