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KARUNA KHYAL

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Japan


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Karuna Khyal biography
KARUNA KHYAL was one of the most obscure bands of the Japanese psychedelic rock scene. Some claim the outfit was a one-man project by Yoshihiro Takahashi, others that it was formed with him and his "druggie" family...but now nobody knows a lot about him/them.

They released their one and only album "Alomoni 1985" in 1976 - the music style of which is often compared to FAUST or other Krautrock bands - one of milestones of Japanese psychedelic scene. Unfortunately it's said they broke up the following year and there's no knowledge about them after that.

Paradigm Discs later re-issued their album on CD, but where not able to provide any more information about this outfit.

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Alomoni 1985Alomoni 1985
Phoenix Records 2012
Vinyl$20.35
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3.88 | 17 ratings
Alomoni 1985
1976

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KARUNA KHYAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alomoni 1985 by KARUNA KHYAL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 17 ratings

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Alomoni 1985
Karuna Khyal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Dobermensch

5 stars A great album to terrify and annoy your neighbours! Crazy Japs at the helm of a boat that's circling and sinking while all on board are running around in a blind panic. That's how it sounds to me anyway.

Rumours as to who this band are add to the allure. Some say it's 'Brast Burn' under a different name, while others contend that it's none other than 'Magical Power Mako' which actually makes a lot of sense when you hear the two bands back to back. I guess we'll never know.

'Alimoni 1985' is a dirty sounding, almost ritualistic recording that sounds as though it could have been recorded in the 19th Century by Aleister Crowley and his Golden Dawn mob. There's repetitive incantations, strangely treated electric guitars, lots of backwards noise and even a harmonica thrown in for good measure. Side two sounds incredibly like 'Throbbing Gristle' or early 'Zoviet France' and just when you thought things couldn't get much weirder this one kicks off into very unusual territory with a paranoid sounding thrashed one note bass.

It's all scary stuff and certainly won't appeal to everyone, being at the extreme end of experimental on the Prog Archives. I give it 5 stars not because it's a great example of progressive rock but because it's truly demented but cohesive with a great 'vibe' which runs from beginning to end. Unlike anything else you're likely to hear by a band that clearly weren't right in the head.

One things for sure - I bet they liked their mushrooms.

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 Alomoni 1985 by KARUNA KHYAL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 17 ratings

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Alomoni 1985
Karuna Khyal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars Absolutely scary!!! Compared to this album, the most experimental stuff produced by Ron Geesin sounds like mainstream. Probably the best way to describe this music is a "sonic mantra".

Officially it contains just two tracks, but it's like the label has lost other than the artist's bio information, also the track titles.

Effectively there's no separation between the tracks, but we can identify at least 4 different parts in Side A. The first impression is that they were experimenting some mixture of mushrooms and acids while recording the album, but with a bit of attention you can catch sounds and ambients now typical of some horror-based Japanese videogames soundtracks.

Side A is dark. Side B is even darker. Try to put the first 10 minutes at high volume while playing "alone in the dark".....

The second part is more chaotic but instead of dark it's just foolish and weird. The harmonica that appears in the last 4-5 minutes of side B adds an improbable bluesy accent. The voice that on Side A is in evidence, here is in the background, so that you can here some growling here and there. One minute before it ends, there is a sudden interruption. No more percussions, just some spacey sounds.

Should I be invited to a happening by the band, I'd be very scared to accept.

About the rating, I think that lovers of Krautrock and psychedelia can consider it a must. People who loves neo-prog and symphonic only should stay away from it.

I'd like to rate it 4, but it's not for ANY prog rock music collection, so I have to decrease to 3.

I suggest this album to dark metal fans, too. It's not metal but it came directly from Hell.

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 Alomoni 1985 by KARUNA KHYAL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 17 ratings

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Alomoni 1985
Karuna Khyal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. Legend has it that this is the same group of musicians who went under the name BRAST BURN. They were on the same label and this was released a year after the BRAST BURN album. Very little information is known about either band hence the speculation. While both play Psychedelic music the music on these two records are very different from one another. BRAST BURN I would describe as Folk / Psyche while this has nothing to do with Folk but is more aggressive and repetitive. I certainly like this album a lot more. I've noticed many people compare both bands to FAUST which might explain my lack of enthusiasm about both albums.

