CHIKA RADAR #24: プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga)

CHIKA RADAR #24: プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga)

Today, our Chika Radar will tell us more about プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga), an idol unit inspired by psychedelic and raga rock.

Fans of psychedelic rock, get ready for the latest Chika Radar discovery: we are getting to know a new unit entirely based on this style, mixing modern idol elements with that half a century old sound.

プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga) is a group born last year whose concept revolves around the good old psychedelic/raga rock sound of the late Sixties and early Seventies; not the recent revivals, not the most accessible variants, but a quite experimental and yet still faithful take on the original sound, even sort of reproducing a similar sound quality.

The unit features five members:

  • にしざあ みずき (Nishizaa Mizuki)
  • 宵待 月 (Yoimachi Yue)
  • 降旗 嶺緒奈 (Furihata Reona)
  • 夏来 彩世 (Natsuki Ayase)
  • 宮本 煌 (Miyamoto Koh)

But let’s find out about their music: Psyche and Raga recently published visualizers on their YouTube channel for their first couple of singles, “タランチュラ” (Tarantula) and “Kiss my Shadow”.

As expected, the music is quite otherworldly: sudden tempo changes, unusual instruments coming out of nowhere and a generally weird atmosphere; at the same time, the most idol-ish aspect of this sound is the catchiness of the vocal lines. Both the tracks have their own quirks, like the dreamlike accordion in he first and the tribal rhythms in the latter.

Besides these visualizers, you can also find some live videos on their channel; I recommend you to take a look there, since this group seems really interesting.

Psyche and Raga are already searching members for the second generation; the audition process has already started and they aim to have the new members ready around March or April.

始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground) – ハレルヤ (Hallelujah)

始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground)

始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground) are back with a single titled ハレルヤ (Hallelujah), a mind-blowing and psychedelic rock song with an even weirder MV.

Somehow I was almost missing this MV, and when I miss something it’s usual something big; especially in this case, since we’re dealing with 始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground). Needless to say, “ハレルヤ” (Hallelujah) is one of the best songs I’ve heard in the last few weeks. Are you ready for a creepy-yet-fascinating time travel? If not, get ready anyway, as we are going back of a few decades.

The song seems to come straight from the 70s, shamelessly drawing from the psychedelic rock sound of those years. The rich and obsessive drum beat, the repetitive bassline, the kaleidoscopic guitars making use of the weirdest and most alien-sounding effects and some elegant piano notes in the background: everything is ready to travel back to the past, when this otherworldly kind of music gave us a lot of influential bands. Of course, the three girls of Shihatsu-machi Underground join this trippy mess with their vocals, shining especially during the chorus.

The video looks as old-ish as the music, all shot in black and white and featuring what seems to be Cthulhu’s younger brother carried in a bag by a cool-looking guy, which then proceeds to impress a beautiful girl by feeding it with a parfait; meanwhile, Shihatsu-machi Underground seems to be astonished by something high up in the sky… but I’ll let you guess what it is.

Anyway, this group keeps impressing me with their uniqueness, taking back a music style which today is obviously not as big as before, but still manages to entertain us with its mind-blowing sounds. Shihatsu-machi Underground know that this genre still has a lot of potential and are doing a great job with it.

始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground) – くだらない世界 (Kudaranai Sekai)

始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground)

The new MV by 始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground) for “くだらない世界” (Kudaranai Sekai) shows their sound made of 70s rock and many more influences.

Ok, I’ll admit it: I only started listening to 始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-machi Underground) recently. I remember reading their name some time ago, when they were just at their beginning, but somehow missed everything they did after that. Will I be forgiven if I watch their MV for “くだらない世界” (Kudaranai Sekai) a thousand times? Because I’m already doing it.

The black and white aesthetic of the first part of the video which then turns into full color perfectly fits Shihatsu-machi Underground‘s music, as it travels through many decades of rock history. While there are modern elements in the structure of the song, the main influences come from the 70s and their psychedelic sounds, with a dreamlike chorus hinting at shoegaze and some blues-oriented passages; I think there is also something from the 60s, especially during the calmer parts.

This is the kind of songs that will make fans of old school styles of rock happy, with all its influences. The ethereal hook with reverberating guitars in the background is absolutely catchy and will make you fall in love with the song at the first listening. They also seem to be at ease on stage, so it would probably even more awesome to see them live.

I’ll surely go listen to their self-titled album as soon as possible, but since this song is not included in it, I also hope they will release something new soon. Yes, if it wasn’t clear enough, I’m already a fan of Shihatsu-machi Underground now.