Live Review: Pikacyu-Makoto w/Space Band, Deaf Beasts and Mugu Guymen. Saturday, May. 7 at the Old Miami
Saturday was a wild night at the Old Miami. Capping off Scrummage Records‘ weekend Cinco de Mayo festivities with a bang, the club booked some of the most frenzied and noisiest bands they could find. Principal among them were the Japanese duo Pikacyu-Makoto, consisting of Pikacyu from the duo Afrirampo and Kawabata Makoto from the psychedelic troupe Acid Mothers Temple. Although many came out to see this duo especially, each band on the bill brought their own interesting brand of improvised insanity.
The night began with the Detroit improv crew Space Band. Clad in shaman’s robes, tinfoil, dinosaur helms and horror masks, they were definitely the most encapsulating act of the night. According to them, their sound is “disparate soul musicnoisefun (that’s music, noise and fun) made by disparate souls.” Their songs were nearly devoid of structure aside from the constant tribal drum rhythm. The drums were flaked synthesized noise and modulation manipulation. The band employed a host of instruments ranging from saxophones to rayguns to a rabbit squeak toy. They came off like what free jazz might have been if it was influenced by ancient pagan rituals and circus culture instead of eastern philosophy and civil rights. And, they’ve been around for quite a while.
Deaf Beasts, another local act, came up next. Caught between metal and psychedelia and featuring three guitars, the band play loose songs dense with heavy riffs and lysergic leads.
And then an interesting duo called Mugu Guymen took the stage. While one cat relentlessly wailed away on drums, another manned a space shuttle’s worth of synthesizer and modulation equipment, turning knobs and dials to concoct vast walls of seething noise.
The highlight of the night was obviously the duo of Japanese psych veterans Kawabata on guitar and Pikacyu on drums, who delivered the noise via a set of improvised workouts. Some revolved around musical themes and figures while other were just excursions in scorching psychedelic fervor. Every so often they’d engage in call-and-response workouts only to slowly build back up into seething, onerous feedback and wild drumming. Kawabata is known for his savage guitar playing, and he didn’t disappoint last night as he flailed around stage and writhed as he force blasts of wah-coated notes out of his two amplifier setup. The show ran late and it was nearly 2 am before the Old Miami staff was forced to turn off the duo’s amps