After more than a year of touring, remixing, producing and more touring, Buffalo Daughter has returned home to the more mundane matters of daily life. Bassist and Moog player extraordinaire Yumiko Ohno recently tied the knot with longtime paramour Zak (producer of the Fishmans among others) while DJ Moog Yamamoto’s young son took his first step up the educational ladder and began nursery school. Guitarist Sugar bought a bicycle.
But it’s not all boring domesticities. “When I got back from touring,” explained Sugar in a recent interview, “I didn’t listen to any music at all. I was just drowning in videos, just watching movies all the time. I was especially touched by ‘Showgirls.’ ”
It’s a brave confession considering that “Showgirls” is often found at the top of critics worst-ever lists, but for Sugar and the BD gang an interest in strippers is emblematic of a step away from the post-rock restraint of their last album, “New Rock,” toward something a little more sexy.
“At first I didn’t understand the reason for all those naked women,” said Sugar of her first impression of the film. “Then the main character comes on stage and strikes a pose and a volcano explodes in the background. I really want to re-create that sort of volcanic feeling.”
“Since we made the last album with a sort of flat feeling, we want the next one to be hot and passionate. We want to use words like ‘baby’ and ‘darling’ a lot. It’s really going to be about ‘woman’ in the conceptual sense.”
As the sole male member of Buffalo Daughter, Yamamoto seems unfazed by this strong scent of female. “I am all for having a completely different contrasting album and doing something the polar opposite,” he said.
The volcanic version of Buffalo Daughter has yet to be worked out musically however. After finishing remixes for Air (from France), Luscious Jackson (a Grand Royal label mate) and Original Love (Shibuya pop originator), the group is only just now writing and recording.
In the meantime BD fans will have to console themselves with “WXBD,” a new album of remixes. After “Socks, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the remix of their first full-length album “New Rock,” this is their second remix album in a row, but there’s a difference they insist.
“On the last one, we knew who we wanted to remix our stuff and we had a pretty good idea of what was going to come back. With this one, it was like our lunch box was already made.”
The group looks at “WXBD” as a sort of souvenir from its experiences on the road. Even the name, resembling radio call letters, is a reference to BD’s American odyssey and the realization that radio-play and touring are the twin pillars of musical success American style.
“It’s not something that we made,” says Sugar. “It’s more like ‘Look what happened.’
“When you get souvenirs or gifts from people that have been away it’s not always fantastic. Sometimes it’s like ‘What is this?’ ”
Though “WXBD” may have been a more haphazard undertaking, for those BD diehards who were taken aback by the somewhat abstracted remixes of “Socks, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “WXBD” will come as a relief.
Many of the remixes on “Socks” seemed too far removed from the original, the Buffalo Daughter song seeming almost irrelevant to the final product.
“With the last one, it seemed like the original tracks were a lot more deconstructed than this one. There was a lot more difference between the original and the remix,” admits Sugar.
Aside from a regrettable techno version of “Rhythm and Basement” that even the liner notes describe as a “typical English remix,” the remixes on “WXBD” acknowledges the original song, while reassembling it enough for it to be appreciated anew.
“There’s two different points to remixing,” says Ohno. “The first is that when you are creating a song, there is that image that you have of the track and then there is also the image of what other people will have of the track. Of course, as the creator you can’t know that. With a remix you can learn how the track sounds to other people and you also have a different sort of perspective of the track and you can witness it being reborn. The other point is that in a remix, it becomes a collaboration and you are creating another separate thing as the result of the collaboration.”
On “WXBD,” Cornelius adds an echoey, angular guitar and frog sounds to create an amphetamine cocktail out of “Great Five Lakes” while Scratch-Pet-Land exposes Buffalo Daughter’s gentler side with an electro lullaby version of “Jellyfish Blues.” Fans will have to wait for the new album to see if BD exposes anything else.
Buffalo Daughter, July 2, 7 p.m. with DJ Moochy at the Liquid Room. Tickets are 3,500 yen. For more information, call the Liquid Room, (03) 3200-6831. July 5 at Nagoya Club Quattro, July 6 at Osaka’s Shinsaibashi Club Quattro and July 10 at Fukuoka’s Hakata Drum Logos.
Also BD will also play along with dozens of bands at the Tibetan Freedom Concert, June 13 at Tokyo Bay NK Hall. For more info call Smash (03) 3444-6751.
Spring has brought a raft of pop-star weddings: Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her guitarist and singer Aiha Higurashi and Fan Boy Three’s Yoshiki Watanabe have also tied the knot. Wedding bliss may explain the lighter, poppier feel of the Seagull’s new EP “Pretty in Pink” to be released later this month. The new EP leavens the Seagull’s usual Runaways’ style of angular punk with a dollop of sweetness, without sacrificing any of the rock. SSKHKH will follow up their successful jaunt through the U.S. with a Japan tour in June.
Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, June 8 at Club Quattro, Osaka; June 9 at Club Quattro, Nagoya; June 11 at Shelter, Tokyo; June 12 at Club Quattro, Tokyo. All shows start at 7 p.m. 3,000 yen in advance; 3,500 yen at the door. For more information, call Club Quattro, Tokyo, (03) 3477-8750.
Other cool stuff to catch: Post-rock Chicago hits Tokyo in early June with Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt, at various times members of Tortoise and the Sea and Cake, plus the Chicago Underground Duo. Athens, Georgia’s Olivia Tremor Control, part of the Elephant 6 Recording Company that includes Cornelius’ collaborator’s Apples in Stereo, bring their psychedelic roadshow to Tokyo on May 27.
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