Some tight and powerful psych jams here from Tokyo’s Sundays & Cybele, brought to you by Brooklyn’s Beyond Beyond is Beyond records. And you can skip the whole “should I buy the vinyl or just grab the tape” debate in your head since Heaven is a tape only release. So put some fresh D batteries in the boombox, click that Buy Now button and get your daily fix of Japanese acid psych!
Describing music of great power and great expanse as â€ścinematicâ€ť can be fitting, if perhaps overused. When it comes to the music of Tokyoâ€™s Sundays and Cybele, itâ€™s incredibly appropriate.
â€śSundays and Cybeleâ€ť is the title of a 1962 French film directed by Serge Bourguignon, and the winner of an Oscar that year for â€śBest Foreign Language Film.â€ť Conversely, â€śHeavenâ€ť is the title of the 2015 album from Sundays and Cybele, a Japanese band speaking the universal language of explosive, kaleidoscopic sound, for a result easily translated as both heavy and heavenly.
â€śHeavenâ€ť announces its intentions immediately; opening track â€śBlack Rainbowsâ€ť takes to the skies in an initially unhinged manner, sounding as much like an ending as a beginning, before a gate-crashing bass line drops us firmly into the overdriven world of Sundays and Cybele. If youâ€™ve ever yearned to hear an Orange amp threaten to explode in a transcendent array of colors, â€śHeavenâ€ť is the album for you. â€śAlmost Heavenâ€ť follows, providing evidence that Sundays and Cybele seem always to be reaching for peak experience, here demonstrated by a lead guitar break that seems to merge the differences between Ash Ra Tempel and The Dead Boys into a single, illuminating whole.
Since 2004, Sundays and Cybele has functioned as essentially the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Kazuo Tsubouchi. On â€śHeaven,â€ť Tsubouchiâ€™s reach seems to aim even higher than ever before. At just over eight minutes, â€śNight Predatorâ€ť is the longest song on the album, one that begins with a jaunty, upbeat melody that would seem to slightly betray the songâ€™s title. Yet thereâ€™s something in the brittle, bruised stabs of guitar that punctuate the song that makes it clear the intent here is to draw blood â€“ or at least bare its teeth. The same could be said of following track â€śEmpty Seasâ€ť or, indeed, of the full album â€śHeavenâ€ť in and of itself. Sundays and Cybele possess a preternatural ability to infuse the straightforward with a strong shot of weirdness, which in turn allows their weirder moments to feel incredibly straightforward and easily translated.
â€śHinagikuâ€ť and â€śTime Mirrorâ€ť end the album on what, out of context, could easily be heard as a melancholy note. Given the extraordinary fuzz pedal abuse of the albumâ€™s previous twenty-six minutes, however, these two songs sound like Sundays and Cybele having reached their unreachable goal of â€śHeaven,â€ť before floating away on another boundless, burning excursion. Heaven only knows where theyâ€™ll take us next. â€“ Ryan Muldoon, revoltoftheapes.com
releases 31 July 2015
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive