WaqWaq Kingdom — Essaka Hoisa (Nov. 15, 2019)               WaqWaq Kingdom — Essaka Hoisa (Nov. 15, 2019)  Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)
•χ•     Essaka Hoisa koncepčně čerpá vliv a snímky z tradiční japonské historie a mytologie. Titul je převzat z výkřiku kago dopravců — viděných jako Kiki a Shige na ilustraci Kiki pro obal nahrávky — dva lidé nesoucí na tyči vládnoucí třídu nebo náboženské hodnostáře na velkou vzdálenost.
•χ•     Shigeru Ishihara a Kiki Hitomi globalizují ... dobrým způsobem. „Víte, že existuje něco jako dobrá globalizace,“ informoval mě Shigeru Ishihara zdvořile, když se připojil jeho přítel a hudební partner ke Kiki Hitomi: „Samozřejmě jsme oba Japonci, ale také jsme žili v Londýně a Německu, takže jsme také přirozeně vstřebávali věci od různých lidí a doufáme, že se to stane. Soudě podle jejich dobře vychované a svědomité povahy bych řekl, že to určitě ano. „Globalizujeme dobrým způsobem!“ Na „Essaku Hoisa“ staví duo na prvotřídní legraci, pohrává si s nekonvenčními koncepty způsobem, který nikdy není zjevně akademický. Stejně jako na jeho předchůdci, význam alba spočívá v jeho abstraktních výrazech radosti, vzteku nebo přesvědčení, takže upřímně by jste si to vše pomýlili s hloupostí.
•χ•     Shigeru Ishihara je většinou znám jako breakcore~gameboy legenda DJ Scotch Egg, ale také pro hraní na basu v kapele Seefeel (Warp Records), v projektu Devilman a Small But Hard Records. Kiki Hitomi je singer~songwriterka basových badatelů King Midas Sound (Ninja Tune), Black Chow, japonského noise dua Dubstep Dokkebi Q a projektu NoinoNoinoNoino. Její vysoce uznávané sólové debutové album „Karma No Kusari“ se objevilo v labelu Jahtari v roce 2016.
Location: Ósaka, Japan ~ Leipzig, Germany
Style: Pop, Dub, Psychedelic Pop, Post Tribal
Album release: November 15, 2019
Record Label: Phantom Limb (Brighton, UK)
Duration:     45:11
01. Mum Tells Me   3:52
02. Doggy Bag   3:49
03. Itadakimasu   3:27
04. Gift From God   2:37
05. 3rd Eye   4:59
06. GaGa   5:04
07. Hototogisu   2:29
08. Circle Of Life   3:32
09. Warg   4:40
10. Medicine Man   10:42
•     All music by Kiki Hitomi and Shigeru Ishihara
•     Track 10 features Jimi Tenor and Tom Page
Words by Jack Doherty, Score: 8/10
•χ•     When you sit down and think about it, electronic music fits fairly neatly into two distinct categories: “Thinking Music” and “Feeling Music”. “Thinking Music” is, believe it or not, all about the mind; the sort of music filled with surreal bleeps and bloops that take you away from reality and inside of that little brain of yours. Conversely, “Feeling Music” is all about movement. It’s music with its heart set on the dancefloor: music with big breaks, catchy hooks and throbbing loops; music built for the club, rather than the bedroom. Some artists are able to straddle the two masterfully. However, rarely, if ever, does a group fall outside of the categories all together. Enter WaqWaq Kingdom.
•χ•     Essaka Hoisa, the second record to come from Japanese musicians Shigeru Ishihara (aka DJ Scotch Egg) and Kiki Hitomi of King Midas Sound, melds together the remnants of dance music’s past, present and future to create a dense if sometimes confusing blend of modern electronica. You’ve got hip hop, you’ve got 8~bit, you’ve got schoolyard vocals, you’ve got… well you’ve pretty much got it all. Take standout ‘Hototogisu’ for example, which builds on everything great about WaqWaq Kingdom, forming a freak scene kaleidoscope of anime themes and dancehall decadence, almost questioning the purpose of modern dance music in the process.
•χ•     From the opening synth stabs of ‘Mum Tell Me’ to the ghostly finale of ‘Medicine Man’, WaqWaq Kingdom deliver a lesson on the values of sitting outside of recognised genre tropes. It turns out fitting inside a box isn’t all its hyped up to be.
χ•χ     Essaka Hoisa, the thrilling, brand new LP of “minyo footwork” by Japanese musicians Shige Ishihara (DJ Scotch Egg / Seefeel) and Kiki Hitomi (of King Midas Sound) under their WaqWaq Kingdom guise lands in November 2019 on Phantom Limb.
χ•χ     Uniquely omnivorous in their approach, WaqWaq Kingdom’s endless range of stylistic adventures sees them draw lines between traditional Japanese and contemporary electronic, between Jamaican dancehall and 8~bit techno, between African polyrhythms and experimental music, with plenty more helping to colour a powerful, vibrant palette. This new record — after 2017’s debut Shinsekai - is the first under the new line~up of Hitomi and Ishihara, as former drummer Andrea Belfi leaves the band for his own projects. This shift in personnel and dynamic has allowed Hitomi’s vocal delivery and Ishihara’s production to explore even deeper new ground, borrowing infinitesimally small snippets of sound and style to craft a singular hotpot of musics. From opener “Mum Tells Me” (written after Kiki sadly lost both her parents in a short period of time) and its Shinto bells and Afro~trap percussion, to “Itakadakimasu” and its reproach of human greed via twisted Cubo~Cumbia beats, Essaka Hoisa rarely stays in one place at a time.
χ•χ     Conceptually, Essaka Hoisa draws influence and imagery from traditional Japanese history and mythology. The title is taken from the cry of kago carriers — seen as Kiki and Shige on Kiki’s illustration for the record sleeve — two people carrying ruling~class or religious dignitaries over great distances. The shout Essaka Hoisa was said to lift the carriers’ spirits and strengthen their unity. In her lyrics, Kiki uses this imagery to explore our own reflective burden — experiencing life without an understanding of its meaning. Carrying hardship, sadness, pain and difficulty like a kago carrier, shouting essaka hoisa to get through the struggle. “We keep on going and shouting Essaka Hoisa together with partners, our kin, friends and people that we walk together and carrying on our life with laughter and tears,” Kiki writes. “No matter what, I am carrying on my life. I won’t give up and keep on going, keep on making, keep on learning with hollering the word Essaka Hoisa.”
χ•χ     Shigeru Ishihara — aka DJ Scotch Egg — has been a distinctive alien orbiting the dance music galaxy for over a decade, releasing radiantly unpredictable solo records through Lightning Bolt’s Load Records, as a member of Warp Records’ legendary Seefeel, and performing with both projects across the world. Kiki Hitomi is a member of Ninja Tune / Hyperdub’s King Midas Sound (along with The Bug and Roger Robinson), and co~founded iconic Japanese dubstep~noise duo Dokkebi Q. She is also a celebrated illustrator and designer, having created artwork for countless record sleeves and brands. The combined interests, abilities and creative scope of the two musicians — both Japanese, both based in Germany — results in Essaka Hoisa, a brilliant explosion of noise that speaks volumes to their musical powers.