8:30 p.m., Saturday, March 9, at The Independent. $18; theindependentsf.com
After a breakthrough 2018 with appearances at Coachella and cosigns from the likes of Above & Beyond and Rüfüs Du Sol, San Francisco’s own Luttrell is on track for another compelling year with the release of his gorgeous debut album Into Clouds, which saw its release in February. The dynamic producer initially turned heads around the world as one half of the electro-focused duo The M Machine, and began releasing solo material in 2016, changing direction toward deeper sounds incorporating elements of pulsating techno and dream pop, citing diverse influences from Nirvana to The Prodigy. After signing with Above & Beyond’s label Anjunadeep, Luttrell’s emotive take on melodic techno garnered him attention from dance heavyweights like Pete Tong, earning critical acclaim for his EPs Generate and Intergalactic Plastic, the title track from the latter of which was crowned “The Hottest Record in the World” by BBC Radio 1. Into Clouds hears the producer at his sharpest, contrasting hard-hitting techno with layers of bright synths and processed voices to a characteristically cathartic effect.
7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7, at The Independent. $20; theindependentsf.com
Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo — Japanese for “geometric patterns” — specialize in producing free-spirited psychedelia with audible influences from ’70s krautrock to atmospheric folk, and have already amassed a stellar discography since their start in 2012. Drummer Go Kurosawa and guitarist Tomo Katsurada formed the group as a loose artist collective, busking on the streets of Tokyo before solidifying into their current five-member incarnation. The group released their self-titled debut album in summer 2013, quickly becoming a local favorite within Tokyo’s experimental-music scene. The following year saw the release of Kikagaku’s breakthrough sophomore effort, Forest of Lost Children, an acid-folk opus complete with sitars and fuzzy guitars which caught the ear of psych-rockers around the globe, leading to their first international tour. The group would further experiment with their sound on 2016’s House in the Tall Grass, which incorporates softer ambient influences with brief flourishes of stoner metal jams to great success. After the dissolution of the band’s communal house in Tokyo, the members found themselves apart from each other in different parts of the world, which serves as the inspiration for Kikagaku’s latest album Masana Temples, a sonically dynamic yet pleasant listen and their most accessible experience to date.
9 p.m., Friday, March 8, at Rickshaw Stop. $20; rickshawstop.com
Once referred to by The Guardian in 2009 as “arguably the first truly postmodern pop band,” The Monochrome Set’s impact on post-punk and its derivations has been echoed by the likes of Morrissey and Graham Coxon of Blur, among the many who name the prolific band as an influence. Soon after short-lived British punk band The B-Sides changed their name to Adam & The Ants, guitarist and vocalist Bid along with guitarist Lester Square left to form a group of their own, The Monochrome Set, in 1978. The group’s initial output in the early ’80s, including Love Zombies and Eligible Bachelors, are lost classics that have a jangly, brooding sound to them that were remarkably ahead of their time. After the commercial failure of their 1985 sunshine-pop effort The Lost Weekend the band dissolved before quietly reuniting in 1989, releasing a string of solid albums in the early ’90s yet failing to garner much international attention apart from Japan. The Monochrome Set would break up again in 1998, with Bid forming a new band, Scarlet’s Well, shortly after. The group reunited for the second time in 2011, and have been consistently touring and releasing quality material since then, including their ambitious and surreal 2018 album, Maisieworld.