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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What gig is this from?

I came across this clip of Halcali singing Find A Way, from the Strawberry Chips limited edition single.

Any idea what gig this is though?

As good as they do here, I can't help but think that out of all the times I've seen Halcali play live, they've only ever looked 100% comfortable on stage during that gig in France.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A bit of minor Halcali related news, but it looks like Halcali have some fans in the technopop idol band Perfume, as they say in this interview that they'd love to play live with them.

I had heard of this band before, mostly because they were produced by Capsule's Nakata Yasutaka.

Like Halcali, Perfume have that edge to them that makes them both catchyly accessible and slightly offbeat at the same time. Unlike Halcali though, they've been having a lot of chart success recently. This fansite points to their new single Polyrhythm clocking in the top ten!

Anyway, here's a clip of Linear Motor Girl.

Fingers crossed that this collaboration comes about!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Halcali in Marquee (2)

Here we go with part two!

-All of the producers on this album have their own distinctive styles, with each bringing their own particular specialty into the mix.

Haruka Yes, and we’re so grateful for that. It was so much fun to be able to get to grips with so many different genres.

-As a group, you’ve never shown any resistance to trying new things out have you?

Yukari- No. I just think that that’s the kind of people we are though. Ever since our début we’ve constantly been exposed to a lot of different genres, writing and recording methods.

H Like you said, everyone who works with us has their own personal outlook, and at the end of the day we know they’ll come up with something cool that we’ll love.

-You have a couple of actual bands (Your Song Is Good and Polysics) that worked on this album. Until now you’ve mostly worked with people from the club music side of things, so did you feel there was a big difference working with live bands in the studio?

H There was a huge difference during recording. With a full band in there with you, everything is way more energetic.

Y And it got especially hectic with Polysics.

H And recording with Your Song felt just as crazy as one of their gigs.

Y The Your Song thing came about because we were actually invited to join them on stage at a gig once as guests. It was so much fun everyone was like “We have to do this again sometime!”

- How did you get involved with Kyon (Doo The Hammer)?

H After we heard the Bo Gumbos song Sakana Goko, we thought it was such a cute song that we really wanted something like that on the album.

- That first track is such a good song too.

Y Yeah, I also love how the first voice you hear on the album isn’t ours. When we were deciding on the track listing, we knew immediately that this should be first.

- There are a few people on this album who you’ve worked with a few times before right?

H Yes, this is the fifth time around for Nathalie Wise!

Y I remember the first time we worked with them though (Bacon’s Hello Hello Alone), I wasn’t too sure…

H Yeah. I was thinking “Bikke, how are we supposed to sing this?” I thought it was a cool song, but totally different from what we were used to.

Y Back then, I didn’t really like that song that much. I love it now, of course. Ramrider (Halcali Michi) was a lot of fun to work with too. As an artist he’s very mature, but at the same time he was so easy to talk to, working together felt like hanging out with a friend more our age.

H Maybe he was worried about us being bored or something, because he brought manga to the studio for us to read!

Y He probably thought it’d give us something more to talk about

-How about Verbal? Koi No Bububun is a gorgeous song, but I couldn’t believe the lyrics!*1

Y Yeah, I laughed out loud when I first read them! I wasn’t expecting him to come up with anything like that. We kind of coerced Verbal into letting us use this track actually. We heard a rumour that he had made a ‘Halcali-esque’ song, so we sought him out and asked him about it. In the end he was like “this is no good for M-Flo, but it will be perfect for you”.

- How sweet!

Y Yeah, you can really feel the love!

H And the second time recording with Utamaru (Drivers License) went pretty smoothly too didn’t it.

Y Yeah it did, and this time out he wanted to produce a track at a higher level than the one before and take Halcali to the next step, and we both invited people to help record the song with that in mind.

-You’re becoming more and more like ‘musicians’ as you go.

H We’re honoured to hear that!

Y And we were able to get into Marquee this time too! When we make and promote a new album, it's exciting to get to meet so many new people.

-Are you going to be playing more gigs? It’d be great if we could hear this stuff live.

Y Yeah it would, but I wonder if we’ll get the chance? (laughs) Of course it’d be great if we got to perform live again sometime.

- Finally, can you tell us something about your hopes for the future?

H/Y- Our what?!

Y Our hopes…? OK, so making this album and making music with so many people has really got me interested in the idea of us trying to write music ourselves. I think we’ll need a lot of help doing it, but I really want to try.

H That’s right. Making this album made me realize simple things like how much fun it is to be able to play an actual instrument yourself. I want to try different recording methods, and I really want to play an instrument on record again.

-OK, let’s wrap it up here.

H/Y Thank you!

*1 After I read this I got the lyric book out and had another look at what Verbal had written. I found a good translation and explanation of part of the song over at On Haku To Myaku, but basically the lyrics aren't a million miles away from Bacon's Otsukare Summer, except instead of the beach, the girl in the song is taking a drive with a guy who's probably got more than driving on his mind. I actually found the lyrics to Otsukare Summer far more surprising than these, but perhaps Verbal is known for being a bit more of a serious rapper.

Apart from that, the thing I was most surprised and happy to read in this second part was the part about Halcali wanting to write their own music. Since they've already been writing lyrics, this would seem to be the next logical step.