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Cover Art Kahimi Karie
Kahimi Karie
[Minty Fresh]
Rating: 5.7

There's something deeply disturbing about Japanese sexuality. I always picture stoic salarymen in exhaust- colored suits riding on subways, flipping through phone- book proportioned Manga comics. A creepy thing, indeed, that Manga-- with its topless, panties- flashing private- schoolgirls kickboxing each other and chatting with little shoulder- monkeys. They have a surpluss of animated porn. It's all frighteningly pedophilic.

And it carries over into their music and culture, evidently. Kahimi Karie's breathy whimper sounds like an eight- year- old call girl trying to pick up a trick. Especially when she pouts, "Everybody say you're too old for me, Candyman" and "I can move, I can bend, I can do anything/ Elastic Girl Friend, yeah I'm one of a kind/ Flick of a switch and I can blow." This album uses the term "Lolitapop," for cryin' out loud. Perhaps they're trying to be cute with the incorrect grammar, but it comes across as pretty degrading. Take, for example: "When you close your eyes, Our Feeling Begin To Growing Everyday!" Who wrote these lyrics-- Long Duk Dong, the "oriental" exchange student in "16 Candles?"

I'm sure a lot of this has to do with Momus, king of perverted retro pop, who wrote some of Kahimi's Japanese hits. Fortunately, Momus can crank out devilishly fun music in his sleep. Heavily influenced by Serge Gainsbourg (who's covered here), Kahimi coos over funky lounge pop and bachelor pad kitch, in a sort of video- game version of the Cardigans. Naturally, Beck and Cornelius, king purveyors of '60s nostalgia, make obligatory appearances.

Admittedly, the part of my brain that makes me wear "Hello Kitty" watches took over my legs and put some funk in my butt after hearing these gummi tunes. The music is an undeniable sugar- rush, but tolerating Kahimi's persona is like sitting through a Natalie Portman movie. And her voice! Eek, her voice! It's like getting phone sex from Tinky Winky and Dipsy. But, hey, if you're into that thing, grab a tissue and some headphones and I'll see you in jail.

-Brent DiCrescenzo



Thursday, October 5th, 2000
Sinéad O'Connor:
Faith and Courage

Various Artists:
Plus 8 Classics

Drums and Tuba:
Box Fetish

Fly Pan Am:
Sedatif en Fréquences en Sillons EP



Thursday, October 5th, 2000
  • Oval tours U.S. in support of new LP, sound installation
  • Depeche Mode working on new LP with LFO's Mark Bell
  • Canadian alt-country stars Blue Rodeo tour the U.S.



    Ministry of Information:
    Journey to the Center of Kid A

    by Brent S. Sirota
    Pitchfork gives birth to a new column. First order of business: the deconstruction of a future classic. Brent S. Sirota tears Radiohead's Kid A limb from limb, on the date of its release, to determine what makes it tick...



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