[sic] Magazine


No stranger to celebratory tape events, the last time we caught up dream-pop duo KYŌGEN they were participating in International Cassette Store Day on a split release with electro-rock terrorists MONK. Now singer/guitarist Kyoko Swan (equally of Manchester indie-rock band PINS) and Dan Broomhall (gobby MONK frontman and KYŌGEN knob-twiddler) are back with a new four-track EP for Cassette Week, an online festival of all things ferric and chrome hosted by New York label Tapehead City.

Finding a middle ground between melancholy New Wave electro and Balearic bangers, garagey guitar adding backbone per older material, I CRY sounds like a lost Cascine release and simultaneously like KYŌGEN expanding upon the sound. Skittering chimes and wheezy compressions underpin a multi-tracked vocal on the wistful title-track, for example, a flourish or steel-pan tropicalia and a comedown beat selection delivering a kind of forlorn euphoria. The emotional rollercoaster then switches up a gear on “Ocean Man”, intricate pad-work and thick rave beats sucking all space from the claustrophobic mix, light FX on the vocal harking back to the 90s.

The tears flow once more on the flip, pining shoegaze first smothering intangible beginnings, cavernous bass tones emerging chrysalis-like to demand being pumped up loud. Disembodied chords finally introduce a lonely dub on “Unblown Roses”, a ranging drizzle of dreamy guitar going stratospheric over its agoraphobic climax. Having reworked much of the material during lockdown, I CRY is understandably quite an introspective listen at times, pure release at others – the mood of the nation captured in effervescent emotion.

~The I CRY EP will be released October 15h 2021 via Ramber Records.~