Sanagi: Mish Mash: Release Information
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Release Date: 15.09.2006
TT Catalogue No: 4492
Sanagi – Mish Mash
„ To simplify matters we call it elctro-pop. Nevertheless,
we believe that
everyone understands music that expresses more than one mood.“
Electro-pop is popmusic with electronic instruments. If you appoint a time
for the start of the genre with the release of the Hot Butter single „Popcorn“ in
1972, then Sanagi, in the 34th year after „Popcorn“ at the very
least accomplished the feat to strech the list of possible influences to
a very amusing and not just ostensible manner.
This is not surprising, as Lene Toje, 25, vocals and Robin Sato, 22, until
their graduation in 2005, spent 3 years at the Liverpool Institute for Performing
(LIPA) where they perfected their art and at the same time found ideal conditions
for the production of their debut album „Mish Mash“. Following
in the footsteps of electro-pop- icons like Air, from the Eurythmics and
Heaven 17 to Ladytron, Sanagi built their own PopSurround-Universe and this
and very different from the forerunners just named.
The cosmos of the two of them is at first continuously based on the minimalistic
enthusiasm for all possible varieties of pop-music and most of all the verve
to perform and express this enthusiasm.
In the beginning you don’t anticipate any of that as the opener of the
album „Rabbit Hole“ comes along as an enchanting, clear and minimalistic-electronic
fairy-tale-song about finding one’s home or „one’s voice“ as
But coming to „Porcupine“ the tempo already rises. You find yourself
on a dancefloor, partly based on the deepest roots of House-Music dancing your
heart out, while Björk as a nordic fairy greets friendly from a distance.
This – you might already anticpate it – doesn’t remain that
way for long. The following „Bang Bang“ is a stirring song that begins
somewhere between Funkstörung’s „Disconnetect“ feat. Enik,
then charms with a Bangles pop-chorus before it finally decomposes to a nordic
shanty with rough Hip Hop aesthetics. To melt such diffrent styles is the production
principle on „Mish Mash“; as the name actually already says. The
aesthetics of a „Prince with a female Voice“ (Bangles) is found again
and humorously processed on „Dirty“ at the end of the album. As so
many friends in the run-up reacted to that song, Sanagi topped it with „Our
Way“ a Dance-number clearly influenced by Timbaland. By the way on „Dirty“ they
completely trail away in the big top of electronic wind instruments and remodel
50 Cent’s shout to Eminem „Yo, M., you’re my favorite white
boy!“ to „Yo, Rob, you’re my favorite japanese!“.
Japanese. Sanagi’s style-mix in all its apparent impossibility does sound
japanese, like more Pop than Pop: Over-Pop. So it doesn’t surprise that
Robin Sato was born in London but grew up in Japan. The at that time 16 year
old student of the Osaka International School became „fan of Psychedelic
Trance Acts like Hallucinogene or the infected Mushrooms“. In 2001 the
electronic musician, in those days still working solo ( with passion for the
whole armada of the new club-oriented varieties of electronic music, from Funkstörung
to the Shitkatapult stuff to the english Grime scene), came to Liverpool
to study music and met the Norwegian Lene Toje. Sanagi was founded.
The japanese word „Sanagi“ means cocoon. So to say a sheath, what
might make you come up with the idea that Sanagi aren’t as extroverted
as they appear to be on big parts of the album. Lene Toje is the accoustic organ
of the cocoon and is quite aware of this discrepance: “ When you do
a very serious song and then a funny one: how do you come back to seriousness
? I like
to be both of it.“
Some of the tracks in the middle of the album bring the seriousness to the
point in an insistent manner like for example the charmingly dreamy „Lunatic“ as
a homage to crazyness. It is followed by „Manic Mind“ a radio-compatible
Pop-song that tells about the sleepless nights of demoniacs, interrupted by vocal-collages,
adorned with piano parts played backwards and a subliminal reference to Acid
Music in the time of the decline of the Berlin Wall in the 1980’s and the
1990’s and also inspired by a norwegian nursery rhyme called „Mikkel
Rev“ (Mikkel the fox).
And finally „A childish cry for help“. This is a song that undoubtedly
brings the existing reminiscences to Björk to the point. Lene Tojes singing
gleams along the borders of surreal angel-likeness, while Robin Sato becomes
the reincarnation of the long-term Björk producer and LFO mastermind Mark
Bell – with the full power of distorted highly compressed beats and
the sinus-bass of the TR-909.
Mish Mash“ the 12 track debut album of the japanese-norwegian band Sanagi,
comes out as a consciously diversified and very stirring journey through half
of the history of Pop – with reminiscences to the great ones, also
to the irresistably creative production-madness of Outcast or someone like
concerning Electronics absolutely reminding of Matthew Herberts explorative
work around the electronic Pop music.
But the minimalistic Hiphop-Beats, the dirt, the shouting and the impelling
power don’t trail off on the big meadow between songwriting and trackwriting
without any questions as the album comes to his end. As both of them know, it
is about something dramatic and they process this perception all the time as
Robin says: „I think it mainly comes out on stage. In the three years while
we we’re writing the songs we had space. But when we’re on stage
now , we start up very quiet and serious and in the end we come up with rapping
and Hip Hop and... That’s a dramatic structure and a lot of people agee
to that.“ Due to the fact that it’s so easy to understand. For
almost everybody and beside a lot of niches of electronic music.
The whole thing worked so well during two already completed Germany tours
that Sanagi decided to settle down in Berlin where they plan to work together
local artists, while „Popcorn“ quietly plops in the background.
Beside others, at the moment Sanagi listen to: Joanna Newsom, Lady Sovereign,
Eminem and Kaizers Orchestra.
Sanagi at MySpace: myspace.com/sanagimusic