The 1st of May was a fine day to bring out a record.…
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This young girl from Osaka is a fury. Armed with just two samplers, her voice tears a contradictory gash across the surrounding sound fabric, creating immediate and confusing sensations. She ties her hair in the shape of a palm tree and blackens her face, playing with an image that is both harpy and sweet young thing. Doddodo unveils a hidden side to femininity, not fragile beautiful but the regenerative force of a woman child out to discover the world. Onstage she clambers wildly over a table and chair in a disquieting show where the simple act of standing takes on significance.
Then she’ll freak out completely, no control over her emotions, singing, “Sip my juice if you’re thirsty / I’ll take you where there’s something to see…”. The rage she lets rip on stage is neither conscious nor thought out, just a desire to explode. Doddodo’s power is mysterious, almost shamanistic and channelled through old school hiphop. And if she is part of a school, it’s the punk and psychedelia of Osaka that lays first claim, the city raising her profile on a cyclical basis. You’d also have to mention Boredoms, as well as Pavement, but Doddodo is constantly evolving and builds on her influences in real time.
A close friend of Baiyon, Maruosa, DJ Mighty Mars, Oshiri PenPenz and Afrirampo who she comes together with occasionally (in the groups Fantaji Nakama and HanHan Neko Musume), Doddodo is a solo project born out of a fierce desire to “do” music that made itself felt around the beginning of the noughties. She writes her melodies on a keyboard before bringing in the samples, which work as kind of rhythmical axes, skilfully dug out of material on various bought or borrowed CDs. She only started singing much later, one evening in 2006, when she was cycling home and humming along to the tunes she’d been playing that day.
Although you can hear ethnic sounds in Doddodo’s music, there’s no particular conceptualisation behind this. Where she’s at is pure sensation. Doddodo does what she wants. As effective as a right hook, her music can wind an entire audience. She’s not weighed down by particular styles or hampered by references. She’s no showoff either. Doddodo’s music is direct, sometimes slightly absurd, hip-hop as if by accident and then a sort of furious spurt.
© 2008 text: Franck Stofer, translation: Jack Sims, photo: Eric Bossick