K is for Kukan Gendai
space, room, airspace
noun, adverbial noun
nowadays, modern era, modern times, present-day
The bands name does a pretty good job of evoking just what this bands music embodies and manifests itself as. It's a phrase that is semiotically hard to define and comes across more pretentious and sterile than it does insightful or provocative.
"Sterile" is usually an adjective that would have a very negative connotation when attached to a bands sound but it's sterility and minimalism that make this band so compelling to listen to. The Tokyo 3-piece (Drums, Bass, Guit/vocal) formed in 2006 and through the years have refined their unique sound to a mechanical level of precision. Shaving off every excess and grinding down every smooth edge until only the jagged skeletal remains of the track are left. If Battles, Don Caballero and Japan's own Toe are Math Rock then these guys are pretty much just a digital stream of ones and zeros.
This live CD-R was given away with copies of their recently released second album on their most recent tour. The CD's opening track perfectly introduces the bands sound. Sparse polyrhythmic elements slowly come together to reveal a cohesive groove as the track seems to construct itself from the ground up like a mechanised assembly line. The band throw in masterful little extra half beats and phrase repetitions that sound like your CD is skipping just to fuck with you. It's not all souless robotics though as periodically Captain Beefheart-esque asynchronous, atonal vocal and guitar lines weave their way through through the bands maze of rhythms and every once in a while they cut loose just to let you know they still know how to rock out.