Pin It
Favorite

Sounds from the Great Beyond 

Kawabata Makoto fights with his guitar to tame the sounds of space.

click to enlarge Kawabata Makoto performing with Acid Mothers Temple at Object Space in 2009. - JOSLYN CAIN
  • Joslyn Cain
  • Kawabata Makoto performing with Acid Mothers Temple at Object Space in 2009.

If you’ve seen someone try to hold a really pissed-off cat, then you have a good idea of what Kawabata Makoto looks like as he plays guitar. It’s as if he’s struggling to calm a beast — one that could escape his grip at any second. Playing guitar is a full-body struggle: a human funnel cloud of hair and fingers and wobbly, barely stable legs.

But some of the greatest rock musicians are the ones who beat up their instruments: Jimi Hendrix would embrace his guitar as if he were in a co-dependent relationship with it, only to light it on fire in the end. John Bonham hunched over his drum kit, pounding as if he were exorcising demons from the depths of his soul with every hit.

Makoto, the hypnotic guitarist in the Japanese psychedelic rock band Acid Mothers Temple, might be remembered in the same way if psychedelic, experimental krautrock made by an underground Japanese band ever becomes mainstream.

But Makoto’s newest project, with Pikachu Yasashii (formerly of Japanese girl punk duo Afrirampo), might have the best chance of any of his projects: Afrirampo became a Pitchfork.com favorite after touring with Sonic Youth and performing alongside Yoko Ono in 2005.

In their collaborative effort, simply called Pikachu * Makoto, Makoto’s riffs are sassed up by Pikachu, who wails nasally like Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill but plays drums with a Keith Moon recklessness.

Not a lot has been said about the Makoto-Pikachu effort, and setting the record straight is difficult if you don’t know Japanese. In an email interview with Makoto, The Inlander gleaned few bits of information from the guitarist: The duo’s first album is in the works, their onstage performances are mostly improvised, and one of Makoto’s biggest inspiration is Captain Beefheart (really?).

But through lines of broken English, the guitarist made one thing clear: Music is not something he feels he is creating — it comes from elsewhere.

What inspires you to create?

Makoto: All music comes from my cosmos. I try to be just great tuner.

How would you describe your writing process?

My cosmos tell me what to play, that’s all!

How much experimentation do you do onstage?

My cosmos tell me what to play, that’s all!

What are you thinking about as you play?

One thing, I try to be a better tuner for my cosmos.

So maybe Kawabata Makoto (or any of those great rock musicians, for that matter) isn’t wrestling with his own demons. Maybe he is merely a conduit conveying messages from somewhere far, far away.

Pikachu * Makato performs with Mugu Guymen, Space Movies and Hooves • Mon, May 2, at 6 pm • Object Space • 1818 E. Sprague Ave. • $5 • All-ages

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in

  • Faith in Rap
  • Faith in Rap

    Despite its detractors, Christian hip-hop continues to grow in the mainstream, and Andy Mineo is leading the charge
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • From the Old School
  • From the Old School

    Holy Grail's sound draws from traditional heavy metal, and fans don't always understand it
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • The Rumours Are 
True
  • The Rumours Are True

    Pony Time is excited to be making music in Seattle right now
    • Apr 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Listener, Everett, the Bight, Blacktracks, Boat Race Weekend

Listener, Everett, the Bight, Blacktracks, Boat Race Weekend @ The Big Dipper

Wed., May 4, 7:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft

    After three decades of Melvins records, Buzz Osborne makes an awesome album by himself
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Good Spins

    Local bands keep putting out new music worthy of your ear holes
    • Apr 21, 2016
  • One Night at the Bayou

    Moscow doesn't have many all-ages music venues; now, four roommates offer up their basement
    • Apr 7, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


Metal


Music


Readers also liked…

  • Fresh Spin
  • Fresh Spin

    A local record shop is reincarnated under a new owner, giving this generation a taste of vinyl
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • Taking the Lead
  • Taking the Lead

    Gillian Welch's almost-silent partner leads a true "supergroup" in the Dave Rawlings Machine
    • Sep 17, 2014

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation