Shirokuma Is…

Shirokuma is an innovative musical project created by Liverpool born writer and producer Mark Corrin. The songs are frequently collaborative affairs and feature many local and international guest vocalists and musicians. The tracks that Shirokuma produces constantly evolve and mutate in terms of style and genre, but they can often be characterised by elements of male / female vocal interplay, surrealist lyrics, catchy melodies and short song lengths. The playful and varied musical backings are woven from electronic and organic sound sources and have previously  incorporated elements from such styles as psychedelic pop, punk, electronica, French pop, comedy, folk, chiptune, grunge, drum n’ bass, surf and hip hop.

Below is a video for “Apropos De Poe” a song from the brand new Shirokuma album “Abandonware” (2012)  to give you a quick musical taster :

For a bit of history…Shirokuma’s early demo CDRs made him a regular favourite on John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 Show for the final five years of its broadcast (1999 – 2004). Rob Da Bank and FloMotion’s Nick Luscombe continue to be radio supporters, whilst Shirokuma was made single of the week by both Steve Lamacq and Phil Jupitus during their time at BBC 6 Music. A debut album “Secret Moves At The Midnight Chess Club” was released via Manchester label Faith & Hope records in 2005, which yielded a joint NME single of the week, “Moonlight In The Afternoon”. The track, which the paper curiously confessed “makes us want to have sex in dressing-up clothes”, was also remixed by Max Tundra (Domino Records) and Andy Votel (Twisted Nerve \ B-Music \ Finders Keepers). An EP on Twisted Nerve records came next, before Shirokuma settled with the Manchester electronic & future rock label Valentine Records.

A string of albums, remixes and side projects for the label followed, and now the brand new album “Abandonware” (2012) is perhaps the most entertaining and ambitious Shirokuma release to date. Please take a listen to the full album  for yourself here :

It dips into as rich a palette of styles as ever. The lyrical themes have darkened somewhat and become more explicitly politicised on certain tracks, although there is still the usual warmth, wit and Dadist daftness to be found too. This new album also notably includes several collaborations with the pioneering experimental electronic musician and producer known as caro snatch (“A one-woman slap in the face for the chin-stroking laptop massive” BBC). The link below will take you to her own site :

Shirokuma is also very active on the Manchester underground live music scene, and variously helps promote, MC and perform at the Valentine Records club nights (previously “To Amy With Love” / “Rebellious Jukebox”). The latest club night “Tago>Mago” is currently running on the third Saturday of every month at The Lass O Gowrie pub in Manchester (complete with themed room design !). Dates and further information about forthcoming events are available by clicking the link  below :

In August 2012 Shirokuma will also be performing onstage alongside the legendary psychedelic improv pioneer and former CAN singer, Damo Suzuki.

Shirokuma is currently available for interview, concert booking, DJ sets, remixes and live work.

Further examples from previous Shirokuma releases are available from the album cover links at the Valentine Records site below:

Such as the self titled 2010 8 track mini album :

SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY :

2004 “Moonlight In The Afternoon” EP (+Max Tundra & Andy Votel Remixes)

2005 “Secret Moves At The Midnight Chess Club” LP (Faith & Hope Records)

2005 “A Wooden Figurine Of Don Quixote EP” (Twisted Nerve Records)

2005 (As Penguin Map Mijinko) “Our Love Violates Corporate Policy EP” (Valentine Records)

2007 (As Penguin Map Mijinko) “Adventure Island” LP (Valentine Records)

2008 “Lobster Rock Emporium” a compendium of early singles & curiosities (Valentine Records)

2010 “Shirokuma” Mini LP (Valentine Records)

2012 “Abandonware LP (Valentine Records)

 

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