I don't always make the best decisions, even though I've gotten better as I've matured. August of 2002, I was in Tokyo in the green room at Shinjuku Anti-Knock talking to Kensuke from Nine Days Wonder. In the main room, Kulara was playing. I'd never heard of them and somehow in my short-circuiting brain, I thought that meant I wouldn't like them/they weren't any good. I peeked out from the room a couple of times to see the vocalist pounding on some bongo drums, but that was it. Yes... I had the chance to see Kulara and instead stared warily at a drunk guy in the corner and chatted with a dude who would ignore my emails thereafter and order me to take his band's live videos off my Youtube channel. I'm a fucking idiot (or was... well, probably still am).
Somehow, when I saw this CD in a record store some time later, I had the foresight to pick it up. Packaging was the first to catch my eye, I'm sure. It's a (fairly) solid piece of cardboard perfectly cut to hold a CD in. It was shrinkwrapped, but I was in awe with how they'd put it together.
Once I got home, I was again surprised by the music. 2 songs, roughly 30 minutes (doing this from memory), but the song structure wasn't post-rock or anything. Kulara takes this chaotic song structure and stretches it over two long 10-15 minute songs. It's amazing. A multitude of instruments, riffs, dynamic structures are spread throughout. I even wrote a paper about this in my college music class (I tried to find it, cause it would be funny to post, but it was garbage anyways). Later I would get the collected CD from Waiting For An Angel, and kind of prefer their early songs better (due to my musical ADHD), but this release is really Kulara's masterpiece. The pinnacle of the structures they were trying to form.
Members went on to be in As Meias, Hununhum, and Z (I think Z, not 100% sure), and honestly none of those bands have matched up to the originality and perfection that was Kulara. Here is one of threepennie's legendary videos of the group:
1. Brown Knife
2. The Belt of Sleep Freeze