JAPANESE psych-rock septet TEKE::TEKE, who these days call not only Montreal but Kill Rock Stars home, are pleased as punch to reveal their debut set for the label, Shirushi, will be released on May 7th. And so are we, so are we: pleased as punch, that is.
The band formed in 2018, initially just for the kicks of performing a a one-off instrumental tribute show to Japanese guitar hero Takeshi Terauchi, and whose “Chidori”, which we chronicled as “a cracking slice of psych-scifi-surf groove to cut a rug to”, they dropped as half of a groovy twosome upon signing on the dotted for the fine Olympia label. (Our words on that here).
The band have also shared the video for their deeply quirky, propulsive new single, “Meikyu” – you can watch that below. We’re kind like that. The song’s a swirling melange of surf guitar, impassioned vocals, trilling flutes, psych propulsion, heavy chaos, the kind of brilliance Japanese psych bands can only bring us. It’s as if Andy Votel’s and David Holmes’ 7″ boxes entered a state of radioactive instability and started emitting isotopes. Think Dick Dale, think Masahiko Sato, think Deerhoof; and if there’s a script for Kill Bill 3 knocking around, well … ‘
“Musically, we wanted a fast-paced, repetitive pattern that would have a hypnotic and unnerving effect,” the band explain.
Singer Maya Kuroki continues: “The song tells the story of a young character trying to escape the grasp of a twisted spirit that took the form of a labyrinth-like mansion in a psychedelic atmosphere, slightly inspired by visuals from Japanese art-horror flick Hausu.”
The rather fine accompanying video also comes courtesy the band themselves – with animation from guitarist Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier along with vocalist and visual artist Kuroki.
“When plans with a hired animator fell through, Maya and I decided to take things into our own hands,” Serge says. Kuroki adds: “I’ll make some drawings or paintings and then use whatever tools we have, learn new software on the spot and ways of working as we go.’
Their debut album, whose title means “sign of big changes to come”, was inspired by the Japanese practice of kintsugi, the art of mending broken pottery by fusing the pieces back together with seams of gold, silver, or platinum lacquer.
“There’s always something hopeful that comes after destruction,” Serge notes. “Next comes rebirth, and we get to learn again.”
The album glues classic Japanese balladry, surf rock, psychedelia, and more together into a set of songs that play like soundtracks to a wildly eccentric epic film saga. Can’t wait, me.
TEKE::TEKE’s Shirushi will be released by Kill Rock Stars digitally, on CD, and on trad black and red vinyl come May 7th; do what you know you need to do and get your pre-order in with the label, here.