Anamanaguchi is an American electronic band from New York City. The band has four members: lead songwriters and guitarists Peter Berkman & Ary Warnaar, bassist James DeVito, and drummer Luke Silas.
Anamanaguchi combines digital electronic sounds such as those seen in Chiptune and Bitpop with traditional band instrumentation. As with other chiptune artists, they have created music using video game hardware from the mid- to late 1980s: namely an NES and a Game Boy. Berkman has stated that their music is not solely influenced by video game music and that much of it is inspired by "[s]imple pop stuff, like Weezer and the Beach Boys," as well as Janet Jackson.
Berkman also cites J-pop and Japanese producer Yasutaka Nakata as a notable influence. "... for Berkman, the influence of Shibuya-kei style pop from Japan, particularly artists like Cornelius and Yasutaka Nakata (Perfume, Capsule) is particularly important." "The influence of J-pop, as well as "French electro," should be more evident on the band's forthcoming album, according to Berkman."
Berkman stated that his top three influences in order would be "Tim and Eric and that absurd comedy, Japanese music and video games." "Ultimately, Berkman's interest in Japanese pop culture is at the root of his interest in video games."
The origin of the band's name is unclear. In one interview, Berkman said the name "Anamanaguchi" came about from a member in one of his former bands pronouncing gibberish in the style of Jabba the Hutt. On several other occasions, the band has explained that their name came about after the members worked as interns at Armani (Berkman and DeVito), Prada (Warnaar), and Gucci (Silas) while studying fashion at Parsons School of Design (though three of the four majored in Music Technology at New York University). People began calling them the "Armani-Prada-Gucci boys," which eventually was elided into "Anamanaguchi."
The band formed in Chappaqua, NY where Peter Berkman & James DeVito were classmates. Through events such as Pulsewave NYC they formed a relationship with the netlabel 8bitpeoples and subsequently released their debut the Power Supply EP in August 2006. The track "Helix Nebula" was featured as the theme song of the former GamesRadar podcast TalkRadar.
Peter Berkman met Ary Warnaar at New York University where they were studying Music Technology. In 2009, Ary Warnaar and Luke Silas joined the band for the release of their following EP, Dawn Metropolis. The album was released with an accompanying website that included animated videos for each of the songs, done in collaboration with artists David Mauro and Paris Treantafeles.
A song from Dawn Metropolis titled "Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues" is the current theme to Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist Podcast. On November 26, 2013, Anamanaguchi appeared as guests on the very podcast itself.
In 2010, Anamanaguchi were approached by Ubisoft to compose music for the video game adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. The soundtrack for the game was released on Amazon and iTunes by ABKCO Records on August 24, 2010. The soundtrack debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart (aka Soundscan's New Artist Chart).
In the summer of 2010, Anamanaguchi began releasing a series of singles for free download on their website. These singles were released with animated gif cover art (featuring collaborations with artists such as Paul Robertson and Ryder Ripps) and were printed as limited 7" vinyl with lenticular artwork to mimic the animated images.
On May 3, 2013, Anamanaguchi launched a Kickstarter project for their album Endless Fantasy. In just 11 hours, their funding goal of $50,000 was reached. At the end of its run, the project was backed by 7,253 people who contributed to raising a grand total of $277,399, making it the second most-successful music project to be funded on Kickstarter at the time, behind that of singer Amanda Palmer.
Anamanaguchi was featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on June 17, 2013, where they played their song "Endless Fantasy" from the album of the same name.
On June 19, 2014, they released a single titled "Pop It" featuring a then-unknown singer whose face was hidden from view. The song was a stylistic departure for the group in that it did not feature any chiptune elements nor traditional band instrumentation, with a lead vocal. Entertainment Weekly described the song as having "glitchy electronic flourishes and relentlessly bubble gummy vibe" citing comparisons to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. In September, the song was featured in a Target TV advertisement, and in the summer of 2015 featured in a Taco Bell commercial for iced beverages. On November 24, 2014, the singer's name "Meesh彡☆" and face were revealed to the public.
On November 21, 2014, Anamanaguchi revealed they are working on a new album entitled USA, set to release sometime in 2016. The band says that the album will not be a chiptune album. This album was later delayed for an undisclosed amount of time.
On March 28, 2016, the band released 30 new pieces of new music in the form of a video game called Capsule Silence XXIV. The band "leaked" the game for free online after staging a hoax Twitter dispute with the game's developer, NHX. The game also contains an unreleased video for "Japan Air", among other hidden Easter eggs.
In May 2016, the band was the opening act at the North American Miku Expo tour, finishing at a two-show event at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The band returned to the stage each night and performed their single "Miku" live with Hatsune Miku for her encore.
Anamanaguchi collaborated on their first music video for the song "Meow" with Daniel Gray Longino and Eric Notarnicola from Absolutely Productions. The video takes place in an arcade where the various members of the group join different social cliques. The video features a cameo from 4chan founder, moot.
Using funds raised from their Kickstarter, Anamanaguchi produced a music video for the title track of the album Endless Fantasy. The video features a girl (played by Charlotte Wimberly) sending a slice of pizza up to space with a weather balloon.
Footage of the pizza in space was taken with a GoPro camera as it was sent into the air. A GPS device was also attached to the apparatus in order to locate its whereabouts, although Berkman said in an interview with Grantland that the device never worked, so they "just started driving in the general direction that the balloon was headed." The band was able to retrieve their footage after they received notice from Warwick, NY police that they had obtained a "suspicious package" that linked back to them. They were told that the pizza had landed in the backyard of a family who then notified the police on suspicion of it being a bomb.
Anamanaguchi released a music video for their single "Pop It" in November 2014 to their YouTube channel. The video features singer Meesh彡☆, with whom they previously collaborated on the song "Japan Air" for Endless Fantasy. Her face is hidden behind a balloon for the entirety of the video.Power Supply (2006)
Dawn Metropolis Preview (2009)
Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY, USA (2011)
Daytrotter Session (2011)
Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA (2011)
Frug 4 Lyfe (2011)
Single + Remix Collections. The album was released exclusively in Japan on March 4, 2012. The album compiles all of the singles from the band's summer of singles along with all the tracks from Power Supply. As well as these tracks, it includes two previously unreleased remixes of Anamanaguchi tracks.