Country : Germany Label : Phantom Limb Genres and styles : Afropop / Electronic / Experimental / Contemporary / J-Pop Year : 2020

Dokkoisho

· by Rupert Bottenberg

WaqWaq Kingdom have demonstrated their inclination for colourful chaos with a number of releases on Germany’s weirdo dub label Jahtari, migrating to the eclectic U.K. imprint Phantom Limb with 2019’s Essaka Hoisa. Now the pair of Japanese expats with worthy European resumes – machine operator Shigeru Ishihara, alias DJ Scotch Egg, and vocalist Kiki Hitomi – are back with the Dokkoisho mini-album, an ever so slightly more reasonable assemblage of their preferred ingredients. It’s a light but hyperactive collision of juvenile Japanese pop and driving African electro, dancehall and dub, chiptunes and gabba, alarming zoological vocalizations, and a visual aesthetic that suggests a cotton-candy tornado raging through the coolest thrift store in the world (check out the video for “Relax in Chaos”). The tempo is intense throughout, dialing down only for the meditative final stretch of “Mr. Two Face”. It’s a lot of information to process at any given moment. There is, however, a method to the madness. A precise purpose, even. The title itself is a cry of encouragement, a sort of “you got this!”, and the lyrics to tunes with titles like “Don’t Be Zombie” and “Positive Sound” likewise urge confidence, independence, optimism, and vitality – valuable resources in trying times.

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