EP review: IKITAN - Twenty-Twenty
It can’t be a frequent occurrence, getting two EPs to review within days of each other, both with the same title. Silo’s 20/20 was reviewed on 25th January, and now it’s the turn of IKITAN.
IKITAN were formed in October 2019 and are based in Genoa, my favourite Italian city, made up from Frik Et (bass), Enrico Meloni (drums) and Luca Nash Nasciuti (guitar).
2020 was one of the worst and strangest years in living memory but like many other bands, IKITAN managed to work on a twenty minute-long song, split into three sections, based on ideas emerging from rehearsal room jams. The result is a 20 minute 20 second track of riff-based heavy rock with a dose of psychedelia and a few prog moments, released on 20th November 2020.
Describing the creative process, guitarist Nasciuti says that there are no preconceived songs or ideas, with the three of them working together from scratch, allowing the music to guide them with improvisation playing a key role, calling it “a totally free approach to music.” Bassist Et expounds that their influences are quite varied, and being an instrumental group they are freed from conforming to a intro-verse-chorus-repeat template. Meloni, the drummer, puts it succinctly: “IKITAN is our opportunity to experiment and put together a whole range of styles.”
The opening bars are quite laid back and melodic, building in intensity, then slowing and building again. A guitar line with an appropriate level of reverb gives this part of the composition a psychedelic feel before a driving rhythm kicks in with lead guitar weaving over distorted backing. The second section is slower paced and the lead guitar picks out a riff before things get really heavy, and some of the ideas are reprised. A trippy segue introduces the third section with melodic guitar, and fragments of the piece are reprised once more, this time with more inventive drumming.
It's a brave move to put out a single 20 minute long track EP but there’s enough variation to keep things interesting. The alternating heavy/psychedelic structure works quite well, and I can imagine it would be very effective in a live setting.
The EP is available as a both a download and a CD from Bandcamp https://ikitan.bandcamp.com/album/twenty-twenty where the band have put a good deal of thought into the CD presentation to mark their first release. It comes as a limited edition digipak with a free poster of the cover artwork by Luca Marcenaro, depicting an angry IKITAN, the God of the Sound of the Stones, smashing stones above his head as he bursts from the earth. There's even a QR code to give you access to the IKITAN secret world!