Invisible Connections: Hyperpop, Jpop and a New Single From Kyunchi!

We love cultural mixing, and not just the KAQRIYOTERROR album! Fans of Japanese music are no stranger to how different musical worlds can collide, that being the reason this blog is even here at all, and today we bring you this: “Mecha Angel Genesis♡” by Kyunchi, produced by Syva from Codomomental!

To start things off very simply, Kyunchi is a hyperpop artist. They’re unapologetic about their style, musical influences and anything to everything. They’re a walking work of art who just oozes everything kawaii, fused with 2008 MySpace scene girl fashion. Can you tell we’re fans? “Mecha Angel Genesis♡” being produced by Syva from Codomomental might seem like an unlikely collaboration, but in Syva’s own words they both have a lot in common.

“Mecha Angel Genesis♡” as a song is just fantastic too. If you liked Syva’s work with Nonamera you’ll absolutely love this; futuristic, fast paced pop that’s just as nostalgic as it is brand new. This is the pink and sparkling mecha anime protagonist’s theme song, and that protagonist just became your new favourite character. It’s out now, so be sure to stream the latest entry into hyperpop history.

As for what hyperpop is for those out of the loop, as briefly as possible, it’s alternative pop music for the digital age! Taking all of that nostalgia for late 2000’s emo, early 2000’s RnB and those shiny retro future Y2K aesthetics and smashing it together with a children’s squeaky hammer toy. Hyperpop is sleek, shrill and saccharine sounding all while maintaining a current status just as much as it looks back. That last sentence might sound a little familiar if you like jpop, especially if you’re a fan of the likes of Yasutaka Nakata, Tetsuya Komuro and Kenmochi Hidefumi. See what we’re getting at here? Hyperpop and Jpop go hand in hand! But, like with a lot of Japanese… anything, the deeper aspects of that connection tends to be overlooked sometimes.

Hyperpop loves jpop, it’s true! The sound design and philosophy are very, very similar, and there’s a multitude of reasons as to why. It’s easy to say “AG Cook lists Yasutaka Nakata as an inspiration,” and a lot of other publications already have, but there’s so much more to things than solely inspiration. We mentioned nostalgia with hyperpop, but just think about the soundscapes of Japanese music: The days of Showa idols and glossy kayoukyoku might be long gone, but aspects of that are still very much here today. 

Jpop’s bedrock is fundamentally built on the influence of things like Eurobeat, Detroit Techno and just about anything Yellow Magic Orchestra did (which is an entire article in itself) and those sounds have been ever present ever since. You can listen to any Hyadain produced Momoiro Clover Z or Dempagumi. inc song and think “this is the sound of the 2010’s!” while simultaneously hearing the same samples present in 90’s TRF songs or an Avex rave compilation. In a similar fashion, when you listen to Yasutaka Nakata’s earlier work with Capsule or Perfume, the retro futuristic sound defines the era it was released in but you can still hear the producer’s deep love and respect for artists, like YMO, from decades prior. More than just being inspired by something, Jpop continuously takes the sound of the last era and shoots it into space in a silver, bedazzled rocket. 

A lot of hyperpop is doing things in a similar fashion. If you listen to a 100 gecs or Punkinloveee song, the 2000’s emo jumps right at you, but while remaining fresh and futuristic. Another example is “Lice” by our new best friend Kyunchi (featuring Chase Icon), it puts the “hyper” in hyperpop with machine gun-like vocal delivery and killer, fast paced beats. At the same time, it remains reminiscent of early 2010’s MySpace bubblegum bass without falling into the trap of being a soundalike for other songs. When you look at things like that, you can see why Kyunchi and Codomomental’s Syva are collaborating; Zenkimi also perverts the nostalgic into the current and new, and we’re big perverts here.

Homicidols is here because we love when people zig where others zag. While a lot of mainstream pop has collaborations that feel just like a cash grab, hyperpop as both a genre and a subculture is filled with outsiders, making the music they love just because it’s cool. Even when things go mainstream, there’s still that overarching feeling of “this is just right,” like when SOPHIE produced a song for Namie Amuro or when Nakata got Charli XCX on a song with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. What, did you think these two worlds were entirely separate? We have Japanese musicians making hyperpop too, just listen to the new meme tokyo. single produced by Amane Uyama, for starters. There’s so, so much creativity and cultural crossover out there just waiting for you to discover.

As is the way with all things Japanese, these connections and homegrown artists tend to get overlooked sometimes. Even when the artists and fans are very vocal about various aspects, what media wants to report on and what marketers want to market are very different things. But, since we live in the age of playlists, we’re going to leave you with our very own Homicidols Hyperpop Playlist! Unlike certain other playlists by big streaming services that have a total of 2 Japanese artists, (we’re not petty, we promise) we want to showcase to you the full array of influences and current artists, and a few fun extras that just sound cool.

Let “Mecha Angel Genesis♡” be the sparkly, pink tip of the iceberg for both hyperpop and Kyunchi’s discography. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of both in the near future.