Thursday, 14 August 2014

Reviews: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, DJWWWW & MC PLAY-STATION®

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Pika Pika Fantajin (Warner Japan, 2014)

It's a little difficult for me to consolidate my feelings towards Kyary Pamyu Pamyu without reaching for the overblown imagery of her Western mega-pop counterparts; your Lady Gagas, Katy Perrys et al. Hell, even Avril Lavigne has paid tribute to Kyary's outlandish style with the blog-stirring video for "Hello Kitty". But if you manage to look past the ultra-kawaii maximalism of the visual and performance aspects of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, you may find some of the most enticingly crafted pop ohrwürmers of recent memory, in any language. Her latest offering, Pika Pika Fantajin (which roughly translates to "Shiny Shiny Fantasyperson"), is more of the same, which is to say: stuffed to the brim with colourful instrumentation, viral hooks and a glorious sense of unreality. It does falter in places - "Ring a Bell", Kyary's first entirely English song, is so lyrically insistent that it winds up being a tiresome experiment above all else - but for the most part, Pika Pika Fantajin will likely be one of the most gleeful pop pleasures of the calendar year. That is, until Momoiro Clover Z release their new album.

DJWWWW & MC PLAY-STATION® *'~ 僕らのFANTASY *゚​+​.​。​:​;​+​.​:​;。​+​゚​*​♡ (Wasabi Tapes, 2014)

DJWWWW, MC PLAY-STATION®; purveyors of TOTAL SENSORY OVERLOAD and DENSE, NEBULOUS "COLLAGE" MUSIC (or, better yet, "epic collage"). Made up of 10 tracks with none of them edging over 4 minutes in length, *'~ 僕らのFANTASY *゚​+​.​。​:​;​+​.​:​;。​+​゚​*​♡  is a post-post-Oswald exercise in sheer sampledelia, almost totally forgoing melody and rhythm in the process. Well, maybe that's a little untrue; it's there in traces, only to be wiped out by a wave of digital noise or crushed beneath another sample almost instantaneously. Perhaps the real entertainment of *'~ 僕らのFANTASY *゚​+​.​。​:​;​+​.​:​;。​+​゚​*​♡  is picking out the blink-and-you'll-miss-it plundering; Kanye West, Waka Flocka Flame, Autre Ne Veut, D/P/I (I think?) are all given the DJWWWW/MC PLAY-STATION® treatment, sometimes all within the same 30 seconds, and it amounts to an amazing mess of pop culture and Bandcamp cool/weird/other.

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