For the past two decades Kansai in the north of Japan – the land of the rising noise – has been the epicentre of the most thrilling, revolutionary flows in music underground which through extreme deviations from the heritage of 20th-century contemporary art, in particular performing arts and the controversial practises of the Vienna Actionists, traverse various experiences of popular music. During the 1980s and 1990s, shock aesthetics, (ab)use of technology, aggression and excessive volume, were the driving force of such pioneers of the noise scene as Hijokaidan as Masonna. In late eighties and early nineties they became amalgamated into the trash rock of the early Boredoms, and were rehabbed at the end of millennium in the Soul Collective hippy commune of the Acid Mother Temple.
The latest stirring echo of the Osaka and Kyoto scene is an attraction known as Afrirampo, the female wildcat duet of Oni and Pikacyu who in their ardent performances maintain primitivism and chaos as the creative axis of their music. They playfully disguise the sharpness and aggression of their contemporaries through lucid humour and ultimate puerility. The childish naïvety of these twenty year olds mingles with sexuality, by way of which Afrirampo capsize the macho mythology of rock music. The duet is the heir to extreme Japanese eclecticism in upsetting the patterns of rock, from its orgiastic components, psychedelic heights, progressive elements, noisy destructions and ecstatic improvisations, to punk screaming, garage roughness, bizarre costumes and theatricality; it is thus that the boundaries between performance and (a mere) music show become blurred. The heritage of rock culture - both past and recent - swirl in a frantic domain of constructive destruction reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s New York no wave scene, Shaggs’ playfulness and the megalomania of Magma. And yet, playful melodies and simple tunes always emerge through the rackety turmoil, inspired by the idiocies of the most honey-tongued pop music which is expressed by the duet’s affirmation that they “love Mariah Carey because of her big tits and romantic songs!’’.Luka Zagoričnik
Organisation: City of Women
In collaboration with: Gala Hala, AKC Metelkova mesto