Meitei’s 2020 album 'Kofū' was the bold bookend to an expedition, where sounds were first navigated and then subverted in 2018’s 'Kwaidan' and 2019’s 'Komachi'.
All three albums were Meitei’s attempt at immersive storytelling, reimagining moments of Japanese history he felt were being washed away – not least by the unforgiving sands of time – through wistful compositions that stretched across ambient music, hauntology, and musique concrete.
When it came to finalizing 'Kofū', Meitei found he was left with over 60 fully realized tracks, bursting with ideas that fired in divergent, curious directions. Meitei was content with the 13 tracks he had selected. But when it came time to begin his next album, he found that it had been sitting in front of him all along. He realized his work wasn’t over yet.
Meitei sounds right at home celebrating the past he first reimagined in his previous work. The merriment is palpable in its first two tracks of 'Kofū II' – a loop of cheery whistling amidst the clanking of wood leads into strings, cricket sounds and flutes, all united in bustling harmony.
'Happyaku-yachō' is where it comes into focus. Pitch-shifted vocal samples roam around in the crowded sonic field. “My image of this music is that it expresses the vibrant mood of Edo's merchant culture,” says Meitei, “where old Japanese dwellings were densely packed together in a vast expanse of land.” The affair becomes bittersweet as the track leads into the desolate 'Kaworu', a compositional piece lifted from his 'Komachi' sessions – a final requiem to his late grandmother.
The album is bursting with spectral vignettes of wandering samurais, red lanterns, ninjas, puppet theatres, poets, even a vengeful assassin ('Shurayuki hime', known to Western audiences as ‘Lady Snowblood’).
'Saryō' is as elegant and refined as you would expect. It induces stillness in its repetition, with each synth note a brushstroke. It was inspired by a Sengoku-era tea house he once visited, designed by national icon Sen no Rikyū. Meitei tied it to the reaction he felt while poring over the ink paintings in his grandmother’s house. “The decayed earthen walls and faded tatami mats gave me an emotional impression,” he says. “And the cosmic flow of time drifting in the small room. I decided to put my impression of this into music.”
In 'Akira Kurosawa', an appropriately thunderous track, Meitei finds deep resonance in his vast filmography, which drew equally from Japan’s rich heritage and troubled circumstances post-WWII.
'Kofū II' is not a leftovers album, nor is it a straightforward companion piece. In this album, Meitei has his biggest reckoning with the Japanese identity yet. Over the years, he has attempted to peel back what he believes has defined Japan and its people. After seeking answers with three full-length albums, his fourth poses more questions.
If his first three albums inspired a sense of longing – or, perhaps inevitably, fed an irreparable nostalgia doomed to history – 'Kofū II' compels us to reassess our relationship with the past. By constantly looking back, are we ever afforded a clearer present? After capturing the “lost Japanese mood”, where does that leave its country in the modern world? Meitei offers no immediate answers with 'Kofū II'. It forces you to sit with its disparate moods, to meditate amidst the textured fragments.
'Kofū II' will be released on 180g LP, CD and digital format on December 10, 2021 (LP expected to land January 28, 2022) via KITCHEN. LABEL. Both LP and CD format are presented in a debossed sleeve with obi strip and include a 16-page insert with words in Japanese and English from Meitei, printed on premium paper stock with design by KITCHEN. LABEL founder Ricks Ang, and is mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama in Tokyo, Japan.
Tapping the driftwood, tapping the surface of the water, everything on earth becomes his instrument.
In 1990, NEWSIC, a leading Japanese environmental music label, released a work by a rare percussionist
The work released by the rare percussionist is now on LP record for the first time.
Listening to Mr. Ochi's Natural Sonic reminds me of the days when I used to go to the studio of St. GIGA (satellite music broadcasting station), which was then located in Jingumae.
There, this album was secretly played day after day.
After more than 30 years, "Chikyu no Chikugo" was finally released to the world.
- Yoshiro Ojima (Composer / Music Producer)
Yoshiro Ochi is a percussionist who has been active in a wide variety of fields, including composing and performing music for the Issey Miyake Collection from 1984 to 1990, producing music for TV and radio, participating in live performances by GONTITI and other artists, and conducting workshops.
He has collected colorful living tones by traveling, playing drums, and tapping on natural objects he encounters. They blend gently with computer sounds and repeat pleasant resonance.
A magical massage of sound and rhythm.
Following "Motohiko Hamase - Tree Scale," one of the most popular titles on the "NEWSIC" label, this long-awaited analog record pressing is now available!
