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.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kahimi Karie -- Zoom Up

Along with Pizzicato Five and Flipper's Guitar, Kahimi Karie(カヒミ・カリイ) is one of the other standard-bearers for Shibuya-kei. I very rarely saw her on television in any capacity....I think the only time I caught her on the tube was on a late-night one-off special starring her having a conversation with another like-minded artist. I don't remember very much of the talk but she struck me as being very refreshingly frank and down-to-earth which dispelled some of that mystery surrounding her. I only usually see her through her photogenic poses with those large sharp-staring eyes.

I've chosen "Zoom Up" for my first Karie profile since it's a song that I've heard so many times on Japanese TV...but only in excerpts. Japanese variety shows and the daytime wide shows seemed to use the beginning of the song as the introduction for segements on fashion or artful coffee houses in the chic quarters of Shibuya, Omotesando or Harajuku. But no wonder..."Zoom Up" has that Frenchness which characterizes part of Shibuya-kei. The other French part is that whispery, kittenish voice of Karie. I would've thought that she had been born and raised for a good part of her life in The City of Lights. But actually, Mari Hiki(比企真里) was brought up in The Capital of Gyoza....Utsunomiya City in Tochigi Prefecture, about an hour's Bullet Train ride from Tokyo. If you like your pork dumplings, Utsunomiya is one of your touchstones.

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