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Untapped, uncontrolled madness from Japan’s radical, legendary underground singer
With riffs like these, and a voice like hers…
The importance of Jun Togawa (戸川純) is hard to encapsulate. For many of a certain generation, she IS counterculture itself. Throughout the 70s and 80s, the frail, wraith-like Togawa single-handedly changed what it meant to be a woman in Japanese music, and what the “alternative” could sound like – pushing the boundaries of lyrical subject matter and performance as far as they could go.
“If Bjork and Siouxie had an unstable Japanese step-sister, that would be Togawa”
She is avant-grade incarnate. Bizarre and morbid lyrics, a vocal range that went from cutesy falsetto to blood-curling scream, and hands-down one of the most versatile songwriters in the underground. Both as enigmatic solo singer, and as a member of the iconic band Yapoos, her work has haunted every genre in Japan today, from folk and synthpop to jazz and noise rock.
It’s spectacularly fragile work – as if beamed in on a weak signal from a parallel universe. “There is a feeling I’ve had ever since childhood: that there exist many different ‘worlds’ and I was born in the wrong one, a world I don’t quite fit into,” Togawa is famous for saying.
We couldn’t be more excited that Jun Togawa will be playing at the ‘Grass. For this show, the neo-classical avant-metal outfit Vampillia will be her backing band, revisiting some of her most iconic songs and adding a sinister layer of strings and fury.