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August 31, 2017 2:39 PM   Subscribe

The enigmatic Japanese group stylized as . . . . . . . . ., frequently referred to by fans simply as DOTS or Dots Tokyo, are not just a shoegaze band inspired by the likes of Slowdive and Lush - they’re a shoegaze pop idol group consisting of 9 members, all teenage girls. You can listen to a full EP here. They've just released a 70-minute single (?) called Tokyo (you can listen here). One listener explains that it "offers chilling ambient/shoegaze/idol music" that, at the 22:22 mark, "permanently turns into a cleansing, eternal Noise track." Here's a single from the single. DOTS has been rapidly gaining a cult following in the very different worlds of pop idol fandom and shoegaze fandom.

One fan has been delving into the mysteries behind this act, including who's been writing the songs, who the members are, and what's going on with the convoluted lore and clues peppered throughout the band's materials:

here’s a (tiny) peek behind the DOTS curtain

how much would you like to know about DOTS?

There are a number of videos on youtube of the group performing, but my favorite is them apparently doing a straight-up harsh noise set, because why not. When's the last time you saw a J-Pop group channeling Merzbow?

Like most idol groups, they're quite active on social media, including daily videos on their Youtube channel.

Japan has a vibrant shoegaze scene. Other resources of interest:
The Japanese Shoegaze channel on Youtube has a vast collection of videos and full releases.
The Shoegaze Japan Facebook group is probably the best English language resource for what's happening in the scene. (Note: this is a closed group and joining requires approval from a moderator.)
posted by naju (14 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
stylized as . . . . . . . . .

I don't know anything about this band other than what I'm reading now, but I am enough of a pedantic Unicode nerd to say that all the sites you link to render it as ・・・・・・・・・ which are katakana middle dots, not full stops.

Now that that's out of the way: I like what I'm hearing! Thanks!
posted by aubilenon at 2:53 PM on August 31, 2017 [11 favorites]

Thanks for the correction!
posted by naju at 2:55 PM on August 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

I forgot to mention - there's a documentary about Japanese pop idols currently making the rounds in select theaters, called Tokyo Idols (trailer). If you're in SF, it's playing at the Roxie Sept. 1-7.
posted by naju at 3:05 PM on August 31, 2017

I just got to the noise part. Nice.
posted by aubilenon at 3:06 PM on August 31, 2017

I guess now that fusing idol culture and metal is played out this is the next thing. Maybe someday we'll get Miles Davis jazz virtuosity + idols.

Though someone needs to really jump the queue and release today the New Idol Revival music that will inevitably arise when all of these fusion genres get tired and there's nostalgia/a genuine drive for reconstructed "original" style idol music.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:43 PM on August 31, 2017

I just legit love that a group of Japanese teenage girls are making guitar fx pedal music for sad dads
posted by naju at 4:01 PM on August 31, 2017 [12 favorites]

Really, really enjoying this -- thanks!!
posted by Shepherd at 5:26 PM on August 31, 2017

Oh jeebs, I feel like I'm eight steps removed from even the most basic cultural literacy to know what to think about ・・・・・・・・・

That said, the music's quite good. I'm also enjoying For Tracy Hyde (the band of the songwriter interviewed in the "tiny peek" link), あたたかくて甘い海 being my favorite track so far.
posted by Kattullus at 5:55 PM on August 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

Holy crow, this is good stuff! Many thanks!
posted by Thorzdad at 6:54 PM on August 31, 2017

Just since we're doing offbeat stuff: I present Sien, chilean late-'90s shoegaze: Juego.
posted by signal at 4:58 AM on September 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

They're not on Bandcamp by any chance, are they? I'm not a fan of opening YouTube windows to listen to music, and don't fancy paying ¥1500 + an equivalent amount of postage for a CD.
posted by acb at 7:36 AM on September 1, 2017

This video from This Exists is a fascinating primer on the Japanese Anti-Idol movement.
posted by Gortuk at 8:00 AM on September 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

That Tokyo Idols film was on the BBC a few weeks ago, it is extremely good. The depth of exploitation of all involved, fans and performers, is breathtaking. Highly recommended.
posted by epo at 12:38 PM on September 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm also enjoying For Tracy Hyde (the band of the songwriter interviewed in the "tiny peek" link), あたたかくて甘い海 being my favorite track so far.

region blocked for me, but looking, neat to find the TOKYO ACOUSTIC SESSION channel :P (which reminds me of ShootThePlayer and La Blogothèque, yay!)
posted by kliuless at 9:56 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

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