SHOUKICHI KINA - PASCAL PLANTINGA
Washinnayo (Limited Edition 7 inch Double Single + 3 inch mini CD)
In recent years, Shoukichi Kina has probably been more concerned in becoming a political activist, than writing new songs, eventually becoming elected to the Japanese Diet in 2005. Only a handful of albums have been released these last twenty years or so, sometimes sub-standard covers of his previous hit songs. One thing Kina hasn't lost is his charisma. He's not the best of singers, or musicians, or even songwriters, but on form, on stage, nobody else on the island can surpass him.
It's now taken a Dutch electronic musician to harness that intensity of performance and present Kina in a totally new light. Fortunately Pascal Plantinga doesn't go down the road most trodden global electronic dance route. Instead Kina's passionate, yearning vocals are encased within a dark, cinematographic, often sparse palette of electronic sounds. Only one of the four tracks was written by Kina, Shima Guwa (Okinawan Island Spirit) the first line of which, Washinnayo (Don't Forget) gives rise to the title of this record. Two others are traditional and another written by one of the great figures of the past, Choki Fukuhara.
The release comes in a beautifully packaged gatefold sleeve with two seven inch vinyl singles plus mini-CD. The most intriguing release Shoukichi Kina has been a part of for many a year.
1. Kunjan Sabakui 2. Munushiri Bushi 3. Shirutuyaa Guwa 4. Shima Guwa
2008 release from the wonderful sanshin and sarod player from Okinawa. Using various effects, Wataru connects Okinawan music with Indian music, through his original playing technique of the sarod and sanshin, to the gentle accompaniment of computer programmed rhythms and soundscapes.
1. Nem 2. Horseriding 3. Mar 4. Mizu 5. Abraarabdah 6. Mecon 7. awanikO 8. Uchina
The ever inventive Wataru Kousaka tries his hand at playing Okinawan tunes (Tinsagu nu Hana) or tunes in an Okinawan style, on the Indian sarod with some accompaniment on santoor and tabla. 5 tracks, 52 minutes.
GENDER SANSHIN TRIO
Second album from the Gender Sanshin Trio, featuring Wataru Kosaka (sanshin) Ryosen Kamejima (gender- Indonesian metalic gamelan) Kengo Sakamoto (fretless bass) plus guest musicians on sax, darbucka and cajon. The album was recorded live at various locations which adds an interesting natural ambience including an appreciative crowd at a school. Some tracks are a laid back mix of the three main instruments, with the sanshin picking out the melody to the lilting accompaniment of gendang, while darbucka and cajon add driving rhythms on others. Elsewhere, various electronic effects are added and saxophone creates a jazzy feel. A mixture of original tunes, well known Okinawan songs and a Javanese traditional tune. 9 tracks.
Latest from the experimental sanshin player. Sanshin, plus Indian sarod, together with a groovebox supplying synthesized beats and sounds into an imagined 90s time machine. Kousaka's sanshin is put through various delays and effects and instruments are bowed, as Okinawan and Indian music are combined with startling originality. Mixture of uptempo tunes and cool electronica. Six tracks 30 minutes.
Shike Nu Tyurasa
Wataru Kohsaka is not from Okinawa but has lived there for most of his life. He is one of the most innovative sanshin players around, playing it using various electronic effects, using a bow and in other unique ways. His sanshin is sometimes accomapanied by the gamelan instrument the gender, which itself is also played using orthodox and more unorthodox methods Two tracks on this album were recorded on a beach on the south of the island called Ukinju Haiju Beach featuring sanshin, gender and pianica. The studio recordings feature acoustic guitar sometimes quite bluesy sounding. Three traditional Okinawan tunes and three original tunes performed in a completely unique way 1.Tohsin Doi 2.Jugo No Koi 3.Nahkuni 4.Niibui Kahbui 5.Tida Nu Achisa 6.Tinsagu Nu Hana.
GENDER SANSHIN TRIO
Gender Sanshin Trio
Gender Sanshin Trio features Wataru Kousaka together with bassist Sakamoto 'punch!' Kengo (Koenji Hyakkei) and Ryosen Kameshima on Javanese gender, with two remixes by Okinawan resident musician Paul Mahoux. Gender is a metal key instrument used in Indonesian gamelan, and can be heard on this album together with sanshin, fretless bass, guitar, jew's harp and various chimes and electronic sounds. Okinawan and Javanese music share some musical similarities including the pentatonic scale which makes for a very natural combination. A bow is used on one track on both the sanshin and gender. Dark, edgy, broody, experimental, original, spellbinding. Ten tracks, 40 minutes.
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On Sanshin Restaurant Wataru Kousaka plays sanshin using various effects, such as delay and harmonizer. The sanshin is sometimes bowed displaying the natural harmonics of the instrument. Includes a version of Medetai Bushi and improvised tunes based on tradtional songs. He also plays a mini Chinese pipa, which adds another dimension to this CD. It's all played live without overdubs which really gives the recording an organic feel. Ten tracks, 40 minutes.
Texture of Sanshin
Wataru Kosaka's second album from 2002 of minimal sanshin improvisation. The concept is to layer the sound of the sanshin as in gamelan music. A mic is attached to the head of the sanshin, then put through a delay effector. A beat is made through looping the sound of hitting the neck of the sanshin. Three tracks, 44 minutes of electronically enhanced sanshin bliss.
Uchina No Kakera
Imagine if a guitar was found on Okinawa 200 years ago. Nobody knew how to play or had any knowledge about the instrument. Wataru Kosaka imagines Okinawans would tune it like a sanshin.This CD features sanshinated acoustic guitar together with sanshin. More dynamic than other sanshin/guitar albums as Wataru Kosaka performs traditional Okinawan kacharshee tunes (Toshin Doi), some bossa nova, bluesy sounding tunes and even Ainu mukkuri (jew's harp) with sanshin. Kousaka's first album. Nine tracks, 22 minutes.
One of the best albums by Wataru Kosaka. It all sounds utterly refreshing, bursting with ideas. Sanshin put through various effects is set to metalic, distorted electronic accompaniment, hollow percussion, African kalimba and a solo sanshin delay version of Tinsagu nu Hana.
Live @ Groove
Wataru Kosaka recorded live at Groove in Zittyaku, Okinawa in August 2003. Sanshin, bass, laptop, sampler, feedback and distortion. Very impressive solo performance, calm, relaxing, constantly compelling.
MACHIGWA SHISAR MINYO GROUP
Machiguwa Shisar Minyo Group
Imagine a party in an Okinawan house with a group playing traditional music. Sanshin, singing, sanba, sake..this little gem is a live recording of a traditional minyo group enjoying themselves, that atmosphere captured and conveyed to the listener. Eight tracks, 35 minutes.
Shio Michiru Ahsa Kaigan
Field recording by Wataru Kosaka of the sound of the Okinawan sea recorded at Iejima island. 65 minutes