La Mystique Féminine vol. 1

Frankie Teardrop of the fantastic Systems of Romance music blog has created a mix of entirely female-fronted projects in the coldwave, minimal and post-punk vein. It’s a great mix so I highly recommend giving it a listen, and check out the tracklist here for any artists you don’t recognize.

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Moev live show

Moev have announced that they’re performing a live show at the Otalith Music Festival this August in Ucluelet, BC. I think their live shows are very few and far between these days, and I myself haven’t been able to catch them live before, so I’m beyond excited! I wanted to get the word out there about the show in case any other die hard fans can make it out. The event info is here, and I’ll end this post with a clip of what is probably my favourite Moev song ever:

Kym Amps

In preparation for Veronica Vasicka coming to Vancouver for a DJ gig, I’ve been listening a lot to one of my favourite Minimal Wave compilations, The Hidden Tapes. One track in particular that’s been haunting me has been You Don’t Know My Name by a mysterious artist named Kym Amps.

I’ve tried to do some research on Kym Amps to see if I could find out more info about her, and see if she has any other releases. The always awesome Systems of Romance posted the one single that she definitely released, which you can find here. However, trying to find info on her background and any other releases has been a bit tricky. As for minimal wave songs, that single seems to be all she ever released. However, there also appears to be a soprano vocalist with the same name. I’ve listened to a couple of her songs, and while the non-coldwave songs have a much more polished vocal style (not to mention higher notes), I feel like I can hear a similarity. Her photo from the above biography page and the photo on the cover of the minimal wave single also have some interesting similarities.

If you happen to know any info about Kym Amps feel free to let me know – is she now happy and thriving in a soprano career? Does she still fondly listen to synthy beep boops and dream of releasing some new material in that vein? I’d love to hear what she’s up to these days. Until then, I’ll give You Don’t Know My Name a listen every so often and enjoy the melancholic charm.

Edit: A commenter kindly pointed out that there are two other Kym songs available for purchase on iTunes and streamable on Spotify: I Must Have Been Seeing Things and Days Like These. Her voice is really heavenly and I’ve been loving them!

Kokushoku Elegy

I’ve recently started focusing on freelance Japanese-English translation as a career. I love it – I get to work from home next to my cats and dog, go by my own schedule, and listen to whatever music I like. However, one thing I’ve begun to notice is that some music can be distracting in my more focused moments. When my brain is working through some tricky Japanese grammar, suddenly tuning in to an awesome French song and subconsciously trying to figure out what the lyrics mean doesn’t help my concentration much. I lived in Kyoto for part of my high school and university career, and though I managed to listen to a bit of Japanese language goth rock (Malice Mizer circa Gackt, the depth of my love for you can never truly be conveyed), I mostly filled my ears with J-pop as that’s what my friends were listening to.

Now that I’m looking for some fun Japanese music to listen to while working, I’m getting the chance to discover fantastic bands I’d never heard of before. One of those is Kokushoku Elegy, a female fronted 80s goth/post-punk band.

Seriously great tunes – check out some of their songs on YouTube if you like the classic dark post-punk sound of the 80s. Unfortunately as they’re a bit older I don’t have many leads for obtaining their music directly, but there are some decently priced copies of their albums on Discogs here.

Any other post-punk, synthy, or goth Japanese bands that I should be checking out? Please leave me a comment 🙂