Since forming in 2016, Yomi Ship have cemented themselves as one of the brightest stars in the Perth musical cosmos. The recent release of their third EP, Of Agartha, has seen the group continue their upward trajectory and it was with anticipation and high expectations that a near-capacity crowd gathered at The Bird on Friday night for the launch.
On the night, Hannans opened proceedings with an impressive set of ambient keyboard layers and glitched sounds. Using acts such as Autechre, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada as a starting reference, Hannans demonstrated his own prowess at IDM knob-twiddling and a penchant for experimentation that kept the audience both enthralled and constantly guessing as to what was next. Hannans is definitely one to look out for in the future.
Next up were the improvisational two-piece Bad Whipp. While the duo did take time to get into their groove, the keyboard licks and electronic beats started to gel at about the ten-minute mark of the set, much to the obvious relief of the players who had seemed unsettled up to that point. The crowd was forgiving however, showing open minds and hearts to the band’s improvisational ways, and thoroughly relishing the dynamism of the live event. The duo’s tempo was relentless throughout, starting out at the higher end of the electro-house spectrum, and only proceeding to get faster, all the while not taking any breaks.
The stage was now set for Yomi Ship. The smell of incense, a feature of Yomi Ship gigs, permeated throughout the venue while the swirling psychedelic patterns around the band’s graphics shone at the back of the stage. Launching into the new EP’s tracks Dark Magician and Ice Drake, the band showed off their more indie math-rock side, similar in vein to Slint and Polvo.
Yomi Ship then segued into the lush tones of Sea Priest, a truly accomplished piece that effortlessly floats along and is reminiscent of early prog-psych such as King Crimson and Pink Floyd, before entering into the highly rhythmic, drum-driven S.H.A.M.A.N.
The band’s guitarist then announced they would “do something different tonight,” inviting their friend (and bandmate from side project System of a Down Under) Freddie Mousavi on stage to perform raucous versions of the System of a Down tracks, CUBERt and Suite-Pee.
Older songs Coelacanth and Mudokon followed, which served to highlight the band’s consistency over time as well as the sonic gamut they have traversed since beginning. EP closer Kawataro Spring was next, with its arpeggiated notes ringing out splendidly and floating over the expansive drumming, before segueing into noisy tones that built and built until their release in the form of a wall of a distortion. The track, evocative of 90s math-rock as well as newer acts such as Diiv, is one of the stand-outs on the group’s new EP and it was even more immense and all encompassing live.
The night was rounded out by the unreleased Memory Man, a highly technical and progressive track, that showed off not only each member’s prowess on each of their instruments but also how united the trio is. Without anymore to say, and to be fair, the music truly had done all the heavy lifting on the night, (with all three acts being instrumental) the audience showed their appreciation as the band members disembarked the stage and the Yomi Ship sailed off into the night.
Photos by Alise Sciano