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Les 5-4-3-2-1

A quite enjoyable addition to the Shibuya-kei steady, Les 5-4-3-2-1 took its name from a Manfred Mann melody and its design from France pop from the ’70s and ’80s. Business lead guitarist, bassist, songwriter, and all-around active guy Sally Kubota previously performed in the Phantom Present, the short-lived beat-combo revival group from 1987, and is among the major players inside a picture that bred Pizzicato Five, Initial Love, as well as the Pearl Brothers. (Saeki Kenzo, from the second option group, occasionaly arises on Les 5-4-3-2-1 albums as musician and co-composer.) The vocal responsibilities were stuffed by the sweet Hitomi, who later on became known as Hitomi 19 to avoid confusion using the much more well-known Avex Trax designer hitomi. The group’s debut — on Triad, the label of Pizzicato Five as well as the Escalators — contains two EPs: El and Deux, 20 moments each of light, dancey pop with French affectations (sometimes singing quite terribly in French). Mon Cheri Proceed Go adopted in 1994, perhaps most obviously for comprising a techno cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s “69 Anée Erotique.” After refining their pop on 1995’s La Ronde, Hitomi 19 remaining and was changed by Arimi Matsuno, previously a member from the pop group Ribbon. The sound instantly transformed to a harder, rock-techno experience to complement Matsuno’s older voice (close however you like to Maki Nomiya). Pre-pop made an appearance the same yr as Hitomi’s departure as well as the group continued to create two even more albums in the same vein, 12×2 and 1973. Les 5-4-3-2-1 curved out its agreement with THE MOST EFFECTIVE of Les 5-4-3-2-1 for Hitomi 19, which targets the first years; Kubota continued to become listed on the short-lived Cushion Talk.

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