I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chakra -- Myun Myun (ミュンミュン)

Ah, if only my awareness and ambition about Japanese popular music had been more open back in 1981 when I visited Japan back then, I probably would not only have been able to pick up a lot more singles in the aidoru category but also go further afield.

Why did I just get all so philosophical above? Well, I discovered this YouTube video featuring this New Wave band from that same year, and it wasn't Yellow Magic Orchestra. At the time, I had thought that YMO had a monopoly on that sound but if I had been smarter, I would have known that the influential band had been around for a few years which meant that other synthesizer bands probably did emerge from the woodwork to get on the bandwagon.

In this case, this was the band Chakra (チャクラ) which had a number of members but the main two were Mishio Ogawa(小川美潮)on vocals and Bun Itakura(板倉文)on guitar. The song featured here tonight is "Myun Myun" (try 3:27) from their 2nd album "Satekoso"(さてこそ...As Expected)from 1981 and it's quite the technopop earworm. In fact, I would say that it's the far older and cooler cousin to that "Nyan Cat" song which was all the rage several years ago. Itakura and Ogawa wrote the vocals while Itakura took care of the music. Listening to it, I got that feeling of Akiko Yano(矢野顕子)in there when she was also on her own technopop kick at the time. Along with Ogawa chirping the title, I also like the guitar work.

Chakra started in 1980 with a self-titled album produced by Makoto Yano(矢野誠)who had been married to the aforementioned Akiko. Then "Satekoso" came out the following year with Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣)from YMO taking care of the production. One more album came out in 1983 titled "Nanyo de Yoisho"(南洋でヨイショ...Heave Ho on the South Seas)before Chakra finally broke up. Only one single was released in 1980 "Fuku no Tane"(福の種...Seed of Fortune).

And since I mentioned that feline...

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