Oct 24, 2017

Hikashu - Anguri in the Style of Unlanding (2017)

Hikashu - Anguri in the Style of Unlanding

1. Anguri / Anguri
2. Doremo Ga Seikai / All are correct
3. Shikou no Moso / Suprematism
4. Narisumashite Soro / Solemn Pretender
5. Tsubuyaku Kai / Selfish Shellfish
6. Iine / I Like It
7. Tomei Sugiruyo / Too Transparent
8. Ryokai Desu / Roger That
9. Zenhoui Ayashige / Omni Suspicion
10. Mamonaku Tengoku / It will be heaven soon
11. Aisenaiyo, Sonnanja / You cannot be in love, I guess
12. Chakuriku Shinaikei / In the Style of Unlanding
13. Iishitumon Desune! / Good Question!

Words by Makigami
Music by Makigami (3), Mita (6, 11, 13), Sakaide (1, 8), Sato (7), Hikashu (2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12)

Makigami Koichi - vocal, theremin, cornet, shakuhachi, mouth harp
Mita Freeman - guitar
Sakaide Masami - bass
Shimizu Kazuto - piano, synthesizer, bass-clarinet
Sato Masaharu - drums

additional musicians:
Mori Ikue - laptop on 3, 8, 13
Chris Pitsiokos - alto saxophone on 9, 10, 12
Fubuki Yukie - vocal on 6, 9
Afrirampo - vocal on 9
Inoue Makoto - synthesizer on 8, 9, 10, 12

Produced by Makigami Koichi
Recorded by Mark Urselli at Eastside Sound NYC on May 1-2, 2017
Mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk NYC

Released on October 10, 2017

In May this year, Hikashu had been in New York City. The band came to the town in order to take part in a concert and studio recording of Godzilla Legend, the solo project of ex-member Inoue Makoto. The next day after the concert at Japan Society, both group went into Eastside Sound, Hikashu's favorite studio, and recorded two albums. One is "Godzilla Legend V" which was released in September, and the other is Anguri, the 23rd album of Hikashu.

Anguri is not "angry," mind you, but a Japanese word describing "mouth-opened by surprise." You can see all the members doing "anguri" on the back cover of the album. In Japanese it's simply called Anguri, but the full English title is "Anguri in the Style of Unlanding."

The album has 13 tracks, seven of which are compositions, and the rest are improvised. As the title suggests, it's full of surprise, of course positively. All the songs are newly written especially for the album.

"Suprematism" is inspired by Black Square, painting by Kazimir Malevich. The band witnessed the iconic work during a Russian tour. There is also a refenence to White on White, another piece by the same author, the different title used for the song though.

"I Like It" is a mid-tempo song with humorous lyrics. It sounds quite relaxed as it could be described even as pastoral. Besides handclapping and female backing vocals, provided by Fubuki Yukie, a stage actress and singer, it has some cowbells which it's used to be in the possession of Blue Oyster Cult, so the band was told. Maybe this is the same one used for "(Don't Fear) the Reaper."

There is a person who always give promptly affirmative answer to any incoming email, hardly bother whatever it says. That habit comes to fruit as "Roger That."

The album closes with magnificient "Good Question!" which is based on Makigami's day-to-day interaction with smartphone AI.

Regarding improvised tracks, Chris Pitsiokos, a bright young saxophonist from NY downtown scene, and Inoue Makoto are contributed as guests.

The cover illustration, with impressive piercing eyes, is done by Kondo Akino, a Japanese artist who currently resides in NYC. There is also another piece on the liner notes. 

The album is available worldwide via HMV Japan.

