Afrirampo Biography

was a band from Osaka, Japan that was active from 2002 to 2010. The members were Oni (guitar, vocals) and Pikachu (drums, vocals).

Afrirampo's music often featured call and response vocals, catchy distorted pop melodies, looping fret noise, droning feedback, guttural barks and impromptu squealing. Their early albums featured a sound that could be described as noise-punk, albeit with surprisingly melodic vocal parts, along with some longer, less melodic improvised jam pieces. Their later albums, especially Suuto Breakor and We Are Uchu No Ko, featured a much more expansive sound, sometimes with very long songs and quieter, more ethereal passages. The band's later albums featured noticeable elements of African music, with a tribal percussive sound and call-and-response vocals. This derived in part from a 2004 stay with pygmy tribes in Cameroon, Africa, documented on their 2006 album Baka Ga Kita.

After playing in several bands throughout their teens, Oni with an instrumental trio called Hankoki and Pikachu with a psychedelic quartet of girls called Z, the pair started Afrirampo in the spring of 2002 at the ages of 18 and 19. The period of 2002-2005 saw Afrirampo's visibility within the ranks of contemporary noise rock increasing in a manner that Matthew Murphy of Pitchforkmedia.com described as "meteoric". This might be attributed to their powerful stage presence, and hyper-energized live performances which generated considerable interest within the alternative music press.

Afrirampo toured with Sonic Youth and Lightning Bolt, collaborated with Acid Mothers Temple and released several CDs on various labels. In 2005 they performed at All Tomorrow's Parties, the avant-garde music festival curated by Vincent Gallo, and joined performance artist Yoko Ono on stage for her closing piece. Early in June 2010, Afrirampo announced that they would be disbanding after their final show in Osaka on June 26. However, their homepage stated in Japanese that if the "Mother of Heaven" called upon them to play together again, they would play. In the English version, they stated "If our mother of monster say "PLAY!PLAY!together!!", then we will play," indicating that the door may be open for future reunions.

Since breaking up, Afrirampo have maintained their website, released a live CD/DVD entitled Never Ending Afrirampo, consisting of material from their last performance on June 26, 2010, and have appeared together in each other's solo shows. They also did a special "Bye-bye Matsuri" performance on July 26, 2010, a month after their supposed final show, in which members of the Osaka underground music scene appeared with them onstage. Footage of this show also appears on Never Ending Afrirampo.

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Afrirampo Reviews

Album review: Afrirampo - We Are Ucho No Ko (Rock Action)

Album review: Afrirampo - We Are Ucho No Ko (Rock Action)

Phenomenal final outing from the Japanese duo that leaves us tearfully angling for more

  • Sep 13, 2010

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