Mannequins on manoeuvres…
As FEMM fans will be aware, the duo made a dramatic announcement earlier this year to call it a day stating that they had “completed their role” and were returning to their home in the future. “What FEMM really stands for” read a statement at the time, “is ‘Far East “Military” Mannequin’. These intelligent dolls were forced to perform proxy wars for humans in their era. RiRi and LuLa were transferred to the present age to change this scenario.”
But before the pair depart, they’ve embarked on what they call their “Last Femm-Isation”, which consists of some final performances for FEMM fans (or ‘Agents’ as they’re referred to). As a result, RiRi and LuLa will spend July appearing at Japan-related festivals in the UK and Germany. Also, a collaboration with Japanese pop-culture outlet Village Vanguard has been announced.
FEMM have been a J-Pop Go favourite for some time. They made their mark with the phenomenal success that 2014 song ‘Fxxk Boyz Get Money’ delivered (as featured on their stunning debut album Femm-Isation). Their 2017 album 80s/90s J-POP REVIVAL also saw FEMM covering some classic J-pop tunes in their own distinctive style, but they’ve been ramping up their presence ever since with the euphoric ‘Chewing Gum Cleaner’ and a smart collaboration with Duke of Harajuku (a member of music label tokyovitamin) which gave us the sublime ‘Summer Dream’ and the clipped beats of ‘Level Up’.
2021 album Tokyo Girls Anthem (see J-Pop Go review) saw FEMM venture a little more into R&B territory with that included Yup’in (who also formed part of ‘supergroup’ FAMM’IN with FEMM and FAKY), rapper Elle Teresa and Duke of Harajuku (via music label tokyovitamin). More recently, FEMM signed off with their third album Tokyo Ex Machina, which included collaborators such as Jenna Andrews, who worked on the smash BTS song ‘Butter’; John Ryan, who has worked on many songs with One Direction as well as Maroon 5 and Rita Ora; Doja Cat collaborator Kool Kojak; Danny L Harle, who is a cohort of Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama; and Woo Min Lee, who has worked on several songs for K-pop group TWICE.
On that basis, the mannequin duo’s final performances will be an engaging if bittersweet series of events. FEMM will appear at the UK’s biggest J-culture event Hyper Japan on Saturday 22 July, followed by Geek Festival in Germany on Friday 28 July. It will be their final time to appear at Hyper Japan and their first and final time to perform at Geek Festival.
FEMM has also announced a collaboration with Japan’s pop-culture purveyors Village Vanguard, where a selection of Tshirts, airpod cases, towels, posters and various other merchandise has been made available for the first time. Fans outside of Japan can order using Village Vanguard’s international webshop.
FEMM July 2023 Festival Dates:
HYPER JAPAN, Olympia, London, UK
Date: Saturday 22 July 2023
Meet & Greet: 16:00-16:30
Geek Festival, Feierwerk, Munich, Germany
Date: Friday 28 July 2023