tenniscoats & secai, d.v.d
o-nest 29 sept 2008
This was a 'two man live' meaning there were only two bands playing, and that meant they could play long sets - a rarity in Japan.
I had been to O-Nest on the previous night and seen Jimanica play an amazing set, just him on drums and triggering samples from his kit. Tonight he was joined by Itoken and YMG who make up the unit d.v.d. In d.v.d, Jimanica and Itoken trigger visual samples from their drums, along with visual artist YMG on laptop and electronic toys. It's hard to know whether these guys are primarily a band or a digital art project. The music is a tight math-rock-like percussion extravaganza with digital sounds. Still managing to stick tightly together, they sometimes compete against each other with simple computer games like pong and pinball which are triggered by their drums and projected on the large screen behind them. At one point, YMG produced a Tenori-on and announced that he wanted to show Japanese technology to the Live From Tokyo documentary crew from America who were filming the show. I was surprised to see a musician actually using this toy live, though I suspect that Yamaha must have given it to them.
If you know me at all, you know that I love Tenniscoats.
Saya and Takashi Ueno make warm, japanese free-folk-naïve-pop. Saya, with her sweet if unconventional voice and analogue keyboards, and Takashi's original style of playing guitar, saxophone and all kinds of instruments. I've even seen him play the harp! Anyway, tonight he stuck to the guitar and the duo were joined onstage by another duo, Secai.
Secai are NSD and Dasman and together they make atmospheric abstract breakbeats (secai - mammoth mp3). Tenniscoats are known for great collaborations such as with Tape and DJ Klock, Saya with Nikaidoh Kazumi and Satomi from Deerhoof, and Takashi with almost everyone in the Japanese music underground.
With Secai, they've hit upon a beautiful combination of ambient sounds, beats, and the Tennsicoats sound. I was lost in their sound world throughout their long set of songs mostly from the new Tenniscoats & Secai album, causing goosebumps, goofy smiles and slow body-swaying from the audience. In the last song, Saya suddenly held the microphone out to Kiyokazu from Andersens who was standing in the front row and who tried to sing along with the song with help from Saya. It didn't really work out and Saya left the stage in a ball of embarassment. I was glad some of the usual charming Tenniscoats clumsiness could find its way into the performance.
A great interview with Saya can be found at Tada Music, where you can also hear their song 'baibaiba bimba' as well as a bunch of other good Japanese music.
Tenniscoats & Secai are playing again on October 28th.
Tenniscoats are playing this Thursday, October 9th with Tape from Sweden. Details.
Takashi is playing with Gutevolk and Kazumasa Hashimoto on October 12th and 13th.
He is playing with Ignatz and LSD March on October 27th and 29th.
Saya is playing with Mimura Kyoko on October 21st.
tenniscoats & secai