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Saturday, August 09, 2008


An anonymous poster gave me a link to this new Sony music signing, Hi-prix, a couple of female high school rappers who passed an audition and are now making hip hop flavoured pop music on the label.

Sound familiar? Well, it looks familiar too- their videos are so eerily similar to Halcali's old work that you start to wonder how the label could be so shameless. Yes, this is a label directly ripping off their own band. No one is going to claim that Halcali are the first female pop duo with hip hop leanings of course, we can go back decades and still see examples of that, but the image, the style, the promos, the dancing- it's like a bad photocopy.

Make no mistake though, Hi-prix are the Halcali that Sony wished Halcali was from the start- faceless, bland, easily marketable, and horribly, horribly safe. It's tempting to think Hi-prix is Sony taking Halcali back to the drawing board- how can we take out those interesting rough edges that having been making us much money domestically, make them more magazine and market ready?

Check out the videos for the result. The songs are utterly dire. Don't be surprised to see these girls storm the Oricon charts in the near future though. Come back Do-nuts, all is forgiven!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seen the 2 videos of Hi Prix on youtube. Not the best impression for me.

the video for "wipe out" seems like a mixture of "giri giri surf rider" and "twinkle star" mixed together. the surfing theme of "giri giri" and the complete ramdomness of "twinkle star"

I just wonder what career route they will take Hi Prix on. Will they stick on current style now or slowly take the same kind of music Halcali is on now.

One thing that i have to say about Hi Prix, at the mo they are NOT cooler than Halcali

7:41 PM

OpenID yatenkaiouh said...

Oh I like their song and video for Taiyou no Hoero! :( Their Wipe-out cover is just okay, but I don't hate it.

I really don't think they're so bad, personally...

8:07 PM

Blogger jariten said...

Maybe I'm just a bitter and twisted old cynic ;)

12:46 AM

Anonymous julia said...

hi, I'm yukari (aka that thirteen year old girl from sweden) from the halcali forum.
I think they remind me of halcali when they dance that dance when they sing "kuranananai kurananana nai nai" (what do they sing? it actually sounds a bit catchy anyway)...
The Do-nuts don't remind me a bit of Halcali. Not at all.
I don't see anything that is like Halcali in that Go Go Girl video.
And I think your blog is very very great. I've read it for a year or something and even tried to link to it on the swedish wikipedia site but it was against the rules.
anyway I don't usually comment on blogs so I'm going to start with that here.

1:19 AM

Anonymous julia said...

Oh right:
I commented on Yucali's birhtday. I think I'm going to use yukari instead because I don't like my name.

1:24 AM

Blogger stevetodao said...

are they supposed to be some sort of clones or what? haha.
but they're not THAT bad. i mean, you can listen to it. still nothing i would pay money for.

4:05 PM

OpenID sora-kara said...

hm...watching the wipe out video now.

theres really nothing special about these girls. theyre kinda flat and boring. :/
and the song sucks...hahaha.

they can't dance either. and while the strange dancing is a charm for halcali, it just seems really awkward with these two.

their voices arent bad though. they could probably have some good material at some point.
and while there are soo many similarities between these girls and halcali, the song is so NOT a halcali song.
and that is a consolation of some sort.

taiyou is a better song, but still sounds fairly different from something we would expect from halcali.
the video however.....wow...
it looks like they just watched a bunch of halcali videos and threw together the parts that they liked.
ok, with a bomb and some guns, but thats the kind of imagery our girls dont need :P

my boyfriend just came over and said "is that halcali? i dont like it...."

but in this vein of commentary, has anyone else checked out the Chinese group 'Two Girls' ?
here's a link to their video:

they're also from sony. but at least theyre marketed in a different country. >:(

6:47 PM

Anonymous yukari said...

Hi-prix are bad.
I love Halcali.

11:53 PM

Blogger stevetodao said...

omg! hahaha...no seriously...the "two girls" video xD
electric sensei, anyone?
now THEY really DO suck big time.
whilst hi-prix doesn't...guys, i have to admit that after having listened to wipe out over and over i started to like it. it's nothing 'uber' but very catchy and, yeah fun. maybe i'll buy their cd haha, gosh i'm betraying myself.
you may stone me now.

