Nov 23, 7.30pm, Hang-Out
If you're an indie music fan, there's a good chance you've heard the name Asobi Seksu - but you may not know it's Japanese for 'playful sex'. It's a concept that somehow fits the Brooklyn band's often-uplifting take on shoe-gaze rock, which in this case tends more towards the ecstatic than the melancholy that characterises other music of the genre.
'We've always loved that name because our music is so textural and visceral,' says Yuki Chikudate, a New Yorker whose almost impossibly ethereal vocals, in both English and Japanese, lend sonic zing to the four-piece's excellent albums, the latest of which - 2006's Citrus and 2009's Hush - were lauded by the music press. 'Hearing something that is loud, meant to be heard at a very high volume, it's a very physical experience, so in that sense the name really works.'
The band arrive in Hong Kong for a gig at Hang-Out on November 23 at an exciting time - they recently put the finishing touches on new album, Flouresence, which is due for release in early February. The album, Chikudate says, has re-energised the band and represents an organic unfolding of their sound. 'It's a nice marriage between the energetic side of us that we captured on Citrus and some of the synth elements we explored on Hush.'
It'll also be a more on-point representation of the band's intense live act. 'We've just taken the textures and the guitar sounds - I don't want to say to the next level, because it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn,' she says with a laugh. 'But I guess it's not because I don't play guitar. [Music-writing partner] James [Hanna, above with Chikudate] just really honed in on the guitars and really went for it, knew what he wanted. It sounded to me like it was a very confident record for him. And for me on vocals as well, I felt like I was just enjoying the performance.'
The band comes to town as part of an Asian tour, fresh from playing New York's huge CMJ Music Marathon in October. They were a pretty big deal there, and they're going to be an even bigger deal here. Put them down as a 'must see'.
1/F, Youth Outreach Jockey Club Building, 2 Holy Cross Path, Sai Wan Ho, HK$280 (advance, White Noise Records, Zoo Records), HK$320 (door). Inquiries: 9709 2085