Tujiko Noriko is a Japanese singer, songwriter, and filmmaker based in Paris. Since the early 2000s, she has released several albums of experimental pop, singing bittersweet melodies in Japanese and English over glitchy, downtempo electronics and electro-acoustic arrangements. Early releases such as Shojo Toshi (2001) and From Tokyo to Naiagara (2003) were highly acclaimed, attracting attention from IDM and indie pop audiences alike. She has collaborated with several experimental electronic musicians, including Peter Rehberg (as DACM), Lawrence English, and Nobukazu Takemura. After having worked on experimental short films throughout her career, she released her first full-length instrumental soundtrack, Kuro, in 2019. The expansive ambient work Crépuscule I & II appeared in 2023.
Tujiko (her Japanese family name) was born in Osaka in 1976. Her first album, the primarily self-composed Keshou to Heitai (Make-Up and Soldier), was released in Japan in 2000. International debut Shojo Toshi appeared on Austrian experimental label Mego in 2001, and was by far their most accessible release at the time. The following year, Mego issued the EP I Forgot the Title (consisting of selections from Tujiko’s debut, plus a live tune) and full-length Hard Ni Sasete (Make Me Hard), as well as Showroom Dummies, a collaboration with Peter Rehberg under the name DACM. From Tokyo to Naiagara, a beautiful, heartbreaking album of melancholic pop songs, was released by Tomlab in 2003. Asphodel issued Stéréotypie, DACM’s second effort, in 2004.
Several other collaborations appeared in 2005. 28, with glitch artist Aoki Takamasa, was released by FatCat, and Blurred in My Mirror, featuring experimental musicians such as Lawrence English and Aki Onda, appeared on Room40. Additionally, Tujiko and Riow Arai issued an album titled J under the name RATN, and the singer released the EP Melancholic Beat with Portradium. In 2006, Editions Mego reissued Shojo Toshi on CD, containing the tracks from the EP I Forgot the Title, and the full-length Solo appeared on the label in 2007. Remix-heavy CD Trust was released by Japanese label Nature Bliss in 2008, and U, a collaboration with English and John Chantler, appeared on Room40.
After devoting a few years to raising her family, Tujiko returned in 2012 with GYU, a collaboration with Tatsuya Yamada credited to Tyme. x Tujiko, as well as East Facing Balcony (with Nobukazu Takemura). My Ghost Comes Back, including contributions from Maxwell August Croy and Martin Brandlmayr, appeared in 2014. Tujiko guested on AGF’s 2015 digital single “I Am: New Woman.” In 2019, Tujiko co-directed, starred in, and composed the music for the film Kuro; its score was issued by PAN. Surge, a score featuring compositions by Tujiko and Paul Davies, appeared in 2022. Crépuscule I & II, a solo album including several lengthy ambient pieces, was released by Editions Mego in 2023, and was dedicated to Rehberg, the label’s late founder. ~ Paul Simpson