TECHNO-POP WILL EAT ITSELF|
Leave it to the thirty-somethings.
The first generation to be nearly smothered in techno culture and pop culture have produced some of the most creative works in music today -- and youcan count Denki Groove among them.
It's been almost a decade now since the Shizuoka-born duo of Takkyu Ishino and Pierre Taki released their first album as Denki Groove (1991's FlashPapa) Since then, the two have proceeded to push the definition of "techno pop" far beyond any horizon Kraftwerk or YMO could have imagined.
Imagine instead what might happen if both the "techno" and "pop" components were slammed to their maximum settings. You might then begin to understandtheir sound -- laced with equal parts melody and rhythm, humor and seriousness, information and disinformation. This combination has served themwell, and garnered an audience that no longer needs the "niche" qualifier. Techno is pop. Pop is techno. And both are Denki Groove.
Denki Groove is also one of few modern groups to maintain equally successful solo endeavors: Takkyu's DJ skills are internationally regarded and oftenmentioned in the same breath as those of Derrick May and Jeff Mills. Taki, on the other hand, has pursued his talents as a visual artist. Under thealias "Prince Tonga" (together with Hideyuki Tanaka), he has crafted much of the computer effects and tele-presence that have become inseparable partsof the Denki experience. Their live shows are especially augmented by these visuals -- becoming surreal playing fields for Takkyu and Pierre'santics.
In 1997, Denki Groove sparked the interest of a widening fan base with the single "Shangri-La," which sold 500,000 copies and propelled the album A tothe same level. The following year the duo made frequent appearances in Europe, performing at large festivals such as Berlin's MAYDAY. Their visitslead to the European release of "Shangri-La" in 1999, and the double CD album Double A.
Two years later, Denki Groove released the single "Flashback Disco." Part retro-fetishism, part minimalist post-modern love song and whollysuccessful, the single was followed up with "Nothing's Gonna Change." The two songs found a permanent home in the latest album VOXXX, released onFebruary 2, 2000 in Japan. VOXXX, like the two singles, is full of irony and brings together a myriad of voices and viewpoints in Japanese culture andsociety. Japanese and non-Japanese alike are still trying to decipher its meaning -- that is, when they're not dancing to it.
Denki Groove compiled their very best of live on "ilbon2000" (ilbon means "Japan"
in Korean), released on July 19 2000 in Japan and Asia.