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