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Pee-Wee’s Groove House

October 28, 2009

I dig Trapeze. It’s a visually creative series and it’s one of my favorites this anime season. But the best thing to come out of seeing this series is discovering Denki Groove.

Seriously, world, why didn’t you tell me about these dudes before? I’m pretty pissed at you for making me late to the groove.

I’m not sure how I feel about the group musically. The handful of tunes that I’ve heard so far have been decent by dance music standards, but I’m not the biggest dance music buff. Just isn’t my thing. Shangri-La, the closing credit song from Trapeze, has grown on me, but I haven’t heard enough of their stuff to make any sort of hard judgement on them musically. The Denki Groove wiki says that they’re influenced by Kraftwerk. I can hear the similarity in some of their songs, but they aren’t catching my ear as easily as Kraftwerk’s stuff. But comparing the two groups is hardly fair, so that’s all we’ll say about that.

Anyway, I’m absolutely loving their music videos. The one for Flashback Disco seems like what you’d get if Pee Wee Herman got into german electro and learned Japanese. I think it’s the dancing flowers and the bellydancer with the plastic fish head that conjures that image. That’s totally Pee Wee’s Playhouse if it was ported into a rundown Japanese apartment complex.

The only thing that would have made the video for Mononoke Dance better is if you had some superimposed lips on some of these cardboard cutouts, kind of like those cheaply made “cartoons” from the late 60s. That aside, I think this is their best video. It’s something like Thriller with Japanese folklore monsters. The monsters are getting together in the woods to get down and freaky, and a few hapless humans come across their rave. The “dancing” is great, especially because it’s perfectly timed to the beat. The ending is brilliant as well. I wanna be a bakemono so I can get into that party.

More monsters above. Not as clever as Mononoke Dance. It may or may not be an advertisement for an anime or something like that, I don’t know. Still, pretty amusing stuff.

The video for Shonen Young may be lacking literal monsters, but I found it infinitely more frightening. That’s if you find an 80s Sears catalogue scary, and I do. Based on my limited knowledge of 80s Japanese fashion and pop culture, this video pretty much nails that “look.” Like I said, it seems to be some sort of clothing catalogue come to life as it tries to suck the money out of your wallet and the soul out of your body. Those jazzercisers will haunt my dreams for weeks.

I talked about the video for Shangri-La back when I talked about the preview for Trapeze, so there’s no need to go into that one again.

After seeing this, I can see why Denki Groove was chosen to do stuff for Trapeze, but it makes me wish Trapeze would rise to the standards of these music videos. But like I said, I own Trapeze a big favor for leading me in the direction of this stuff. Now if you excuse me, I’m off to a drive in the woods in hopes of finding raving kappa and oni.

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