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Boomkat Product Review:
Chances are the last time you stumbled across Ghost axe-man Michio Kurihara was in his shockingly good collaboration with Japanese doom-monsters Boris. Funnily enough their album 'Rainbow' has been re-issued by Drag City only this week, and this week is also where we get to hear Kurihara's latest solo emission, the gorgeous 'Sunset Notes' which slips out on the Damon & Naomi curated 20/20/20 label. So far, so psychedelic then, but 'Sunset Notes' is as enjoyable a revelation as 'Rainbow' was for us, and is just as eager to cross genre territories wilfully and using as much guitar soloing as should be humanly possible. Yep this man is a demon when confronted with six strings and a pick, and across nine tracks Kurihara shows us his severe and virtuoso skill, drenches it in reverb and implores us to punch the sky with the kind of glee only ever gleaned from extended guitar solos. Melodic, jubilant and effortlessly experimental 'Sunset Notes' is just the album I've always wanted from Kurihara, and now sidestepping from his supporting roles in Ghost and Damon & Naomi his talents are framed quite wonderfully. It might not sound too tantalising to be sold an album which is balanced around guitar solos, but this is where 'Sunset Notes' differs from all preconceptions, and rather than sink into self-indulgence it seems that the record is made with the listener in mind. I read somewhere that Kurihara still has a full time job at a factory in Japan, and this kind of connection with 'real life' is evident as his fretwork lets us soar into oblivion, it's rock 'n roll without the meaningless excess, and in that there is real beauty. If you have passion for 'Rainbow' and are looking for where next to step, the only real path lies with 'Sunset Notes'. Recommended.