Halcali - HarukaRImikkusu

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Remixing began in context of the neo-tribal ritual of “rave parties” and developed later as a less functional, more meta-textual advertisement for up-and-coming producers. Both types have become a predictable bore, and the official “Remix Album” is an diabolic act of commercial necessity, only one-step better than a “Greatest Hits 2003-2004.” (Shugo Tokumaru’s NPRMX coming soon on Music Related with a remix by Marxy!)

The Japanese record industry has never quite seen their artists as anything more than commodities, and they get worried that fans will cease to remember an artist if he or she does not show up in the press once every three to four months. This is a fair concern, however, for those in the product business: If you didn’t see Almond Joy at your local 7-11 for a long stretch, you’d be pretty convinced they had ceased production. For a brief period from late 1999 to Spring 2000, I did indeed “forget about Dre” so maybe the Japanese market is on to something. In this spirit, a bunch of guys who have Reason installed on their computers — “remixers” in industry parlance — have toyed with Halcali’s music.

The album starts with Yuka Honda’s reworking of “Tandem,” which is fantastic demo of a remix. Can’t wait to hear the real track! I can almost hear what it’ll be like once she replaces all of the preset patches with better sounds. Takkyu Ishino’s kitsch techno mix is still hilarious after all these years, and I recommend digging online to find the terrible line-drawing Centaur-fantasy promotional video that went with it. Force of Nature put Haruka and Yukari (or is it Halca and Yucali?) over something uncomfortably close to the Beastie Boys’ “Ch-Ch-Check it Out,” and K.U.D.O. throws their “Marching March” vocals over a laptop version of “Tommorow Never Knows” (or perhaps, “Setting Sun” by the Chemical Brothers. Same deal.) If you love hearing melodies over mismatched, simplistic harmonic accompaniment, this is your dream album!

Listen, girls, your CCCD single for “Electric Sensei” broke my CD/DVD superdrive and your last album broke my heart, and I’d just stop listening if I didn’t have the whole piggy bank invested on you saving J-Pop. Tell you what: let’s just proclaim that “J-Pop is officially dead” so that when you come up with a good single, I can write something that starts with, “Arising like a phoenix from the ashes of J-Pop…”

W. David MARX (Marxy)
March 25, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

8 Responses

  1. josh Says:

    yes it’s sad.. the first album was sooooo very very good. second album not. I’ll take your word on the re-mix.

  2. ankari Says:

    Tell you what: let’s just proclaim that “Jpop is officially dead” so that when you come up with a good single, I can write something that starts with, “Arising like a phoenix from the ashes of Jpop…”

    That’s a depressingly wise attitude…

  3. Chris_B Says:

    where are the mp3 links?

  4. trevor Says:

    yeah, i refuse to listen to this CD.. i like bacon.. im not fukin’ with it.. but on the defence of remix discs.. there are situations where they are obvious exploits. but alot of times its just fans of peopel, or friends of peope. or fans of other people asking.. then you have a bunch of need stuff.. you should do something with it.. without the kings of convience remix album.. we would have never gotten the erlend oye album.. anyways.. they can be used for evil.. but for good too. i think the rampant b-sides and single collections are getting more out of control.. ‘hey! here is the stuff we thought at the time wasn’t good enough, but now, maybe we can make some money off of it”. though, again. sometimes b-sides are reeeally good too.

  5. Jean Says:

    I agree, this is such a lame record. I couldn’t even listen to all of it.

  6. Akemi Says:

    I thought it was alright. At least it captured more of Halcali’s charm than Ongaku could. Its out close enough to Ongaku so that it doesnt feel like pointless stop gap filler either.

  7. farley Says:

    Remix? More like Mish-Mash yo.
    Good thing I didn’t PAY for the sucker…
    I guess that HalCali is going the way of all top-down produced J-pop; after the first album its all coasting on the reputation… A long pitiful glide down to weepy 50th aniversary specials in 2055; we’ll watch the grainy videos and HalCali will come on in embarrassing dresses and with botoxed faces. Pukasaurus.
    Tommy February6 also appears to have vanished, or been vanished. Goddamnit.
    I don’t know if it is a good idea to think these people are going to “save” J-pop. Its more like a pheonixiod cycle of death and rebirth (Oh how mystically oriental), the only way for J-pop to be saved is for all the cons in the music companies to DIE…
    Well, I guess disposable is good. What are we going to do with all that extra styrofoam otherwise?
    Now Kiiiiiii! is a different story altogether… (I’m setting myself up again right? When the Kiiiiiii! neo-grunge/samba remix album comes out in a couple years I’ll be crying again…)

  8. Farley Smokes Man Fat Says:

    Man, farley, you’re tripping.

    Ongaku no susume got rated as something that “De La soul wished it was” and that was in a EUROPEAN magazine.

    Botoxed Faces? I dont know if you know about jthis, but there’s something called, “becoming a woman” ? It’s when girls start to be able to have children, eg, the stage which Haruka and Yukari are now into in full swing.

    Note, when they started, they were almost 15, now they’re almost 18. You tell me the differences that happens between those ages.

    Ongaku no Susume, is BRILLIANT, there’s no doubt. The songs are a mix of everything that mixes superbly and to say most of them they wrote themselves, and the fact that Yucali could probably out-Rhyme the top american Native Rap stars, Not to mention each word is coherent while she does it.

    Bacon, the first album wasn’t the start of a downward spiral, it was the inverse, an UPWARD spiral. The trend of TV show appearances shows that obviously, they are in the public eye more and people want to see them outside of their Songs and Music Videos.

    The Mixes, notice, aren’t mixed by Halca and Yucali, but they’re still damn good.

    Please, PLEASE if you’re going to say something like that, back it up with facts? HALCALI are the best thing sinced sliced bread ^_^!

    Loves ya!