This isn’t a new song by any means, appearing about a year ago on iTunes, but band leader Masami Takashima has recently put it up for anyone to listen on Soundcloud, so this is a first chance for a lot of people to get a good listen at this really quite fantastic song.
Miu Mau are an all-girl Fukuoka indie supergroup featuring Masami Takashima, a.k.a. Coet Cocoeh on synths, Hiromi Kajiwara of postpunk noiseniks Hyacca (full disclosure: Hyacca’s music is released via my own Call And Response label) on guitar and Miwako Matsuda of garage-punk duo Masadayomasa on drums. They released a lovely album called Design in 2008, which showcased their rough-edged yet stylish Shibuya-kei influenced (Daimyo-kei?) sound with echoes of mid-period Stereolab, but with Takashima moving away from Kyushu to Shikoku, the group’s subsequent work has been sporadic. All of which makes the existence of any remotely new material something to be celebrated.
Productionwise I’ve always more or less felt that lo-fi is as lo-fi does, and while this is by no means a slick, professional recording, it’s good enough and seriously, who gives a fuck? What it is is a gorgeous piece of early 80s new wave pop Asiatica, with Takashima’s keyboards going all retro-futurist oriental over the melody while plugging away at the synth bassline, Kajiwara’s flat, metallic-sounding guitar, an effect that sounds brutal and industrial on Hyacca recordings, here adding to the refined early 80s faux-Asian YMO vibe and the lyrics lauding with wide-eyed optimism the brave new world of music, science and fashion that the “future classic” of the song proudly declares repeatedly in flawless harmony.
If this song had been written by a band like Chakra in 1981, it would now be held up as one of the great songs of the new wave era, but it wasn’t, and the modern age is far less tolerant of beautiful, intelligent, offbeat pop. In its simplicity and easy grasp of pop hooks and melody, however, this song, if not yet exactly classic, at least may become a minor future retro-future classic.
Links to the various online stores where the download is available can be found on the Girlfriend Records homepage.