music, news

Turpsycore has a release date and full tracklisting

Momus’s 2015 album Turpsycore has a date now – the album’s going to be coming out on March 3, via the man’s own American Patchwork label. The 3-disc set will feature the previously-released “Turpsy” suite, his “Dybbuk” set of David Bowie covers, as well as his previously-unreleased “Harvard” set of Howard Devoto songs. You can pre-order it through Darla Records – the listing on which also has the full tracklisting – and, as always, Memories of Shibuya will be staying on top of any news relating to the release as it comes up.

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Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie, music

Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie (week four)

kkjourney

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

Concluding his series on the artist whose work he is perhaps most well-known for collaborating on, Momus writes here about the end of an acclaimed and productive working relationship, and the 20th century along with it.

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music, The Canon

The Canon: Kahimi Karie – I am a kitten

Inspired in no small part by The AV Club’s dearly departed “The New Cult Canon” feature, our newest feature at Memories of Shibuya aims to catalogue the releases that formed the core of what Shibuya-kei meant, and set the stage for what it would become in the future. These may not necessarily be the “best” selections when viewed purely on musical merits, but they are the ones that are most essential to Shibuya-kei as a genre. So, without further ado, Kahimi Karie’s 1995 Crue-l EP I am a kitten: Kahimi Karie sings Momus in Paris.

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Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie, music

Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie (week three)

kk3

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

After the success of “Good Morning World,” Kahimi Karie was able to enjoy a brief stint as a global pop star in the late ’90s, making hits in her home country of Japan from half a world away. As Karie’s success grew, though, fractures began to appear in her most acclaimed musical partnership, as Nick “Momus” Currie examines in the somewhat melancholy penultimate chapter of our Kahimi Karie spotlight.

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Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie, music

Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie (week two)

gmw2

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

In this installment of Memories of Shibuya‘s special look at the ’90s highlights of Kahimi Karie’s musical career, her former songwriting partner Nick “Momus” Currie discusses the biggest hit that he and Karie ever had – and, as writer Ian F. Martin memorably noted, the only time that a reference to The Fall got on the Oricon top 10.

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music, news

Momus’s Turpsycore packaging revealed

Over at the official Momus tumblr account, preview images of the packaging for upcoming triple album Turpsycore have gone up, designed by the very talented Hagen Verleger (who appeared as “the Pope” in Momus’s recent novel Herr F). Worth noting is that the Momus originals that make up the “Turpsy” disc are apparently published by Sony Music Japan – turns out that the trickster god has been affiliated with a major label for at least a decade now. The address on the back of the album’s packaging isn’t up quite yet (one can assume it will launch closer to the album’s still yet-unknown release date), but you can be sure that Memories of Shibuya will stay current with all updates as they come up.

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Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie, music

Artist Spotlight: Kahimi Karie (week one)

kkmem1 Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

When people talk about Kahimi Karie, the discussion is never about whether or not she was Shibuya-kei royalty; the question is whether she should be called “queen” or “princess.” One of the scene’s most successful artists during the golden age of Shibuya-kei in the mid-’90s, her music took the jet-setting chic of Pizzicato Five one step further – not only singing in multiple languages, but working with a number of outsiders as well. Chief among these outside talents was the Scottish-born Nick “Momus” Currie, who would go on to become a Shibuya-kei legend himself, and Memories of Shibuya is overwhelmingly proud to present his spotlight on Kahimi Karie as our second guest series. Continue reading

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news

Read Momus’s new novel, Herr F, for free!

In addition to being an accomplished musician, lyricist, and former contributor to Wired magazine, Nick “Momus” Currie is also a writer of fiction – with four novels in print (The Book of Jokes, The Book of Scotlands, The Book of Japans and UnAmerica), the most accomplished of cyclopeans has certainly been wearing the “novelist” hat more than a good number of his many others lately. His latest work comes to us from German publisher Fiktion, who have presented his new story Herr F (Everything Living Forever is Screaming Forever) online, free of charge, simultaneously in both English and German. They have it available in a number of formats, from EPUB and MOBI to old-fashioned HTML and an auto-scrolling browser version. With the release of this novel preceding next month’s triple album Turpsycore, it is most certainly a good time to be a Momus fan.

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music

Essential Shibuya-kei reading: Momus’s Creation Records era

Amongst UBUWEB’s stunning assortment of avant-garde, experimental and influential music, one can find a gem incredibly relevant to this particular blog; Momus’s six albums for Creation Records, in full, along with track-by-track commentary written by the man himself. The “Creation Years” (as Cherry Red Records’ fantastic, and tragically out-of-print, 2-disc compilation album Forbidden Software Timemachine dubs this period of Momus’s career) represent an artist coming into his own after his beginnings in The Happy Family and an admittedly unimpressive solo debut (1986’s Circus Maximus), and they contain some of his best work. The Creation years, additionally, represent the peak of Momus’s commercial performance. 1989’s Don’t Stop the Night produced his sole UK chart hit with “Hairstyle of the Devil”, which Momus writes “should have been the song that made [him] a star.” However, in his failure to join the hallowed ranks of his Creation Records companions like Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine in critical acclaim and sales numbers, he found something far more musically interesting. As Momus was an integral part of Shibuya-kei in its formative years (as well as figures like Mike Alway, who he references multiple times in his commentary), these albums are truly essential to understanding Shibuya-kei’s complex relationship with music outside of the Japanese islands. Best of all, you can hear them for free!

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music, news

Momus continues animal theme; releases song about a foxy otter

After the bears and sheepdogs, the hateful horses and spores, Momus turns his eye towards a new member of the animal kingdom for this latest Turpsycore jaunt – a “Foxy Little Otter”, to be precise. While continuing a trend of somewhat boring lyrical conventionality (other than the silliness of the object of his affections, apparently, being a literal otter), it’s not a bad song by any means – just one that does nothing to dispel the notion that Turpsycore will end up somewhat overstuffed, with an abundance of songs lacking any sort of coherent theme beyond Momus’s tongue-in-cheek approach to tackling odd subject matter. But for a three-disc monster album to be overstuffed and incoherent is a foregone conclusion, really; best to just revel in its wholly unnecessary nature, as that’s clearly what one is meant to do when confronted with something as knowingly ridiculous as Turpsycore.

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