TENTENKO to release debut album on new London/Tokyo label

Former BiS member delivers pink pop

Toothpast Records, a new record label venture based in London and Tokyo, aims to feature a variety of Japanese artists for vinyl releases. The first planned release scheduled for September will be the debut album of synthpop maverick Tentenko.

Tentenko was briefly a member of Brand-New Idol Society during their lineup changes in 2013. It was an interesting period for BiS as they collaborated with Dempagumi.inc and also formed BiS Kaidan (a collaboration between BiS and noise band Hijokaidan).

That incarnation of BiS disbanded in 2014 with the various members, including Tentenko, going on to pursue separate musical projects (including Megumi Koshouji, who would go on to form Maison book girl).

Tentenko went on to collaborate with the likes of Toshiji Makawa from Hijokaidan and visual artist/sound performer Atsuhiro Ito. But she also focused on solo efforts, including ‘Good bye Good Girl’ (apparently inspired by an infamous and unsolved murder case) whose Shōwa-era pop stylings were also replicated in the old school VHS video.

Tentenko formed her own record label (Tenten Records) after a successful crowdfunding effort, of which ‘Good bye Good Girl’ was the first release. Hooking up with the Toy’s Factory label at a later date, Tentenko released the new wave inspired beats of ‘After School Sympathy’.

Her eponymous debut album will gather together these gems providing a showcase for Tentenko’s musical talents in one place. That includes a collaboration with the legendary Hideki Matsutake. Often referred to as the fourth member of the iconic technopop outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra, Matsutake’s solo project Logic System would craft its own reputation as one of the finest examples of Japanese electronic music.

“My music is a combination of different styles i love” comments Tentenko, “I like to mix the sound of classic pop with underground music, like combining pop from the ‘Showa-era’ in Japan with noise music. Even if we are far away, music has no borders. I am excited to release this album overseas!”

The album zips through a variety of styles, including the idol pop appeal of ‘Jiro’. It also features a cover of Ikue Sakakibara’s techno-kayo 80s hit ‘Robot’. Plus, Japanese musical legend Shintaro Sakamoto lends his talents to the engaging surf-pop of ‘Nantonaku Abenai’.

Toothpaste Records is a new venture from Johnny Hartford from London-based independent record store Sister Ray in collaboration with Phillipe Boehm, founder of Tokyo-based label and design studio Alegori.

Johnny’s been running various record stores and club nights and DJing since the 90s. Alegori have been working with artists from the indie scene in Tokyo since 2014, designing and releasing albums such as Suiyobi No Campanella’s Jugem Je T’aime and the collaborative LP between two legends of Japanese music: Hijokaidan and the hugely influential Jun Togawa.

Tentenko will be a limited edition release of 1000 copies on pink transparent vinyl. The album will also feature lyrics penned in both English and Japanese.

Tentenko is due for release 21st September 2018 on Toothpaste Records.