FAR EAST MENTION MANNEQUINS Release New Single, Fxxk Boyz Get Money

FEMM logo, designed by Yuzuru Namiki

FEMM logo, designed by Yuzuru Namiki

On 23rd July, a new compilation album entitled TWERK ‘EM ALL featuring FAR EAST MENTION MANNEQUINS is due to arrive on international digital and domestic platforms.

For those of you to whom FAR EAST MENTION MANNEQUINS (FEMM for short) are unfamiliar, then like the rest of us presently, you must consider yourself to be somewhat in the dark.

What is known about the group is that it is comprised of two members, MS-000000—known informally as RiRi—and SW-000000—known informally as LuLa—and that at present their YouTube channel hosts a significant amount of both confrontational and melodic songs.

The image of the group is concise, dealing with latex variants of traditional costumes and role-plays associated with the tenets of the fetishised sexual act (maid, schoolgirl, police officer, soldier) and the content of the material ranges from the soft and melodic dance music of tracks such as We Flood the Night and Kiss the Rain to the more aggressive forthcoming single, Fxxk Boyz Get Money.

Signed to avex, who are also home to similarly controversial alternative idol group, BiS, FEMM’s website currently plays out a mythologised backstory for the group, evoking dystopian themes and placing them against a cyberpunk backdrop of detail in which the two members are cast as self-aware mannequins with a decisive agenda of unlocking the secret skills of similar mannequins.

To this end, users are encouraged to login to the site via Facebook or Twitter and fashion for themselves two identities, two halves of a self that is simultaneously representative of the user and disparate.

The first profile is for the “agent,” the human self and acts as a simple means of promoting the site and generating awareness via social media by registering users. Yet the second profile is that of the “FEMM,” the self-aware mannequin. What is striking about this is the openness of gender disparity between the two selves, with male and female users of the site open to the possibility of role-play as alternative genders in their FEMM states.

Whilst there is the danger that such an approach may well make the site appear something like a giant AOL chatroom circa 1998, the dual sexualisation and aggressive empowerment of the latter role of the FEMM seems to indicate more awareness than one would expect from the presence of such an option.

intothatIt would suggest that users of the site are being encouraged to engage in dimorphic representations of the self via different sex archetypes.

Regardless of the intent, the site is engaging and the music is more so both entertaining—seemingly taking cues from K-pop’s hyper-stylisation of American music—and exciting.

If one were to now see AKB48 as an industry unto themselves, then it would make competition from other traditional idol groups very difficult. What groups like FEMM, and also BiS, represent is a desire not to compete but rather to change the rules of the game.

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