MICABOX feat.AYAKO TAKATO
Released October 2006 on the Far Side label. On the album Hinemosu, Micabox combine ancient with modern Japan. Kagura (music for the gods) minyo (local folk) and other Oriental sounds are mixed with the cutting edge electronics of Toshimi Mikami, together with help from his mentor, the legendary Haruomi Hosono (ex-YMO) and superb female vocalist Ayako Takato. Hosono who mixed and adds additional sounds to this CD has been a pioneering musician in Japan for several decades, at the forefront of creating Japanese rock music with the group Happy End, technopop with his group Yellow Magic Orchestra (along with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi) world music and electronic dance music. Kagura "god music" is music and dance played at shrines, and is probably Japan's most ancient surviving music. It has its roots in acts of magic in worship of the gods inhabiting the forest and sea. Minyo are local Japanese folk songs of which literally thousands exist, from the far north of Hokkaido to the deep south of Okinawa. It wasn't until Mikami met female singer Ayako Takato in the Pan-Pacific Mongoloid Unit, a group run by Haruomi Hosono of which Mikami is also a member that Mikami had found a singer with the versatility to sing the tunes he had composed over a number of years. The album is a bit like a snapshot of today's Japan; where the grounds of an ancient, peaceful temple stands adjacent to the blazing neon of an advertising hoard. A curious mixture of the old and new, spiritual and hi-tech, serenity and chaos.