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
7月中旬入荷。この人の作品の新たな入門盤といっても過言ではないでしょう。今年度最高クラスの一枚！国産ミニマル/アンビエント金字塔的傑作『鏡の向こう側』でもお馴染み、もはや説明不要、初期の久石譲プロデュース仕事でも知られるMkwaju Ensembleにも参加、近年のニューエイジ・リバイバルを通じて吉村弘や芦川聡らと並ぶ不動の人気を獲得した作曲家、打楽器奏者である高田みどり(1951-)。自身の『鏡の向こう側』を掘り起こし、世界的人気作品へと押し上げた縁深いレーベルである〈WRWTFWW Records〉より、実に23年ぶりとなる最新ソロ・アルバムをリリース。
本作は、スイスの〈ジュネーブ民族学博物館〉に所蔵されている楽器を使用し、ジンバブエのショナ族の伝統的なムビラ音楽を代表する伝統的な作品である「Nhemamusasa」を演奏したライブ録音のアルバム。高田氏の作品は、『百億年の交響詩』や『Tree Of Life』といった比較的アヴァンギャルドな色彩の強い作品が目立ちますが、本作は、『鏡の向こう側』の2020年代ヴァージョンといった風情のコンテンポラリー/ミニマルの凄まじい傑作！自身のアフリカ音楽とミニマリズムへの探究心と多文化的ヴィジョンの集大成ともいうべきマスターピースに仕上がっています。こりゃ絶対持っとけ！
Shin Otowa, is a legendary Japanese psychedelic musician who is coveted by psychedelic enthusiasts around the world.
Makoto Kubota and the Sunset Sunset Orchestra participated in the release of his acid masterpiece "Wasuretami" (self-produced in 1974) on LP for the first time in 48 years!
Self-produced album (1974) by a singer/songwriter known for having contributed lyrics to Makoto Kubota's first solo album "Machiboke" (1973).
Makoto Kubota, who made full use of his 12-string guitar and contributed so much to the overall sound that it could be said that he almost produced the album, Yoma Fujita, who created a fantastic space with his slide guitar, and Takashi Onzo, who played the bass guitar in a lighthearted and eerie manner. The members of the Yuyake Gakudan (Sunset Sunset Band), including Makoto Kubota, who contributed to the overall sound, Yoma Fujita, who creates a fantastic space with his slide guitar, and Takashi Onzo, who plays a nice and light bass, all played on this simple but richly expanded world of Otowa's songs, inviting our consciousness into a world that extends far "beyond", but gives a mysterious sense of peacefulness. In other words, it is a masterpiece of acid folk. In this era of rock, this album is a pure and miraculous album of intense rock that abandons any superficial rock sound in order to be rock. Therefore, it has been enthusiastically supported by psychedelic enthusiasts around the world and has been talked about for a long time in Japan, although only a small portion of the Japanese public has heard of it. In 1976, just after the release of this album, Otowa suddenly left for Ibiza, Spain, and is said to have returned to Japan in the mid-1980s.
Jacks meets Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang! Yokohama Rock guru Daisaku Yoshino's early masterpiece "Lamp Factory" (self-produced in 1974) is being released on LP for the first time in 48 years! Produced by Makoto Otowa, this album is known as a brother album to "Wasagetami".
Daisaku Yoshino has been performing live mainly in Yokohama since the early 70's. His musical style is diverse and elusive, from the folk rock period of the 70's to the post-punk/free form period of the 80's. Although he has never received a solid reputation, his early work "Daisaku Yoshino Lamp Manufacturing Factory" ( Although his music has never been well received, his early work, "Yoshino Daisaku Lamp Factory" (released in 1974), is well known and popular in later years, mainly in Europe, as a masterpiece of acid folk. The band's philosophical and modern poetry was expressed in straight American rock, dynamic and thirsty country rock, and acid folk style, and was regarded as "Jacks meets the Sunset Band". The band was praised by Makoto Kubota for their performance at the Hibiya Nohe rock festival, where they outclassed Tokyo bands. The bluesy, weeping electric guitar sounds are reminiscent of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," a superb world. The hidden masterpiece that will remain in the history of Japanese rock music is now being released in its original format for the first time in 48 years. The strength of the music is so pure that it has not wavered at all, and it is an album that must be listened to now more than ever.
Obscure Japanese New Wave/Dub! The only album he left in 1982 is finally reissued on LP!
The solo album by Satoshi Murakawa "Jimmy" Murakawa, the vocalist of "Mariah", a band internationally reevaluated for its progressive musicality, has finally been reissued straight from the press amidst a lot of WANT.
The minimal beat "Down? Down, Down!", which was reconstructed by Chee Shimizu, the oriental ambient dub "Beauty", and the cold wave "Cat's Eye", which sharply disturbs the auditory senses, are all featured on this album, with sound design by co-producer Yasuaki Shimizu reflected in every part. The album features a total of 10 tracks that reflect the sound design of co-producer Yasuaki Shimizu.
Killer JPN New Age/Walearic! Shigeru Suzuki's alias works are back on LP!
This LP reissue is the most new age of Shigeru Suzuki's works from 1987, which debuted as a guitarist for Happiendo, produced many songs, and supported the Showa music history and new music scene.
The conceptual content, which advocates resort ambient with a graceful touch, has recently been reevaluated in the context of "Japanese Rarealic" ("Japanese mono" + "Balearic"). It is a well-known masterpiece that is popular both domestically and internationally. The music is provided by Tetsuji Hayashi, Mari Iijima, Kazuo Zaitsu, Hajime Mizoguchi, Meiko Nakahara, and Asami Kado.