Saturday, June 4, 2011

狂乱村 (Kyouran mura)

Who: 宇宙さん(uchu-san) (vocals) and 茄子さん (nasu-san) (drums)
What: Minimal girl punk duo

Kyouran mura translates to something like "Village of madness", and I personally think this duo of the oddly stage-named Uchu-san (lit. Ms. Outerspace) and Nasu-san (lit. Ms. Eggplant) are closer to madness than a lot of other willfully "odd" Japanese acts.

Nasu-san handles the drumming with an unschooled primitivism rarely found among Tokyo musicians. Over her hectic tom rolls, Uchu-san yells lyrics from the depths of despair only an overworked school administrator can know. There's nothing cute about this duo, and I'm happy to apply the over-used term "raw" to describe them.

There is a strange tension between the spiky Uchu-san and the amiable Nasu-san, which is one of the few things about their act which does seem to be managed. At one gig, Uchu spent a few uncomfortable minutes taking Nasu to task for getting married to her older salary man boyfriend because she felt sorry for him. She also
quizzed Nasu about her ring and how much it cost, seemingly bent on humiliating the Kyouran mura rythym section in public. However, when I quizzed them about this after the show, they just shrugged and said it was all part of the show.

The vocals are obviously 50% of the Kyouran mura sound and I can't always figure out what Uchu-san is on about. One song basically consists of her chanting "I don't need pot" (”はっぱは要らない!”) over and over again. (Might help you chill out! Just sayin'...) while another one consists of her apologizing to family members. Her vocal styling runs from straight up yelling to something more like the warbly crying of traditional Japanese music.

This youtube clip (from their regular joint at Muryoku Muzenji in Koenji) doesn't do them justice, but you get the basic idea.

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