We get two side long tracks.The first one has a slow rhythm as vocals join in. Mouth-organ comes in 2 1/2 minutes in. A change a minute later as we get processed vocals and a beat. A strange out of tune sound comes in at 6 1/2 minutes. Processed vocals are back as contrasts continue. A calm before 10 1/2 minutes as it turns dark. This is my favourite section by far as these spacey sounds come and go. It changes again then spoken vocals arrive after 16 minutes and this goes on (not a fan of this) almost to the end when mouth-organ returns to end it.

The second track opens with strange sounds then a beat and voices. The tempo picks up after 2 minutes. Vocals before 8 minutes are spoken still but growly. Weird. A change before 11 1/2 minutes thankfully. A beat with vocals and strangeness follows. Mouth-organ join in.

I wish I liked this more but i'll stick with FAR OUT and FAR EAST FAMILY BAND when it comes to Japanese Psyche.

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 Alomoni 1985 by KARUNA KHYAL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 17 ratings

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Alomoni 1985
Karuna Khyal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This album was recommended to me by one of my freaky friend as "Japanese krautrock on heavy drugs". Searching for additional information, I realized, that it is obscure album from Japanese underground music, recorded in 1976. So - here it is!

Two long, LP-side size compositions. Very unexpected sound. First side is collage of few separate musical pieces, mostly combined from wordless vocals, strongly Cpt. Beefheart influenced singing, tribal rhythms (without real drummer), blues-folk heavily mixed and injected with electronic samples and loops. Kind of Can music , played by shamans of Mushroom's Commune.

Second side, being generally similar to the first, is darker and more energetic (even aggressive). Impossible combination of harmonica, tribal rhythms and Van Vliets vocals. All - with strong psychedelic doze.

Very unusual combination of genuine German krautrock, early American avant-psyche-blues and some deep Japanese tribal folk roots. Plus loops and electronic soundscapes everywhere.

Absolute gem from early Japanese psychedelic avant rock. Strange and magnetic. Possibly even dangerous.

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 Alomoni 1985 by KARUNA KHYAL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 17 ratings

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Alomoni 1985
Karuna Khyal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

5 stars An obscure Japanese underground outfit hit a grand slam and went out soon. I consider, of KARUNA KHYAL this should be a good expression. No confirmed information about them. (Surprisingly, even the distributor doesn't know the details.) Here's only an album named Alomoni 1985 with no credit. What a mystery! I was so amazed before opening the jack-in-the-box.

Side A 24-32

Eccentric sounds with a twisted guitar and religious percussions & voices have come now! We can have a feeling that something bad would happen - with very solemn, weird, and eerie sounds. Realizing that this music style should be Oriental and of Buddhism, we might come close to be absorbed the weirdness. But don't be deceived. Time's gonna change soon about 3 1/2 minutes later. Suddenly extremely repetitive quiet banjo, stable percussions, and uncomfortable voice over some effectors are around us. Not only this, scenes are altering so rapidly. Here come some growling and bells ringing with the recorded tape slowly or reversely played For these sounds, somebody might say KARUNA KHYAL was of Japanese Krautrock like Faust. However, I do suggest they (he?) should be more influenced by drugs, druggy lives, and drug abuses than Krautrock scene. Such druggie, speedy, and freaky explosions could be born otherwise.

Side B 22-30

More aggressively artifactual noises, process voices repeating Alomoni, O-chow, Gaow, and various meaningless (senseless?) words, and heavy bass sounds can rush toward and run over us. I'm sure, of all in the side, the most important element is the heavy bass. This rhythmical bass sounds can remind us the trip for Buddhism. How? You can feel you repeat the words of Buddha, can't you? About 11 1/2 minutes later, eccentric and crazy guitar sounds and much crazier voices (with cries of a baby and dandling of a father...?) should take us into another sky. We should dance to the druggie noise without our intention whether we misunderstand or not. At last, we should have a vacant feeling with the last quiet air. And go out like the outfit...

Caution! This album is a real drug, not a cranky work...but highly recommended as a drug.

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