Michio Kurihara Sunset Notes

While the world isn’t short on guitar players, there are only so many guitar gods. Tokyo’s Michio Kurihara has been at the forefront of Japan’s psych movement for decades now, spending time in the seminal White Heaven, as well as working frequently with Ghost (whom he eventually joined), Damon & Naomi and most recently, Boris on their collaboration album, Rainbow. After 22 years in the recording business, Kurihara marked his solo debut with , originally released in 2005 on the Japan-based Pedal Records. Reissued on 20/20/20, the world’s leading psych guitarist can now have his moment in the sun (literally) on these shores. His group work always allowed him plenty of room to shine but as a solo artist, Kurihara has the ability to step into the spotlight and demonstrate his storytelling gift with his mighty axe. Kurihara’s stories flow from his amp through a series of moods for this concept album about the nine different sunsets spanning the calendar year. While he can melt your face off with the blistering spaghetti western solos in "Twilight Mystery of a Russian Cowboy” and give Fucking Champs a run for their riffage on "Time to Go,” his psych rep isn’t played up to its full credit. Instead, he shows his range as an artist, accompanying the delicate phrasing of pop singer Ai Aso with corresponding strums on her two songs, then shows his lighter side with the amusing "Do Deep-Sea Fish Dream of Electric Moles?,” which could score a blooper reel. Anyone curious as to what this artist has to offer by his lonesome will find plenty of satisfaction in Sunset Notes. Few instrumental albums are as engaging and clever as this (20|20|20,)