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Jun Togawa is weirdly appealing in a way I couldn’t get enough of all those years back when I lived in Japan. A graphic designer friend turned me on to her music through a mixtape I can’t find, said something like, “Oh, you like Phew, do you? Well, you’ll certainly like Jun Togawa and the Yapoos.” And that band name like a brand name (Yapoos), made me think of Japan’s love of the Japanese Yahoo search engine, but I quickly forgot about that when I sat myself down and let Togawa’s twisted vocalizations drag my ears me over the edge. To the void. Listening to Togawa was like listening to liberation.
And the music…
Her band album is so strange, reminiscent of that Novotono collaboration Phew did with Otomo Yoshihide: pop terror, bizarro fluffiness. And the Yapoos are my 1980s nightmare turned up to full-blast in a room full of squealing tengus. It’s a discordant dose of aural pleasure. They certainly influenced the noise work I did during those Japan years and something of her frenzy seeps through the words in Domo ArigaDIE!!!
So, here’s to the purity of Jun Togawa’s music. Settle yourself into your favorite armchair, pull out your dirty headphones, strap them to your cranium, and turn the volume all the way to Saturn. Don’t worry about the consequences. Never mind the blaring twitches. Next, crack open a copy of Domo ArigaDIE!!! and lose yourself for an afternoon. You’re in the far east. Let yourself be taken away to a Togawa-infused fantasy landscape of massive battles and heart-wrenching melodrama fevers. Become a part of the music and observe the effects. Sit very still. Take a deep breath and two and three. Exhale. Let it out. Breathe out the stress. Watch the world turn pink and black and grey. And green splotches beyond belief.