HO6LA – Pirikarira


A new challenger approaches… Meet the newest Ichigo Rinahamu unit HO6LA through their debut EP Pirikarira!

For those out of the loop, Ichigo Rinahamu (previously known as Yokoyama Rina) has a pretty extensive idol and producing history under her belt. Previously part of BiS’ first generation and the iconic electronic group CY8ER (of which she was a member and producer), she also produced groups like DOPING BERRY and STRAWBERRY SYNDROME. She’s got her own solo DJ project, Hamrig, and sometimes releases solo music under the name rinahamu. Earlier this year, she put her producing goggles on once more when she announced she’d be forming another group, this time featuring fellow ex-WACK company idol Oosshouji Megumi, now known as Pan Luna Leafy, who was part of BiS’ second generation. After opening auditions and an extensive 24 hour training camp (a la WACK’s own audition process), five more members were selected: Wannyan Circuit DX! (formerly known as Miyagumi Shiou), Hachimitsu Umi (another ex-WACK idol, previously a member of PIGGs), Wazurai (formerly Himekuri Koyomi), Emiru (formerly Kanemoto/Kamimura Emiru) and Kusunoki Roa as leader; together, they are HO6LA, pronounced homura. They made their live debut September 21th and released their debut EP, Pirikarira, on October 26th. Let’s dig in!

The EP contains six tracks total, with three being full songs and the final three being instrumentals. “Pirikarira”, the title track, opens with a bouncy and happy electronic beat. Each member rotates through the verses up into the pre-chorus, diving into an explosively bubbly instrumental chorus section. Each girl has her own unique vocal color as well, which will help in time to tell who’s doing what. After a low-tempo second verse there’s a hard hitting drop section around the 1:55 mark that melts right into the bright and cheery sound from before. The chorus is fun and the beat ends up being quite the earworm after a while. Overall, it’s a solid introduction for what’s to come and an effective great EP opener.

“Tokyo My Way” opens with the strumming of zither, punchy drum beats and bass, signaling a vibe change from the last track. Though the chorus feels a little more subdued, the overall feeling of the song is a bit more aggressive from the last one in the vocal delivery and tempo — the heavy bass throughout really drives this feeling home. It feels like the kind of song that’s absolutely meant to be played in clubs and at live shows, just waiting for the audience to feel the beat in their bones. Over the course of my listening, I found myself nodding my head to this one a lot, so it’s definitely going down as a favorite.

“Time Capsule Girl” is the final track. It opens with the sounds of someone winding up and playing a music box into a sweet dream pop-like melody. The EDM vibes soon take over for the chorus (which all follow a similar pattern throughout the three songs), reminding me a bit of Shawn Wasabi’s works. This track feels like a mixture of the first two: the cute, dreamy elements of Pirikarira and the traditional instrumentation of Tokyo My Way coming together to wrap up the EP in a nice little bow. The vocal delivery is consistent with great bits of harmonization here and there. The same music box that opened the track also makes its way back to close everything out.

Pirikarira is a fun journey into HO6LA‘s world as a display of sparkling EDM pop. As the year comes to a close and the weather gets colder this is a quick listen to get you right and warmed up, looking forward to the feeling of spring and summer.

Migma Shelter – Coro Da Noite

Migma Shelter

With their latest EP Coro da Noite, Migma Shelter bring us some Latin-inspired beats and a hard rock b-side.

Migma Shelter are a highly interesting group, dedicating themselves fully to a psychedelic trance sound — going so far as to turn their live shows into actual raves — that shines a cool beacon of light on them amongst their peers. Last year, despite the struggles of COVID and the reboot of a new lineup, we were given the full length effort Alice, and now the six member group has brought us the EP Coro da Noite, which contains two new songs and their respective instrumentals.

The title track “Coro da Noite” opens with a more relaxed trance beat before giving way to some gorgeous acoustic guitar, a foreshadowing of the elements to come later in the song. The bass is nice and heavy, the vocals amplified by the very minimal instrumentation in the verses. Doing this makes their voices feel a little more spacious and hypnotic alongside the thumping beats. Hints of flute here and there also add to the building atmosphere before the chorus takes over with some snazzy drum beats and the guitar from before. The song keeps its tempo pretty consistently throughout the song, which I feel contrasts pretty well with the second track “Bang On”. From the jump we’re greeted with electric guitar and a slowly building beat alongside breathy and pretty vocals, gearing us up for a wild ride of a song. Indeed, it has quite the amount of sonic ups and downs, from the hard rock influences to the minimalist style of the pre-chorus and the repeated slow builds — one in particular starts up at the 2:20 mark and had me getting ready for what I was expecting to be a real brutal bass drop, but instead mellowed itself out. However, in the last few minutes of the song, the trance vibes fully take over and keep up some great energy to allow for a pretty satisfying finish.

Though it’s a really quick listen, Coro da Noite is a bright ball of energy in a small package. Here’s to hoping for more rave-worthy tracks from Migma Shelter in the future!

少女模型 (The Girl Mannequin) – Mannequin Invasion

少女模型 (The Girl Mannequin)

Nobody Expects the Mannequin Invasion! Electro-pop duo 少女模型 (The Girl Mannequin) brings chaos and cheer with their second album.

There’s nothing that suits the bright summer energy quite like a fast paced, energetic, perhaps even chaotic, album. While the temperatures are hot, The Girl Mannequin has brought us music that’s even hotter with their second album Mannequin Invasion. Formed under the company EATS MUSIC, the duo (made up of members Heito and Yamishi) released the 7 tracks on June 17th.

The overall feeling of the album is quite wild, with frequent usage of vocal effects and distortion. The first track, “MiSS FiNGER” opens slow and quiet before diving deep into some hard hitting EDM (it almost gets industrial in some sections). The vocals in the verses are delivered in an almost haunting fashion that adds an air of creepiness, amplified by the glitching sounds throughout the track. “Boomerang”, the follow up, continues the upbeat feelings and glitched sound with an instrumental break halfway through that borders on digital hardcore. The vocals, however, feel a little bit forward in the mix.

Track three, “Mental Crazy Claymore”, which molds true to its name, has a unique switch up in the funky opener and some rock elements sprinkled throughout. It’s arguably the most chaotic song on the album with its frequent switch ups in not just sound but vocal sections. “Over-The-Loop” makes use of rapping in its verses and, sonically, is a little more well balanced in terms of structure and even features some Spanish in the breakdown.

“Goth Note”, the fifth track, serves as the most aggressive song on the album with its mix of metal and breakcore elements. The vocals have a spooky quality to them that’s amplified by their now characteristic distortion and vocal effects, as well as titulature gothic elements at the 2:30 mark. The following track, “Electric Dance”, has a darker feel as well despite the simple electro pop beat and relaxed vibes (compared to the last song, for sure!). The pre-chorus is the perfect build up for the simple, but effective, main chorus, which I felt was the best on the album with it’s perfect blend of bounce and the tinges of piano notes. The seventh and final track, “Happy Time”, is the longest on the album at a little over four minutes. The beat is simple and stripped down with very little use of distortion or special effects. It’s poppy and sweet, a perfect end for an otherwise rollercoaster ride of an album.

If you’re looking for something that’ll grab you by the hand and yank you into a world of high spirited (and hard hitting) electro pop, then look no further! I’d also recommend going through the rest of the The Girl Mannequin catalogue for similar and snappy tracks, like the single My Black White Rabbit and their re-recording ver.01 EP.

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