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Asobi Seksu

Bearing a hyper-stylized and glitzy graphic design sense, a pretty and petite Japanese female singer who sings alternately in Japanese and English, and a band name with a hint of nod-and-a-wink naughtiness (it's claimed to be a Tokyo-based slang term that means "playful sex"), Asobi Seksu come across like the latest Japanese import, the newest in a long line of ironic Shibuya-kei indie pop artists following Puffy AmiYumi, Cibo Matto, and Pizzicato Five. In fact, the quartet is based out of New York City, and besides the heavy Japanese pop influences, Asobi Seksu bear comparison both to the British shoegazer bands of the early '90s (My Bloody Valentine in particular) and to New York guitar noise acts ranging from Sonic Youth to Yo La Tengo.

Singer and keyboardist Yuki Chikudate, guitarist James Hanna, bassist Glenn Waldman, and drummer Keith Hopkin formed Asobi Seksu in late 2001, self-releasing their self-titled debut album the following year. Garnering a strong local buzz at a time when the New York club scene was hot again following the success of the Strokes and Interpol, Asobi Seksu came to the attention of the indie Friendly Fire Records, which reissued Asobi Seksu with new cover art in 2004. The album's single, "I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me," raised the band's college radio and online profile; that song and two others from the album, "Sooner" and "Walk on the Moon," were placed in the indie film In Between Days, which won a special jury prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

Before recording their second album, Asobi Seksu underwent a major personnel shift, with the core duo of Chikudate and Hanna replacing Waldman and Hopkins with new bassist Haji and drummer Mitch Spivak. Produced by hot New York indie producer/engineer Chris Zane (Human Television, Ambulance LTD, etc.), the more polished, multi-layered Citrus was released to solid reviews in May 2006. At some point near the end of the nearly two years spent touring behind the album, Hanna had a revelation that led him to rethink the sound of the band, namely that he was sick and tired of the guitar sound the band had utilized up to then. For the next album, the band (then down to the core duo of Chikudate and Hanna) stripped back the layers of guitar noise and aimed for a more atmospheric and lush sound. Hush was released by new label Polyvinyl in February of 2009, and Chikudate and Hanna continued in this cleaner direction for 2011’s Fluorescence. ~ Stewart Mason & Tim Sendra, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Bio seems bit messed up
Yeah, people don't realize nirvana only pretended to be American, but were really Islamic exremists sent to Seattle by the CIA to infiltrate the punk scene and destroy it from within. Stay tuned for more shocking, little known facts.
If the band formed in NY, how in the bleeding %$#@ is this an import like Puffy Amiyumi? That's like claiming America imported Nirvana.
this band is awesome.
Bears comparison to MBV? Shoegaze? Are you kidding? Both great bands but no similarities whatsoever! Pick it up, Rovi! Big time Fail!
Heaven in my ears
There's some tardly comments on this thread. I saw these guys at The Troubadour in 2008 and I'd go back tonight. Yuki and the bassist were the only ones to pay attention to, the other two guys faded into the walls. They were a LOT harder live. Yuki kept banging her delicate little head and her hair flew into a big, black hanabi (firework). I love Yuki and I want to bear her children. The band's name translates to 'playful sex' and they're from Brooklyn. STOP tarding out and saying otherwise.
pchan_80
I may be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that the band said that sport f*ck is a better translation. Great music.
Good to know...
Asobi means play and Seksu means sex, literally, not so much slang jajaja!
Never heard of them, but I'm impressed by thie sound. Certainly something I'd like to add to my music library!!!!!
sbholl84
Reminds me a lot of Lush. Good sound.
I love these guys so much!
Chikudate. Great name.
rocketboy4
Shibuya kei couldn't be much further from shoegaze. I'm not sure why Pizzicato 5 would be mentioned in the artist info. Of course, it's not like Puffy or Cibo Matto is Shibuya kei either, so to me this info just sounds like another hipster music reviewer trying to impress us with his knowledge. Or in this case, his lack of.
I bought this CD just cuz it was pretty and Japanese and was only like $7.. SO i said why not? Haha, funny how the world works.
absolutely amazing...cr e a t i v e and intense...fo r me, besides the obvious comparisons, I hear sonic youth, U2 and 50's type ballads, its all there...a truly great band
Well seksu is the Japanese spelling of the english word "sex" (would be pronounced "Seks" since the "u" on the end is mouthed, but not sounded) so it is slang. Ai suru is to literally "do love" or the verb neru which means to sleep also means to have sex if applied to another person. "Isshoni, hoteru de nemasu ka?" does not mean would you like to simply go to sleep at the same time at the hotel.
First off, all these people who keep saying that they are Japanese are mistaken. The lead singer is Japanese but the band is from New York. Second, the style is shoegaze which started in the early 90's, infamously known as "The Scene That Celebrates Itself". It is known for it's feedback guitars. Sorry if you don't get or enjoy the music or style but to dismiss them as not having talent is narrow minded.
"it's claimed to be a Tokyo-based slang term that means "playful sex""

asobi = play
seksu = sex

Slang term? um, not so much.
Her music is very energizing.
Glad to see something new out of Japan. I have to say, I love the unique style. Hush sounds like a mix between Postal Service and The Killers.
i enjoy this band very much.
OMG, she's HOT! oh, and the tunes are cool too - Asobi, marry ME!
dragonlady60 8 8
very very nice interesting muscians
I'm not sure I would like them without the contrast between Yuki's sweet voice and the rough "Noise" aspect of the music.
create a station and listen to the songs... they sound much better than in the video, it doesn't have good sound quality... you may end up buying an album... I'm liking them...
jimmyfox1000
If you're talking about the video they had of them performing, that's because it's shoegaze. Effects heavy guitars never sound all that hot at a live venue. If they had no focus on guitar effects, then it would be a totally different style of music. Some can appreciate the buzz and noise, and others just don't.
I have to agree with wreidcad. I liked the keyboard and drum portions of the music, but every time the guitars kicked in I really hated the song. I don't know if this is a lack of talent on the band member's part or simply poorly written music, but the songs would definitely benefit from less or no guitar.
tHE GIRL WAS KINNA CUTE..BUT THE GUITAR AND BASS ABSOLUTELY SUCKED....AL O T OF NOISE !!
i am in love with song ,i like sing song i also write music of my own do you
Beautiful music. I love them!
sarebare11
hmm, not really something i would listen to...
I spent many years in Japan and listen to lot of Japanese music and love Japanese people, but I am not sure that this band has anything to offer.
huh
misstress_el f
What does the fact that she's pretty have to do with her music. Sexist pigs.
I found Citrus on vinyl last month at Amoeba Music in SF. It is such a great record!
jimmyfox1000
Yay! They're coming out with a new album in February. If the stuff they've already put out is any indication, it'll be just as awesome.
i don't know wtf she is saying half the time but i love<3 it!
Very cool. :P

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