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DJ Scotch Egg and Kiki Hitomi return as WaqWaq Kingdom with new album, ‘Hot Pot Totto’

The duo's third release is a collection of dance songs written in response to ecological anxiety

WaqWaq Kingdom pose in colourful rain ponchos
Marco Tinari

WaqWaq Kingdom, the duo comprising Shigeru Ishihara (aka DJ Scotch Egg) and Kiki Hitomi, are back with news of their second album.

The Japanese “minyo footwork” duo have announced ‘Hot Pot Totto’, released on 22nd September via Phantom Limb. It follows their 2019 debut album ‘Essaka Hoisa’ and the 2020 EP ‘Dokkoisho’.

‘Hakke Yoi’ is the first taste of the album, which comes with a vibrant, 3D-animated music video by Allen Paisley that's available to watch below.

The album features songs that respond to “ecological anxiety” and is described as a “bubbling hot pot of dance music”.

Hitomi explained of the album title: “Two words are conjoined: ‘hot pot’ and ‘ottotto’. ‘Ottotto’ is the Japanese equivalent of ‘oops’, or said when someone nearly falls over but manages to get their balance back, ‘it was dangerous but now we are safe!’”

The duo have likened their recent sound to “a psychedelic Nabe hot pot: melting traditional Japanese Minyo with Jamaican dancehall, footwork, dub, techno, tribal polyrhythms and Super Nintendo soundtracks”. Influences on the album have seeped in from producer Shigeru Ishihara’s time spent in East Africa working with local musicians.

‘Hakke Yoi’, meanwhile, is named after the traditional cry of a sumo wrestling match, shouted by the referee to maintain tempo, and commonly translated as “put some spirit into it!” The lyrics refer to humanity’s sacrifice of earth for material gains.

“Now our earth is on the way to catastrophe, as global warming becomes a serious problem through humanity’s fault. “We are on the edge,” Hitomi, also of Dokkebi Q fame, added. “We need to get back on the right track.” The ottotto of the album title refers to that need to “get back on the right track”.

‘Hot Pot Totto’ is available on limited red/transparent marble vinyl in addition to digital and streaming formats. Pre-order from Bandcamp here

‘Hot Pot Totto’ tracklist:

01. ‘Hakke Yoi’
02. ‘Shogyo Mujo’
03. ‘The Tower’
04. ‘Religion Surfer’
05. ‘Eye Candy Man’
06. ‘Buri Buri’ [feat. Catu Diosis]
07. ‘Okame & Hyottoko’
08. ‘RIP My Ego’
09. ‘Bad For My Soul Good For My Ego’
10. ‘Dopamine Dance’
11. ‘Hashtag Smile’