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Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 10:44 am
Retro-robo-impro

"Shibuya-kei princess" Kahimi Karie reveals in her lifestyle column in the MyLOHAS blog that she's working on a new album, her first since 2006's Nunki. Jim O'Rourke -- who's collaborated as much with KK this decade as I did back in the 90s -- is involved.



Kahimi doesn't revisit her 1990s hits much -- she's much more interested in quiet left-field experimentalism these days -- but another singer is currently doing that for her. Aira Mitsuki released her first album, C.O.P.Y., at the end of 2008. Here's her cover of Kahimi's early song Mike Alway's Diary, and this is her take on Cornelius' big hit Star Fruits Surf Rider.



When I first heard these, I thought that Aira Mitsuki must be a robot singer, like Yamaha Vocaloid2 "singer" Miku Hatsune:



I marveled at the engineering feat of catching Kahimi's inflexions so accurately in software, and planned immediately to buy the Aira Mitsuki package so I could score a new string of hits in Japan. But it seems she's a real girl, albeit with definite tendencies towards the robotic, the technotic, and the Barbie-baric.



When it comes to summing up the true essence of Shibuya-kei, though, I think "melody designers" (that's their jingle showreel above) Lullatone probably do it better. Their song A Plastic Bag in the Wind (from the new album Songs That Spin in Circles) has the naive bossa feel of I Am A Kitten. If I ever wanted to make a robotic-retro version of Shibuya-kei, Lullatone would be my bitches.



But -- like Kahimi -- I'm too interested in the present to do that. Joemus -- now a band! -- plays a live set of improvised, unheard material at West Germany on Wednesday night. Rather than recreating the Joemus album, we've decided to recreate the experience of making the Joemus album -- that moment when I received unfamiliar tracks from Joe and tried to write and sing lyrics over the top of them. So I'm going to be attempting to sing new songs over Joe tracks I've never heard before. Impro is the opposite of retro.

25CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:02 am (UTC)

Thanks for pointing me towards the new Lullatone album, it's not even mentioned on their homepage yet! I quite like the price of 3,41 Dollar for the downloadable version, it allows me to skip the annoying "can I afford this?" thought process.

IAs an example of its annoying-ness, it's this process that stops me from visiting the Joemus concert, since travelling to Berlin and back amounts to 50 euro that I can't afford right now. Or can I? ....


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:49 am (UTC)

If it's the money that bothers you, you can listen to the new Lullatone album for free on Spotify. (Sadly, the only Momus tracks on Spotify are Lah Di Dah and Dub In My Club. Possibly not the most rounded portrait of the artist.)


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)

Ah, I'd love to try out Spotify - unfortunately, it's not available for free in Germany. You can only get the premium model that costs 10 euro a month, and as far as I remember from some blog posts, you still only get a part of the artist catalogue that's available in other countries. I'll resort to youtube, hypem and skreemr in that case. :)

But the price of the Lullatone album doesn't bother me at all - at less than 4 dollars, it effectively means I'll skip eating a cake on sunday.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)

If you register online while you're in another country (e.g. UK) which offers free membership you can transfer over to a different country later and keep listening for free!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)

That only works for a couple of weeks, I'm afraid.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)

Twit Opera preview:

"Joemus > Lullatone"


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)

Any chance of a spot on the guest list?


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)

Wouldn't that actually be improvised karaoke if the tracks are already recorded but remain unheard by the one singing them?

-John Flesh


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)

Possibly, but Joe's actually playing stuff live this time by hand, along with his mate Bastien.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)

That sounds nice either way, actually. If I lived on your block I would stroll on in to hear it.
-John Flesh


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)

Have you thought about incorporating twit opera within click opera? While obviously a wind-up, I find it to be a very effective index.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)

Oh, I'm not nearly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed enough to bother. I'm happy to let the head Twit squirrel around Click Opera's roots, sifting nuts from nuggets, posting summaries.

Glad you're finding it of use!


ReplyThread Parent
anglerfish96
anglerfish96
anglerfish96
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Hooray NEW LULLATONE ALBUM WOOT

...also someone invite me on to spotify, please...

O-o


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Hooray NEW LULLATONE ALBUM WOOT

Joemus live playsession a.k.a. Joe Germus Nick Currilin Big Improv Band sounds a bit swanky!
will this be a Haupstadt one-off? please tell me "no, no"

also, must book in again with KK, seeing she has worked with the wonderful Jim underlines how neglected recent, beautifully packaged recordings have been with this one
all best,
Dale


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Hooray NEW LULLATONE ALBUM WOOT

It will be a hauptstadt one-off, alas, Dale! Berlin, the "experimental city", always gets different shows from the rest of the world.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
Re: Hooray NEW LULLATONE ALBUM WOOT

ok so i take it joemus are coming back to scotland to play "proper" gigs then.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
Re: Hooray NEW LULLATONE ALBUM WOOT

Since this is essentially new material...you should really plan to record it...and well. We're here cuz we're fans so please don't dangle and deprive! For posterity...a double-live album!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Re: Hooray NEW LULLATONE ALBUM WOOT

sigh, Berlin, Berlin! oh well, at least i will be attending the Brelfest later in the year at the Barbican... not often Diamanda Galas and yourself appear on the same bill!


ReplyThread Parent
tropigalia
tropigalia
Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride
Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)

aira is cute but her producers basically totally aped the style and sound of producer yasutaka nakata.

oh wall more frenetic 2nd wave shibuya kei techno for meeeee


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(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)

Yep, strip Perfume two of its members and their melodic center and top-bass programming and you've got the fabulous carpet sound of Aira.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
i love the lullatone

i love the lullatones. Thank you for introducing them to me. . . and new humans. . .


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(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)

About your book, Momus, can you tell me if it will be translated into French? Thanks.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)

The Book of Jokes will appear in French, yes. The translation is just being completed at the moment. Translator is Marie Surgers.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 24th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)

Wee hee! I know Marie! She looks wicked! How appropriate!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 16th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
You do?

And I do?

Who are you, dear Anonymous?


Marie
(Oh, and hi, Nick!)


ReplyThread Parent