Bradcat’s J-Music Focus… F.E.M.M

There are seldom moments in the music industry where fantastic artistry and music come together to form something totally different. Creative back stories for bands are somewhat a thing of the past, except for gimmick artists. However Far East Mention Mannequins (aka FEMM) really bring this fusion of artistry into a new light.

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Touted as a music unit created by the FEMM Agency Syndicate, and fronted by mannequins MS-000000 (aka LuLa) and SW-000000 (aka RiRi) this electric duo are handled by their “Agents” Honey-B and W-Trouble.

Confused? Don’t worry. This debut video released in 2013 will explain all…

F.E.M.M Introduction Video

From what I can understand, FEMM isn’t just these two hypnotic mannequins, but a large team of creative individuals. After watching some of their music videos on YouTube, it’s obvious this unit is made up of graphic designers, videographers, fashion designers, producers, photographers, and other incredible artists who have worked with musicians such as Skrillex and Beyoncé. While LuLa (described as the healer mannequin) and RiRi (described as the combat mannequin) are the main performers, their “Agents” (the people who speak on the behalf) Honey-B and W-Trouble can be seen briefly in one of their music videos (Astroboy), and they also feature in rare interviews with online magazines.

LuLa and RiRi in a rare public appearance

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FEMM exploded onto the scene late last year with their “Girl Power” track “F**K Boys, Get Money”. It clearly has heavy influences from Hip-Hop artists such as Nicki Minaj, with the in-sync typography and outlandish costumes featured in the video. But it’s also receiving critical acclaim for breaking the stereotypes of the archaic subservient Japanese woman, which many still believe to be true.

FEMM – F**K Boys, Get Money MV

FEMM’s tagline is “Do Dolls Have Feelings? Do Their Songs Move People?” I’m inclined to agree. After hearing just one track (Wannabe), I was hooked. It has the dark electro synth aesthetic that I love, which drove me to listen to more of their tracks, and eventually download their album from iTunes. Which brings me to  the other great thing about FEMM, all of their music is available worldwide unlike most Japanese artists who limit their tracks to the Japanese iTunes store.

FEMM – Wannabe – Alternative MV

So what are you waiting for? Join the FEMM movement, become an agent, and share the noise. You can find FEMM in the following places…

FEMM Official Website
FEMM on Twitter
FEMM on Facebook
FEMM on YouTube

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Bradcat’s J-Music Focus… Dempagumi.inc (でんぱ組.inc)

Dempagumi.inc (でんぱ組.inc) are a Japanese pop idol group who formed in 2008 performing daily on Akihabara’s DearStage live bar. Dempagumi are; Nemu Yumemi, Ayane Fujisaki, Eimi Naruse, Risa Aizawa, Mirin Furukawa and Moga Mogami. They are currently signed to MEME TOKYO.

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Idol groups in Japan are huge, that’s obvious. There’s even a Wikipedia-esque website that has a full A-Z of every idol group in Japan. Many idol groups follow the same format and can often find it difficult to break away from the mould. However Dempagumi.inc have kicked up somewhat of a storm in the last two or three years. I think it can mainly be attributed to their attempts to appeal to the otaku crowd, with each member specialising in a particular otaku genre (they’re also colour coordinated for easy identification). They’ve all expressed in previous interviews about being shut-ins and that the music has been a way for them to break out of their shells. What better way to connect with the modern hikikomori generation?

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I first heard of Dempagumi.inc when browsing YouTube for cover versions of rock music, believe it or not. This was attributed to their *ahem* unique cover of Beastie Boys – Sabotage which Daniel Robson of “It Came From Japan” also mentions in his recent MTV article. Since 2008 the girls have gone on to become one of the biggest exports of Akihabara. Not to mention, a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world, with many of the members featuring on the front cover of magazines such as KERA. Let’s take a closer look at the members…

risa

相沢梨紗 Aizawa Risa (Leader)
Nickname: りさちー Risachi
Team Colour; White
Date of Birth: 1986年8月2日
Otaku Genre: 90’s anime songs
Trivia: She’s good at making sweets!

furukawa

古川未鈴 Furukawa Mirin
Nickname: みりんちゃん Mirinchan
Team Colour; Red
Date of Birth: 1987年9月19日
Otaku Genre: Video Games
Trivia: Originally a solo idol, and an avid gamer

nemu

夢眠ねむ Yumemi Nemu
Nickname: ねむきゅん Nemukyun
Team Colour; Mint Green
Date of Birth: 1988年7月14日
Otaku Genre: Fine Art
Trivia: Also DJs under “DJ Nemukyun” and models

naruseemi

成瀬瑛美 Naruse Eimi
Nickname: えいたそ Eitaso
Team Colour; Yellow
Date of Birth: 1988年2月16日
Otaku Genre: Anime and Manga
Trivia: She was previously in another idol group called “Mizutama Online”

moga

最上もが Mogami Moga
Nickname: もがたんぺ Mogatanpe
Team Colour; Purple
Date of Birth: 1989年2月25日
Otaku Genre: Online Games
Trivia: She’s good at Ikebana, and she won the “Next Gravure Queen Battle” in 2013

ayane
藤咲彩音 Fujisaki Ayane
Nickname: ピンキー!Pinky!
Team Colour; Blue
Date of Birth: 1996年2月25日
Otaku Genre: Cosplay
Trivia: She used to upload dancing videos to Niconico before joining Dempagumi.inc

You can find out more about Demagumi.inc via their:
Official Website
YouTube Channel
Twitter
Facebook