Photo Essay


Like the Y2K bug that inspired their name, Tokyo-based, all-female instrumental trio Nisennenmondai are the stuff of legends. Upon seeing them perform, Battles once remarked that their own band was reduced to idiots. Which is to say, these girls know how to make some noise. Onstage they create a danceable motorik that is equal parts post-punk, krautrock and no wave, and is so seamlessly repetitive you’d think it programmed techno. Drummer Hime (ひめ) sets the tone, laying down a pulsating beat, while Masako’s (まさこ) angular guitars swirl around and bass player Zai (ざい) locks everything into a tight groove. The three met at university some 15 years ago and haven’t stopped making music since. We asked their friend Shoko Matsuki to follow the girls on a routine day in their hometown of Tokyo, passing by their favourite shrine (‘we go there to pray for our health’), dropping in on their favourite bar (‘we like to drink coffee, but we love to drink beer’) and catching a few snapshots amidst the cherry blossoms.



Nisennenmondai play alongside Ben Frost on 20 May at Trouw in Amsterdam. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members. More info here.