12:25 AM

Blogger Pixie said...

I listened to Hi-Prix, and while it wasn't THAT bad, it was still mediocre. Parts were really catchy though. I can see Hi-Prix getting better, but as they are now, I find them meh. I also hate that male voiceover thing. A lot. The songs and videos had a definite Halcali flavor, but they were poor imitations.

And Two Girls was just awful. xD

10:10 PM

Anonymous johnny said...

i'd agree hi-prix seem like halcali lite, but i'm not too worried about it. if anything, it could make the halcali, the original and the best, shine even brighter.

4:19 AM

Blogger ssslithe said...

Hi-Prix suck. I can't see how anyone but pre-schoolers would buy that, and since Japan has an ageing population, I doubt they'll take off.

It's worth pointing out that Hi-Prix are on Sony Music Entertainment, whereas HalCali are on Epic, a Sony imprint. I find Epic more focused than Sony in terms of A&R, plus it's unlikely that the same teams are working on both HalCali and Hi-Prix (at least domestically).

According to Epic, HalCali's next album is due "around next spring". If they're already in pre-production, maybe that means the new album will benefit from more attentive production than "Cyborg" did. We can only hope!

Incidentally, I saw Perfume at Summer Sonic, where they mimed through just four songs. Great choreography though. Considering their sound comes from a similar leftfield bent as HalCali's, maybe the two should play some shows together or something...

7:01 AM

Blogger stevetodao said...

"Hi-Prix suck. I can't see how anyone but pre-schoolers would buy that."
you're exaggerating.
moreover...it's japan dude.

1:27 PM

Blogger jariten said...

"plus it's unlikely that the same teams are working on both HalCali and Hi-Prix"

Yes, although this is such an obvious facsimile I find it impossible to believe there wasn't some discussion about it. It makes sense in a way- let's try Halcali again without the leftfield elements and try to wring some record sales out of the concept.

2:27 AM

Blogger ssslithe said...

"moreover...it's japan dude."

Not sure what you mean by that. Japanese people only like music that sounds like it was made for pre-schoolers? It's OK to make music aimed at pre-schoolers because if it's Japanese, it must be cool?

Either way, I think you're missing the point. Chart-topping music here tends to be either shockingly bland ballads, inane bling music, boyband/girlband fluff, or Southern Allstars. There are exceptions, of course, but I doubt very much that Hi-Prix will be one of them.

HalCali's music is clever and sophisticated enough to appeal to adults as much as kids, a bit like The Simpsons. Hi-Prix seem to have no credible angle whatsoever, leaving them closer to The Shoe People.

3:55 AM

Anonymous Eternalsin said...

Blah, who farted? Im looking at Hi-Prix's direction! There's no spark! They looked embarrassed to even dance a little. Plain faces, music, and videos. Just a lot of colorful effects and bad dancing. They are clones of Halcali but got all the bad genes! Give me Halcali's music, videos, and insanely cute charm any day! Long live Halcali!!!

7:08 AM

Anonymous muckamuck said...

Hi-Prix is simply too average and similar to each other make any big impact. A big point for groups like these is variety between members. But people still eat it up anyway: their single hit #77 on the Oricon weekly chart for a week, though I have no idea how many copies that entails.

Halca's and Yucali's attitudes and personalities are at least different from each other and they also seem honest and genuine regardless of what they do. Miki and Hina feel incredibly fake and their mannerisms seem forced, and I just don't think they have the looks or voices for what they're doing now. They may have some singing talent but rapping is a completely different story.

5:59 PM

OpenID gilgamehearts said...

When I first read this, I thought maybe you were giving Hi-prix a hard time because you were bitter about them doing tha' HALCALI thang.

But I searched them out and I really don't like them. No energy.
I agree with you! :D

11:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their singing.. isn't BAD
But they're not that cool. =.=
Their Dancing sucks, there's this
weird guy in the background of
the Wipe Out video, and there's more
negative things I would say,
but at the time, little 9-12 year old's read weird stuff that they shouldn't read. =.=
Once, my sister got off the computer,
and asked what does "P**n" mean?

3:15 AM


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