A great piece of news that is sure to please a good number of you: Plapla Pinky are playing at the Villette Sonique festival on Saturday 25th May at 7pm.…
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Born on October 10, 1938, Daido Moriyama is a Japanese photographer who created a radical change on the photographic arena both in Japan and the West. His works mirror the breakdown of Japan’s conservative tradition, especially during the post-war. Moriyama is a member of PROVOKE magazine, a theorist and a lecturer.
The Life of Moriyama
Daido Moriyama grew up in Ikeda, Osaka where he got his first training for graphic design before he decided to take photography lessons with Takeji Iwaniya, a legendary photographer of crafts and architecture. In the year 1961, he moved to Tokyo where he became the assistant of another photographer named Eikoh Hosoe. He worked for the man for 3 years until when he got the interest on the trenchant social critiques created by Shomei Tomatsu. Daido Moriyama further obtained his inspiration from the confrontation photographs of William Klein. Andy Warhol is also among his inspirations, particularly when the former silkscreened several newspaper images. The writings of Jack Kerouac and Yukio Mishima were also among his motivations.
From Moriyama's Memories of a Dog
Work and Career
On most instances, Moriyama takes his photographs in the Shinjuku regions of Tokyo. His works are often seen in grainy, high contrast, black and white images. He is well-known for taking shots in odd angles. His works were largely influenced by Seiryu Inoue, William Klein, Shomei Tomatsu, Andy Warhol, Eikoh Hosoe, the dramatist Shūji Terayama, the writer Yukio Mishima, as well as Jack Kerouac's On the Road.
Moriyama became prominent during the mid-1960s with his grainy representation of the Japanese life. His personal approach to photography yields results with graininess, high contrast, and tilted vantages. These images depict the fragmentary nature of life.
All throughout his career, he won several recognitions. The year 1967 brought him his New Artist Award from the Japan Photo-Critics Association. He obtained the coveted Annual Award from the Photographic Society of Japan in 1983. The year 2003 gave him his The 44th Mainichi Art Award and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) in 2004.
His use of small automatic camera provides his photos with causal artistry. Moriyama’s works were featured in several collections, both private and public. Some of these are in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has his share of solo shows too at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland, The Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and The Folkwang, Essen, Germany.
Doravideo is a project that mixes music and video. Attached to a set of drums, sensors transmit a different message to the computer according to which piece is hit : for example, the big drum will play a video, the snare drum will play it backwards with the cymbals fast-forwarding it, etc... The audience hear both the sound of the drums and the original film soundtrack directly reworked using techniques some of which are inherited from hip hop.
Doravideo is the solo project of Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, born in 1959 in Yamaguchi prefecture, 1000 km away from Tokyo. As a child, Ichiraku secretly listens to The Doors and Led Zeppelin under the sheets of his bed, afraid that his parents might think he'd turned into some kind of Hell's Angels/ juvenile delinquent. In the early nineties Ichiraku plays music in, before starting to collaborate with many Japanese and Western artists such as Otomo Yoshihide, Haco, Pascal Comelade, Eugene Chadbourne, Gong, Kevin Ayers, Keiji Haino, Kazuhisa Uchihashi... In 1996 he joins the Choi Song Bae Trio from Korea, then becomes a regular member of Omoide Hatoba (along with Yamamoto Seiichi) and I.S.O. (with Yoshihide Otomo et Sachiko M.) and joins Acid Mothers Temple for their 2001 US and UK tour.
After that he tours the world as All Asian Traditional Pop Orchestra, a solo drum unit (!) which he later decides to upgrade with video. A helpless TV addict fascinated with electromagnetic waves produced by the quick change of channels he decides to add video to his performance "just to make things funnier". Programmer Takayuki Ito designs for him a software to match his needs : first "Paradrum", then "Doravideo" in 2004. This name derives from "Doraemon", a manga character from the 50s who's become a true icon of Japanese pop culture. In the same way Ichiraku loots video material without any regards to copyright laws his hijacking of such an icon comes as a refreshing and vibrant approach in a world of paranoia about sampling, downloading, bootlegging and so on.
Cat-robot Doraemon takes out of his belly pocket an infinite number of zany inventions such as the indoor skiing machine, a door that opens up to any desired place, or seed-grown takeout meals. And thus the "dora" tag in Doravideo betrays Ichiraku's taste for the absurd and the unpredictable, bricolage giving birth to countless surprises and infinite potentialities.
Video samples come from all over and are gathered without any obvious thread running through them industrial films showing salarymen visiting a factory and later getting drunk with ryokan hostesses, excerpts from Kubrick's "Shining", avant-garde music concerts, Japanese variety shows, broadcast of the Emperor on parade. The most delightful moments are perhaps those when the plundering gives birth to the most childish entertainment, like when hard rock band KISS are turned into jerky puppets dancing along to Japanese drums.
Deliberately emphasizing on the show's scabrous, down-market entertaining features, Ichiraku opposes critics considering Doravideo belongs not in clubs but in museums and art galleries, "if only he'd pick his material with better taste". His refusal to be associated with an elitist conception of art notably showed at Ars Electronica Festival 2005, when he did not bother going and receive the Honorary Mention he was awarded!
© 2006 text: Franck Stofer, photo: Albane Laure
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
Referencing its fair share of nostalgia, De De Mouse’s electronica uses cosmic, sunset imagery to dial up the memories of childhood. An androgynous computer-generated voice rises up in make-believe praise while the rhythm section hammers out a measured march. Daisuke Endo, the brains behind this rodent-inspired project, plays out super-chic melodic arrangements live on the keys and his positively charged electric chants and iridescent orchestrations have succeeded in launching De De Mouse into the Japanese firmament in the space of just a few light years.
At the beginning of 2005 Daisuke Endo was mixing in trendy Roppongi clubs and starting to gain a bit of a reputation for himself. In 2006 he brought out his first self-release on CD-R, attracting the attention of a slightly wider audience. In 2007, Kazunao Nagata, a producer with his ear particularly close to the ground, offered to release his first album, Tide of Stars on ExT Recordings. It was an immediate hit. 30,000 copies were sold in just a few months and even mainstream suppliers were placing large orders. The major, Avex, recognised the artist’s value straight up and offered him a contract accordingly. In the spring of 2008, De De Mouse made his “major” debut and brought out his second album Sunset Girls on Avex Trax, alongside the 8-bit trio YMCK.
His first loves were releases on English labels such as Rephlex or Planet Mu and the music that he mixed then was slightly harder than it is now. At the age of about 24 his influences became broader and Daisuke Endo rediscovered Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega and My Bloody Valentine. He then began bringing more melodic elements into his writing. His “live” arsenal grew and he started using keyboards as if to signal to audiences that he was no mere DJ but a composer in his own right.
His music might have gained in wisdom over time but De De Mouse hasn’t lost any of the aggressive transcendence he has always brought to the stage. He heckles the audience without any qualms, as if to pull you in deeper. The video projections that accompany his concerts are the result of collaborations with artists such as Tenshi Iwai (DASI), who also did the video for the stand-out track ‘East End Girl’. This recent visual development seems to suggest that there is a whole other world waiting for Daisuke Endo to explore.
© 2008 text: Franck Stofer, translation: Jack Sims, photo: Eric Bossick