As a girls' anthem with a darkly humorous message, mannequin rap duo FEMM's acclaimed song 'Fxxk Boyz Get Money' found an audience with teens and influencers in the United States, quickly spreading around Europe, South America and Asia. FEMM's debut album Femm-Isation brought Japanese female rap to a whole new audience, reaching the Top 10 of Billboard's World Albums chart in the US.
Back in October, fans of mannequin rap duo FEMM puzzled over the meaning of the "404 not found" error message that appeared when accessing their official website. This was followed by weeks of deafening silence from FEMM's official channels, and then the sudden appearance of their brand-new song 'Level Up feat. Duke of Harajuku' earlier this month. Today (20 November), FEMM release their new six-song EP entitled 404 Not Found.
The members of FEMM say that they chose the title to suggest "brand-new music that doesn't exist (yet), no matter how hard you search for it".
A music video for the EP's lead track 'Peach' was also released today.
'Peach' was produced by Danny L Harle, a collaborator of Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama who is also a key member of British bubblegum bass label PC MUSIC, along with Radical Hardcore Clique (featuring Eiji from FACT, FZ from sfpr and Invaderous), pioneers of the Japalanta genre that blends traditional Japanese music with modern trap.
The dark and moody vibe of the track's opening gives way to a cool beat that descends further and further into chaos along with low-res distortion, sending listeners on a journey to a beautiful bitcrushed universe.
This universe has been brought to life visually by London-based video director wiz Weirdcore, a regular video collaborator with Aphex Twin. Weirdcore has worked on videos for top artists such as MIA and Radiohead, and recently collaborated with The 1975. It was produced by the visionary BRDG collective, who have been close friends of FEMM for some time.
The tripped-out video features heavily stylised old-school 3D computer graphics, recreating the two members of FEMM as dancing avatars with hair and makeup inspired by peaches and cream, as referenced in the lyrics, against a trippy backdrop of geometric shapes with a digitised city sprawl as its skybox. This avant-garde yet impactful video perfectly reflects the jarring digital chaos of the song.
FEMM have long made "dark pop" music, a genre that has recently gained worldwide attention via artists such as Billie Eilish, Grime and Ashnikko. 'Peach' is another dark pop track, but laced with industrial fire and radical rap. Rather than riding the current trend, FEMM have continued to evolve it, delivering a new musical experience that could only come from them.
Other songs on the EP feature production by Star Boy (DaBaby/Lil Uzi Vert), as well as female Japanese trackmakers YUA and Diana Chiaki, who were approached directly by the members of FEMM as fans of their work. Other producers include Japanese bass music scene players HABANERO POSSE and Japanese hip-hop linchpin KM.
404 Not Found marks their long-awaited return. Come experience a sound that this world has never seen, melding the boundaries between human and machine, borders and language.