What You Need to Know:
- A new music video has been released for ‘Summer Dream feat. FEMM (S+ Ver.)’, a collaboration between Japanese mannequin rap duo FEMM and Duke of Harajuku, a member of music label tokyovitamin based in Tokyo and the second in a series by the collaborating artists.
- Duke of Harajuku’s latest album ‘RAZZLE DAZZLE’ features such collaborators as Billboard charting trackmaker Star Boy and Kanye West/Wiz Khalifa conspirator Gab3, along with Japanese rappers FEMM, PETZ and Young Coco as featured artists. Check out the video below!
- As a girls’ anthem with a darkly humorous message, mannequin rap duo FEMM’s acclaimed song ‘Fxxk Boyz Get Money’ found an audience with teens and influencers in the United States, quickly spreading around Europe, South America and Asia. Before long, FEMM fans – known as “agents” – were everywhere around the world. FEMM’s debut album ‘Femm-Isation’ brought Japanese female rap to a whole new audience, reaching the Top 10 of Billboard’s World Albums chart in the US.
- Recently it was announced that the previously stiff FEMM1.0 mannequin units had received a firmware update to FEMM2.0, allowing them to achieve convincingly humanlike levels of emotional expression. And then on November 6, the newly upgraded FEMM released double A-side single ‘Level Up’ / ‘Summer Dream’ (FEMM + Duke of Harajuku) in partnership with rising independent label and longtime FEMM cohorts tokyovitamin and close friend Duke of Harajuku.
- In addition, the music video for ‘Level Up feat. Duke of Harajuku’, which marks the beginning of Chapter 2 in FEMM’s story, was released earlier this week.
- The video is a remarkable work of cyberpunk visual worldbuilding, showing FEMM undergoing the firmware update to version 2.0 in a world with polluted air, the overly vivid colors on screen feeding a growing sense of anxiety. The video was directed by Yuki Tsujimoto, whose work is known for its eye-catching use of color and edgy editing. The styling was handled by the members of FEMM themselves.
- Additionally, on November 20, ‘Level Up feat. Duke of Harajuku’ will be included on a brand-new six-song EP titled ‘404 Not Found’. The title will be familiar to fans who encountered the error message displayed on FEMM’s official website these past few weeks, which caused FEMM agents to worry about the duo’s future. In fact it was a teaser for the new EP!
- The members of FEMM say that they chose the title ‘404 Not Found’ to suggest “brand-new music that doesn’t exist (yet), no matter how hard you search for it”.
- The EP offers radical rap styles over fierce industrial tracks, pulling in elements of ‘dark pop’, a style that combines musicality and message and is now sweeping the world’s music scene. Rather than simply riding this trend, FEMM draw elements into their own sound to offer a whole new musical experience and a rich seam of emotion.
- ‘404 Not Found’ includes production by DaBaby and Lil Uzi Vert collaborator Star Boy, as well as female Japanese trackmakers ANJULIECAT a.k.a. YUA and Diana Chiaki, who were approached directly by the members of FEMM as fans of their work.
- Other talented producers on the EP include Danny L Harle, a key member of London-based next-generation label PC Music who has produced for the likes of Charli XCX; Japanese bass music scene players HABANERO POSSE; Japanese hip-hop linchpin KM; and Radical Hardcore Clique, pioneers of the Japalanta genre that blends traditional Japanese music and trap.
- The cover art was designed by London-based illustrator Max Prentis. It depicts a lonely AI character that wanders the internet in the distant future, long after the extinction of humankind, and continues to attempt to access websites that will never be updated, displaying only the error message “404 Not Found”.
- With an unpredictable sound that overheats quietly, FEMM’s latest music melds the boundaries between human and machine, borders and languages, to deliver “a world that this world has never seen”.
- The two videos combine to make up one complete package: The shots in the ‘Level Up’ video where Duke of Harajuku is filming candid footage of FEMM with a camcorder and the scene where his lip-syncing does not match the lyrics (because he is in fact singing ‘Summer Dream’) is designed to match up with the new ‘Summer Dream’ video, so that the two promos complement each other. Both music videos were directed by filmmaker Yuki Tsujimoto, with footage shot over several days in rundown areas of the Tokyo suburbs to create a mysterious “Oriental” vibe. Check out both clips to see how they fit together. Watch them both below!
‘Level Up’ / ‘Summer Dream’ (FEMM + Duke of Harajuku)
‘Summer Dream feat. FEMM (S+ Ver.)’
Source: Official Press Release
FEMM + Duke of Harajuku
Double A-side single: ‘Level Up’ / ‘Summer Dream’
Release date: November 6, 2020
01. ‘Level Up feat. Duke of Harajuku’ (producers: Star Boy + Loesoe + RHC)
02. ‘Summer Dream feat. FEMM (S+ Ver.)’ (producers: Aztro Boy + RHC)
EP: ‘404 Not Found’
Release date: November 11, 2020
01. ‘Sit Down’ (producer: HABANERO POSSE)
02. ‘Bury Me (with all my $$)’ (producer: ANJULIECAT)
03. ‘Peach’ (producer: Danny L Harle / Radical Hardcore Clique)
04. ‘Play By The Rules’ (producer: Diana Chiaki]
05. ‘Boss’ (producer: KM)
06. ‘Level Up feat. Duke of Harajuku’ (producer: Star Boy / Loesoe / Radical Hardcore Clique)
Duke of Harajuku
Album: ‘RAZZLE DAZZLE’
Release date: September 10, 2020
01. WINGS (producer: Loesoe)
02. HARAJUKU ANGELS (feat. Gab3) (producer: Star Boy)
03. RICHnFAMOUS (producer: Star Boy)
04. WOHX2 (feat. PETZ) (producer: Star Boy)
05. MELT (producer: Lilikoi)
06. SUMMER DREAM (feat. FEMM) (producer: Aztro Boy)
07. TONY HAWK (producer: Star Boy)
08. Doflamingo Pink (producers: Star Boy + Outtatown)
09. I GOT (YALL HOT) (feat. who28) (producer: Star Boy)
10. L!F3STYL3 (producer: Jonah)
11. GO! (ft. Young Coco) (producers: Star Boy + Outtatown)
12. POP★ (producer: Star Boy)
13. BA$ED HARAJUKU 3000 (feat. LIL B) (producer: Kyle Van Riper
14. NEVERSTOP (producer: Lilikoi)