Meznoyume, the self professed internet monk and creator of the language learning series Japanese Through Vaporwave is set to drop a new album on the fabulous DMT Tapes FL. This is release, which follows on from his meta-internet masterpiece An Album Inspired By My Own Tweets (released on Power_Lunch Corp in 2018), is a return to vaporwave after having taken a three year detour through original electronic music composition. The new album titled 自殺 (jisatsu) is based on the tragic life of Okada Yukiko (born Kayo Satō) and it explores themes of self-image, celebrity and suicide in a musical venture which Meznoyume himself admits is far darker than anything he has created before.
For those who are unfamiliar with Okada Yukiko’s story, she was an 1980s Japanese pop idol who, at the age of 16, was swept up into what can only be described as the military entertainment complex. Separated from her family, her name changed and her life reduced to an endless training routine Kayo Satō (now transformed into Okada Yukiko) commit suicide barely two years after being made a star. Her death tore down the artifice of the pop idolatry upon which Japan’s music industry was based by revealing the human misery that had, until this point, been masked by a saccharine fantasy of cutesy femininity. A harrowing tale, and one whose impact extended far beyond the damage done to Kayo Satō alone, as her death inspired a wave of copycat suicide amongst her fans and admirers causing a significant spike in the national average following her death
As Meznoyume explains, “[t]his album is a tribute to the suffering of the world, to the idea that happiness cannot be found in worldly success”. It is an album which explores the inherent contradictions of stardom, pitting the illusion of luxury, freedom and glamour against the realities of industry whose cold indifference is motivated by profit at any cost. It is a cautionary tale told in sound which speaks to the collapse of the image, and the end of the idol, elevated to a godlike status not for their talents but for the dreams which are projected upon them, dreams that implode under to weight of their own falsehood crushing the object of desire in the process. And whilst it is presented as a historical lesson, the story of Kayo Satō could not seem more prescient in this age of influencers and internet celebrity.
In the anticipation for the release of the album you can listen to the promo single 理由はなぜ which is currently available on the artist’s Soundcloud.
And if you like what you hear please do not forget to check out 自殺 when it drops 6 May on DMT Tapes FL.