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A Tokyo-based all-female instrumental trio making equally raw and danceable music, Nisennenmondai formed in the late '90s and took their name from the Japanese translation of the then-current phrase "Y2K bug." Guitarist Masako Takada, bassist Yuri Zaikawa, and drummer Sayaka Himeno met at a club near their university and formed the band soon after, taking as much inspiration from the cool kids at school as they did from experimentalists like This Heat, Pop Group, Sonic Youth, DNA, and Neu! Their debut EP, Sorede Souzousuru Neji, was released in 2004, with another EP, Tori, arriving the following year. The band's first album, Rokuon, appeared in 2006, but it wasn't until 2008 that Nisennenmondai's work was distributed outside of Japan. Neji/Tori, which combined the band's first EPs, was released by Heartworm Press/Free News Projects on vinyl in the U.S. and by Smalltown Supersound on CD. That spring, the band's second full-length, the sleeker, more groove-oriented Destination Tokyo, was released in Japan; it was released elsewhere in summer 2009. By that time, Nisennenmondai had released Fan, a single 35-minute track expanding on Destination Tokyo's polyrhythmic approach, in their homeland. The following year, a split release with the volatile Osaka group Oshiri Pen Penz arrived; in 2011, Nisennenmondai returned with a split single with Waiters and a live album. A self-titled EP appeared on Zelone Records in 2013 as well as the full-length N, which took the trio's driving repetition to new heights. N was released in Europe and the U.S. in 2014. The following year saw the release of N' (pronounced "N-dash"), which featured reworkings of N's tracks as well as a pair of remixes by Shackleton. The band's volume of the Live at Clouds Hill series, which features artists recording 64-minute sets (the length of two analog tapes) at producer Johann Scheerer's Hamburg studio, also appeared in 2015. That year, the trio recorded and performed with dub maestro Adrian Sherwood; the results were the stark yet atmospheric #N/A, which originally appeared in a limited edition via Tokyo Beat before its wider release in April 2016. ~ Heather Phares


Tokyo, Japan

Years Active:

'00s, '10s