Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spunky afro tiger jet flies so high...

The line-up at Metropolis' Saiko Walectro party last night was fierce. Rising above the super saturated goldmine of the Tokyo music scene, this installment of Saiko was really able to showcase some unique talent.

Taking the stage around 9PM was guitar and drum duo, the Uhnellys, comprised of Midi on drums and Kim on vocals and baritone guitar. The group's formula was centered around Kim's digital loop stations. He would loop bass lines and accompaniment on his baritone guitar in the beginning of each song, then proceed to bust out some ill Japanese rhymes over Midi's solid groove. The loop station is a common tool these days, but I've never seen a band use it so flawlessly and ambitiously. Their seemingly thin line-up was beefed up into a full on hip-hop ensemble.

But the real headliner of Saiko Walectro was Japanese pop funk princess Tigarah. Often compared to M.I.A and Lady Gaga, Tigarah is one of the hottest new dance pop acts to come from Japan, although labeling her with any sort of nationality or genre is dubious at best. Her music is equal parts hip hop, electronica, miami bass, and dirty south crunk, but she draws her main inspiration from baile funk, a Brazilian club genre that she was exposed to during her time in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.

With a musical combination of saw bass, miami crunk, and phat Brazilian rhythms, and a lyrical palette of English, Japanese rap, and sexy spoken word, I'm at a total loss for how to describe how awesome Tigarah's show was. She was an electrifying performer and knew how to work and rock the crowd. She ended the night with one final genre twister, her recently penned homage to Michael Jackson, "Funky Afro Tiger Jet Flies So High."

Keep your eyes peeled for more in the future.


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