19 May 2021
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Imugi - Gig Review: Imugi @ Meow, Wellington - 19/12/2020

11 Dec 2020 // A review by Bethany Mountford

Wednesday. Mid-week. Hump day, though I hate the term.  

Something about gigs on a Wednesday always feels a little bit naughty, like you shouldn’t be having so much fun whilst two whole working days still loom in the near future. Maybe this is why I often enjoy mid-week gigs more than weekend gigs. They’re a treat. Imugi at Meow this week was no exception.  

I like to think that I’m quite familiar with the Wellington gig scene, after three years of frequenting three gigs a week. But I proved myself wrong when I showed up at Meow and knew nobody in the crowd. Granted this probably isn’t a gig I would have ordinarily gone to, but it threw me a little out of my comfort zone.  

Leaping Tiger was just taking to the stage as I arrived. I don’t know what to say about their set other than that it was so utterly engaging and fun, albeit completely beyond my comprehension. Thought I’m sure there were 5 plus instruments on stage the only one I recognised was a bass, which was played live over the tracks he’d built up. The lights were bright, the music was loud, it was Wednesday (?!) and the venue was full! It was easy to pretend I was in any number of big cities.  

Imugi were striking as soon as they took the stage. They opened with Reflections, a big, immersive track. The whole venue plunged into the music. Suddenly the shimmery decorations on the stage looked aquatic and the room settled into a steady sway.

A couple of tracks in, vocalist Yery addressed the room. “scream for the girls and the gays” she yelled. If I wasn’t sold already, this was the point of no return. As the show went on it became apparent how much energy is created between Yery and Carl. The two just bounced off each other and interacted so well on stage. And of course, the unsung hero, as my friend commented - drummer Dan all tucked away in the corner of the stage, holding everything together tightly.  

The energy produced from this union of three made the atmosphere so easy and fun; everyone always smiling. I had heard good things about Imugi, but never listened to them. As immersive and beautiful as the show was, I was immediately itching to get home and listen to Somebody Else through biiiig headphones. It’s the kind of music that can be both an energetic show on the stage and ‘chill lo-fi beats to study to’ at home.  

The Yery-crowd interactions were amazing. My personal favourite was “Can I get a wo-ah, can I get a ye-ah, can I get a ‘there’s no such thing as ethical consumption under late capitalism’” - and the crowd went wild.  

Though it was mostly floaty dream-pop type music Imugi definitely made their stances on some very political issues known. The poetry breakdown in a few of their songs gave mad Kilo Kish vibes. As I was doing photos too, I was able to get up on stage and get a full view of the crowd moving, still smiling. The band left the stage - I went to nab a set list from Carl.

The crowd were yelling for encore and I only just managed to put the set list in my pocket before they were playing again. 

I really re-proved to myself with this one that ALL gigs are worth going to, and take my word for it, Imugi are worth seeing. If you can’t make it to a show, listen to the October-released Dragonfruit, right now!! 


Photos courtesy of Bethany Mountford

 

About Imugi

Imugi are the silky electronic duo that released their first EP titled Vacasian in 2017, a trip through the diasporic-Asian-girl-psyche and the healing it takes to go from self-consciousness to self-awareness. Their soon to be released Dragonfruit furthers that narrative.

With roots in South Korea and Aotearoa (New Zealand), Imugi explores the multi-faceted, wholesome identities and complex issues that migrant women of colour face, through a mix of styles ranging from R&B, synth-pop, funk and spoken word.

The poppin’ duo have played many acclaimed shows from St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival New Zealand 2019, Rhythm & Vines Festival 2019/2020, Red Bull Music Presents. International support includes - Confidence man, Cosmo’s Midnight.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Imugi

Releases

Dragonfruit
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Vacasian
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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