Japanese psych-rock outfit Kikagaku Moyo [幾何学模様] was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in New York City on Wednesday night for a mid-week banger of wonderfully wild proportions. For this writer, it was a first experience with the five-piece experimental rock outfit, who are touring the States in promotion of their new album, Masana Temples. It almost goes without saying that the anticipation leading up to the performance was at peak excitement, and one mind-blowing concert experience (and $40 in merch) later, it’s completely fair to state that band not only lived up to expectations presumably set forth by everyone in attendance in the nearly sold-out Brooklyn venue but reassured this fan that worldly adventure still exist in modern rock music.
The band walked onto the stage about 10 minutes prior to their 10:15 start time. With genuine smiles of appreciation on each of their faces and set lists written on paper plates in hand, the band seemed happily eager to set up their own equipment. Loosely dressed in knit sweaters and casual bohemian attire covered in patterns typically found on Indian tapestries and scarves, they almost seemed out of place in the mind-bending realm of psychedelia. Their mix of instruments told a different story, however, and as soon as the band launched into the galloping intro for the night’s first song, it was clear this wasn’t going to be your typical mid-week rock show aided by an IPA or two. This was going to be an adventure.
Over the next 90 minutes, fans in attendance were launched into hyper-speed with a storm of strong jams glazed in a feeling of exotic mysticism courtesy of their sitar player, Ryu Kurosawa. In the psych-rock realm, there are few instrumental voices as strong as the sitar, and boy does Kurosawa know how to wield his electronic version of the classical Indian instrument as if he’s been doing it forever. One of the best parts of their jams - and they really do jam - was appreciating their patience for letting the music develop. The band doesn’t just play the softer portions of their set, but rather take the time to guide you through as if they were carefully easing the listener back down to reality even if just for a few seconds before heading right back into the madness. There was no rush to get to the end or the middle of a song, or anywhere really for that matter. Every song played through the set didn’t feel like there needed to be a scheduled end-point, as a roadmap requires structure. This experience was much less about finalization and planning, and more about enabling the sound to develop its own purpose in the universe through group-oriented chaos, and it was wonderful to be a part of such musical looseness again, even if just for a few hours.
Kikagaku Moyo continues their North American tour tonight (Thursday) with a show at Philadelphia’s Underground Arts. Tickets to the performance are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.