“6pm after school, dusk. Gym clothes, recorder, indoor shoes. Pinky finger, fingertips, side of the lip. Trading secret codes…” 28-year-old Hokkaido-born ‘ex-idol’ Tentenko’s work runs the full spectrum of street-level contemporary Japanese music, from her time spent in notorious pop idol group BiS to conjuring harsh noise with Toshiji Mikawa as MikaTen. Tentenko is her first release outside of Japan and collects the best cuts from various Japan-only releases since exiting BiS in 2014. It’s her ‘pop’ album, and although she operates on the fringes (BiS was the 'edgiest' of the popular idol groups), you’d be forgiven for mistaking Tentenko for a seasoned J-pop artist given the undeniable catchiness and immaculate production of the tunes. Her cute warped vision of pop loosely resembles American popular music and its various incarnations through the years, from Madonna (“Good Bye, Good Girl”) and Peaches (“Hokago Sympathy”) to Julee Cruise (“Hoshi No Densha”) and MxPx (again, “Hokago Sympathy”), taking inspiration from the similarly perverse pop subversions of The Residents, Bruce Haack (she named her cat after him) and Throbbing Gristle. And much like TG, i can’t really explain why I love it, I just do. Check out the breezy “Nantonaku Abunai,” kitchen sink sugar rush “Kuruma/Joshu Seki School,” the highly-functional “Good Bye, Good Girl” and simple sublimity of “Hoshi No Densha” for a taste. Limited edition clear pink vinyl edition courtesy of London-based Toothpaste Records, housed in printed inner sleeve with full album lyrics (in English!) and download code, recommended.
- translucent pink colored vinyl
- printed inner sleeve with full album lyrics
- digital download included
- limited edition
- music label: Toothpaste Records 2018
reviewed by neko atsume 01/2019