FM premiere. Mieko Shimizu: Embracing the unworldly with ‘My Tentacles’

"When my tentacles reach out and touch you, communicate with you then we become something else, something more than just an individual"
9 February 2024

Mieko Shimizu, the avant-garde Japanese singer, multi-instrumentalist, and trailblazing artist, is gearing up for the re-release of her enchanting single My Tentacles. This track serves as a showcase of her distinctive musical and artistic vision. The re-release of this single ushers in the much-anticipated return of the album it originates from, inviting listeners on an expedition into Shimizu’s extraordinary musical cosmos.

The track is a blend of chimeric fusions, featuring dysfunctional beats and startling mutations that defy traditional musical norms. It’s a testament to Shimizu’s free-spirited nature and her status as a champion of outsider art pop. Her tentacles, both metaphorical and musical, extend into the realms of the unconventional, crafting sounds that are both intriguing and immersive.

Shimizu explains: “Emergence, the book by Steve Johnson, fascinated me; a colony of ants, a sprawling metropolis, human brain cells, they are all features of the unknown science of self organisation. I wanted to cut down into society and sing a simple song about people as single cells.  They interconnect with the multitude and conjures up a whole that is wiser together than we are individually. When my tentacles reach out and touch you, communicate with you then we become something else, something more than just an individual.”

Shimizu’s career is marked by notable performances and collaborations that have cemented her status in the music world. She has graced stages at Sonar alongside electronic pioneers Kraftwerk and provided support for the likes of Goldfrapp and Massive Attack at their Melt Down Festival. Currently, she is the artist in residence for Wonky Plonky Electronk, an experimental electronic live event touring the UK throughout 2024, showcasing her commitment to pushing the boundaries of electronic music.

With seven albums under her belt, including the recent I Bloom, Shimizu’s discography is a testament to her versatility and breadth as an artist. I Bloom features collaborations with William D Drake, formerly of The Cardiacs, as well as artists Barbara Morgenstern and Orla Schmitt. Her work extends beyond her solo projects, having collaborated with an extensive range of artists, from Japan’s Mick Karn to Nitin Sawhney and remixed tracks for Coldcut and Haruomi Hosono of ‘Yellow Magic Orchestra’.

The re-release of My Tentacles is currently available through Street Furniture Records, and the album is scheduled to arrive on March 15th, 2024. This digitally remastered version, originally released in 2011, has been repackaged with new designs by Jimmy Hunter at We Are Noisy, promising a fresh take on the already captivating project.

Recorded, mixed, and produced by Shimizu and Peter Morris at Street Furniture Studios in Soho, London, the album features bass by Renell Shaw and mastering by Keith Tenniswood at Curve Pusher. The collaborative effort behind the album highlights Shimizu’s ability to create a cohesive sound that is both experimental and accessible.

Mieko Shimizu’s My Tentacles works as statement. It’s a declaration of artistic freedom, an invitation to explore the depths of musical innovation, and a celebration of the spirit of outsider art. Shimizu’s tentacles reach far and wide, pulling us into her extraordinary world where the only rule is that there are no rules.

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