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Bakénéko get personal on their banging debut “Remember”

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For many netizens, it’s easy to find evidence of the globalization of Japanese culture within digital media and arts. Whole subgenres of music have sprung to life thanks to the inspiration of certain “aesthetic” movements, while anime has since become a widely accepted art form across various demographics. In more recent years, these elements have started to seep into Western EDM–fans of Porter Robinson or Shawn Wasabi can tell you that anime-sampled music is here to stay. For people like electronic Los Angeles-based duo Bakénéko’s Mai Ikushima, that gradual cultural acceptance is something that has helped her appreciate her own background as a Japanese-American.

Bakénéko.

“Until the viral growth of anime, I grew up shunned by two cultures. Wielding both languages is me finally embracing my Japanese heritage and American upbringing,” Ikushima states in a press statement. “Both have flaws, both have wonders, and that’s ok. I’m ok.”

That’s all apparent on Bakénéko’s debut song as a duo, “Remember.” Produced by Brandon Liew (who forms the other half of Bakénéko) and mixed by Yanming Yu, “Remember” is a soaring, euphoric EDM pop song that is as much a personal reflection of love as it is a dancefloor headbanger. By combining cascading chiptune beats, meandering guitars, and a raging neon aesthetic, “Remember” is maximalist pop that marries anime influences with the unyielding headstrong demeanor of similar acts like Chvrches. Ikushima, who belts out dual Japanese and English lyrics within the song, reclaims her own identity with stark power. “I won’t let me fall away / No, I will find you / Please don’t let me fade away / Oh, I’ll remember,” she sings.

“Remember” may be a maximalist song with enough elements to make your head spin, but its pulsing heartbeat is emotive and powerful–keeping the beat going all throughout the moonlit night.

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Li-Wei Chu

Music and film lover from California.

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