Disco duo mixes funky and cutsie

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Disco duo mixes funky and cutsie


If you’re looking for an offbeat, funky ― and fun ― sound, look no further: Miami (pronounce it like the city), a Japanese girl-band hailing from Tokyo’s groovy Shibuya district, is coming to Seoul this weekend to showcase their latest tunes.
For the two young women, Ai Kobayashi and Ai Kajiya, the three concerts at the Drug and Aura clubs near Hongik University in northwestern Seoul and in Bar Nana in Itaewon in central Seoul will be their debut gigs in Korea. Ms. Kobayashi and Ms. Kajiya, both in their 20s, are bringing their unique tracks, including “Atami” and “Shiratama Disco” ― in addition to their own candy-colored outfits made in the Japanese cutsie style.
Miami made its debut last year with its first single, “Shiratama Disco,” and have performed live in small Shibuya clubs. The band’s stand-out tracks are made up of eerie violin-meets-electronica for an interesting and refreshing bouncy mix of hip-hop and disco, plus high-octane vocals, Japanese school girl-style.
Before starting Miami, Ms. Kobayashi used to play the classical violin, and Ms. Kajiya worked as an industrial designer and made cute T-shirts. As for the collaboration, Ms. Kobayashi sings and plays the violin while Ms. Kajiya sings and mixes.
The group had its breakthrough when its work was noticed by the major Japanese label, Clear and Refreshing. In Korea, the duo is being represented by a new team of amateur promoters, Tuung. The team, consisting of three Koreans, one British and one American, was formed in February, according to the team’s leader, Hong Yun-jeong. Tuung so far has brought Japanese bands to Seoul such as Melt Banana and Limited Express Has Gone.
“Our aim is not only to bring in big-name bands, but also to introduce new, and maybe unusual, music to the Korean club scene,” Ms. Hong said, adding that Tuung is also looking at collaborating with record labels.
When asked about their next project, Ms. Hong said early next year Tuung is planning to bring a reputable Beijing “girl punk” band called Hang On the Box. “We plan to hold a Korea-Japan-China festival for punk bands,” she said.

by Ines Cho

Miami performs tonight at Drug ((02) 326-3085, www.drugrecords.co.kr) in Hongdae. Admission is 5,000 won, about $5; Miami also plays tomorrow night at Bar Nana (02-790-2079) in Itaewon (10,000 won), and Sunday night at Aura ((02) 333-8665, http://cafe.daum.net.clubaura) in Hongdae (10,000 won). For inquiries, call Hong Yun-jeong at 011-9170-5622 or visit www.tuung.net.
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