Japanese psychedelic band Kikagaku Moyo
is recast in the 1970s by illustrator Alessio Vitelli for #GucciGig featuring #GucciEyewear.
It’s an apt description of the Japanese band’s music, who create songs that build up to create lush, structured pieces. It didn’t start out that way — the members began busking on the Tokyo street and embraced psychedelic music because it meant they didn’t have to be as technical as their peers. They wanted to have fun playing meditative drones together.
For #GucciGig Italian illustrator Alessio Vitelli’s rainbow-colored posters for Kikagaku Moyo captures the band’s psychedelic music vibe. The posters reference bands like Queen and Pink Floyd but the style is also completely current. Lost in their own world, the band wear Gucci’s pilot glasses—some with yellow lenses—like they’re about to take off with Jefferson Airplane.
The five-piece is a combination of propulsive drums and guitar — a lot of guitar. Bass, electric, and sitar jam together into rock and roll that’s recognizable and interplanetary at the same time. Ryu Kurosawa, who plays the sitar, studied in India under the virtuoso Manilal Nag. Soft, almost whispered lyrics blend into epic, noisy solos.
The band members were familiar with psychedelia because of Japan’s own hippie movement in the 1960s, but the scene for their music in their home country was small. They found success touring abroad in Europe and the United States, including at psychedelia festivals—at one point they started their own in Tokyo. Now, their sprawling albums are put out on their own label, GuruGuru Brain, which signs other Asian psychedelic bands as well.
When asked about their recent influences, Kikagaku Moyo said it’s all about movies—B-movies, sci-fi, and fantasy from the 1980s. It doesn’t have to be arthouse. What’s important is the unchecked creativity of the relative amateur, the spirit of having fun.
— Kyle Chayka