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 5, 2018

Apache -- Uchuujin Wana Wana(宇宙人ワナワナ)

As I said in the last article, I listened to my Techno Kayo compilation album...and yes, despite the cover, I did buy it for the songs. Plus to give credit where credit is due, my impetus to get this CD in the first place was reading contributor nikala's wonderful article on her love for the genre.

Before I stumbled on the story about the Minor Tuning Band, I had been intending to write about the first track on the album, "Uchuujin Wana Wana" (Alien Wana Wana) by the aidoru group Apache(アパッチ). This was the trio of women, Miwako Abe(阿部美和子), Miwako Ohta(太田美知子)and Yasuyo Yazawa(矢沢泰代), who were successfully auditioned to become the TV face for the Minor Tuning Band once their kayo medley "Soul Korekkiri desu ka"(ソウルこれっきりですか)transformed into a hit back in 1976.

But once they performed that song, Apache continued on for a few more years as a performing trio with 7 singles between 1977 and 1980. Their 6th single happened to be "Uchuujin Wana Wana" from July 1979. I don't know how Apache got into the techno kayo but my impression is that a lot of singers and bands wanted to get into the action of synthesizers and vocoders once Yellow Magic Orchestra showed that computer music can be fun and profitable.

And it sounds like "Uchuujin Wana Wana", which was written by Tetsuya Chiaki(ちあき哲也)and composed by Makoto Yano矢野誠...first husband of Akiko Yano), wanted to go into the Space Invaders route. I can't say that it is my favourite track on the Techno Kayo album by any means but it certainly sounds like a What If sort of song in that I could pose "What if Candies had continued for a few more years and gone technopop?". Got no idea about the "wana wana" in the title; perhaps it's just onomatopoeia.

Not directly related to the song but in the J-Wiki article about Techno Kayo itself, the writer posited that the Pink Lady(ピンク・レディー)hit "Southpaw"(サウスポー)from 1978 may have been the first kayo to try technopop through the usage of some syn-drums. Perhaps a baton was indeed passed. Ironically, my album does have Pink Lady represented through a song called "Last Pretender" which was their 21st single released in January 1981. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any video with that one and it is a song that has yet to be performed on TV since no choreography was ever provided to Mie and Kei .

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