KIKAGAKU MOYO @ Amplifier gets 8/10

Kikagaku Moyo @ Amplifier 
w/ Erasers
Tuesday, March 10, 2020


On the last show of their Australian tour, Japanese psych rockers Kikagaku Moyo made their long-waited return to Perth. Last in Australia for Gizzfest 2017, the band have since received international recognition for their mesmerising psychedelic live performances and have built a fanbase in WA. Despite being a Tuesday, Amplifier was near capacity and punters were transcended into a night of instrumental experimental psychedelia.


Local act Erasers opened the show at 8pm to a small audience of punters who had arrived early. The Perth duo, consisting of Rebecca Orchard and Rupert Thomas, have been around since 2009 and released their latest album Pulse Points in July last year. On stage they produced a synthesiser heavy, rhythmic, hypnotic, reverberating and mood-driven sound, with a genre-bending mixture of Krautrock, desert psych and lo-fi electronica. The ritualistic and hypnotic nature of their sound was a good warm up to the headlining experimental psych rock sound.

Kikagaku Moyo

Kikaguku Moyo kicked off at the reasonable Tuesday time of 9.10pm, illuminating Amplifier with their transcendental sound and showcasing elements of psychedelia, classical Indian music, Krautrock, traditional folk and 70s rock. Throughout the night they outfit balanced light, contemplative, reflective melodies with heavy, crushing jams and quick paced riffs. The audience responded well to the band’s technique of constructing a slow building track with soft vocals that gradually build to an explosive end. The powerhouse display of temporary chaos is then followed again by control, ebullience and restraint in the form of soft vocals and light melody, creating a sense of continuity.

With vintage flared jeans and long hair, the five-piece played a 1 hour 20 minute set consisting of mostly instrumental songs including Green Sugar, Kogarashi and Cardigan Song from their 2016 album House in the Tall Grass. Tree Smoke, and Mushi No Uta were well received by the audiences, while Entrance, Dripping Sun and Gatherings gave the Perth audience their first chance to hear live renditions from their latest album Masana Temples which was released in October 2018.

Kikagako Moyo

The intense instrumental chemistry and intricate musicianship produced a mesmerising atmosphere and sound that is made with precision, perfection and technical proficiency. Ryo Kurosawa’s use of his electric sitar on stage added a hypnotic element to the show and showcased the uniqueness of this amazing instrument. Although the band rarely used vocals directed at the audience, this intense musicianship helped to still build a strong connection between the music and the audience that was transcendental in nature.

Overall, Kikagaku Moyo put on a captivating and amazing show and it was great to see another talented Japanese outfit tour Australia, the second great band in a week. With the rise in popularity of psych rock in WA’s music scene, Kikaguku Moyo are one of the best examples of modern psychedelia rock done right.


Photos by Owen Gregory

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