1. Anguri
words - makigami, music - sakaide

Knocking on an obscure gate
To look for extraordinariness
Cartograph of pain

Being frugal and breathless
How long could this be
Or is this deep into the night

A series of crying
Located in the end of vocal chord
The pure land
Sprint of Buddha

Walking while the shoestrings remain untied
The sky is leaning
Clearing a puddle

3. Suprematism
words and music - makigami

What is it
What is it
There are some crackings on the black square

What is it
What is it
The absolute blackness of delibate darkness
gradually peeled itself off

Black Square
Black Square
Black Square
Black Square

What is it
What is it
There are some dullness on the white square

What is it
What is it
The light beamed from outside echoed on the daydreaming eye

White Square
White Square
White Square
White Square

6. I Like It
words - makigami, music - mita

I like it, I like it

Considering every situation
Considering every situation
Considering every situation

I like it, I like it

Driven by every sentiment
Driven by every sentiment
Driven by every sentiment

I like it, I like it

Loving the nice way
Loving the nice way
Loving the nice way

I like it, I like it

Being full of distorted function
Being full of distorted function
Being full of distorted function

I like it, I like it

Travelling with crooked eyes
Travelling with crooked eyes
Travelling with crooked eyes

7. Too transparent
words - makigami, music - sato

Making a bloody promise
with flaming heart
Ambushing quietly
Waiting for an encounter

Who are you
Too transparent
Who are you
Too transparent

Incitement sans tension
Decision sans mind
How come you leave a ring
Due to the relentless untoward events

Who are you
Too transparent
Who are you
Too transparent

Tacit knowledge
Eternal silence
Hanging foolishly
Soaked in shame

Who are you
Too transparent
Who are you
Too transparent

8. Roger That
words - makigami, music - sakaide

What town we are reaching for
(Roger that)
If we remain travelling like this
(Roger that)

Lives matter above all
Lives matter above all

Whatever happens
(Roger that)
Probably there are some dissents
(Roger that)

Oct 23, 2017

Makigami Koichi @ the Stone New York City December 26-31 2017

In coming december, Makigami does a residency at the Stone, the NYC live music space directed by John Zorn. The personnels are:

12/26 Tuesday 8:30 pm
Chris Pitsiokos (sax) Tim Dahl (bass) Makigami Koichi (voice, theremin)

12/27 Wednesday 8:30 pm
Ned Rothenberg (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, shakhachi) Shelley Hirsch (voice) Billy Martin (drums) Makigami Koichi (voice, theremin)

12/28 Thursday 8:30 pm
Agra Darma
Ikue Mori (laptop) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Makigami Koichi (voice,theremin)

12/29 Friday 8:30 pm
Nels Cline (guitar) Yuka Honda (keyboards) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Tim Keiper (drums) Makigami Koichi (voice, theremin)

12/31 Sunday 8:30 pm
John Zorn, Chris Speed (saxes) Makigami Koichi (voice) Ikue Mori (electronics) Jim Black (drums) Chris Tordini (bass) and many special guests

See the Stone website for details:

Oct 20, 2017

Hikashu Euro Russia Tour November 2017

It's just announced that Hikashu will tour Europe and Russia in November 2017. The dates are:

November 14 - kepler14, Köln, Germany
November 16 - DOM, Moscow, Russia
November 17 - Cafe Hærverk, Oslo, Norway
November 18 - Kjøt, Bergen, Norway
November 20 - 5e, Copenhagen, Denmark

Don't miss this one if you're nearby.

Oct 3, 2017

Gigs in October 2017

Waiting anxiously Hikashu's new album "Anguri", while it's clear the most notable activity of the band in the foreseeable future is the new album release concert held at Star Pine's Cafe in Kichijoji on October 10 (described here), it's noted that there are other appearances for this month, as listed below:

October 6 - "Pre-Machi" @ Hearts+, Otsuka, Tokyo
October 7 - "Yokohama Jazz Promenade" @ KAAT Yokohama Art Theatre, Yokohama
October 10 - "Anguri" Release Concert @ Star Pine's Cafe, Kichijoji, Tokyo
October 16 - LaMama, Shibuya, Tokyo

"Pre-Machi" is a sort of showcase gig for the event called "Aki No Yoimachi" which is held in November, and Hikashu has already been booked for the latter one as well.

Yokohama Jazz Promenade is a huge jazz festival with a distinguished history. Hikashu's appearance starts around noon, so do not forget to come early.

Unfortunately, pianist Shimizu Kazuto is not available at the LaMama's gig, and ex-member Yoshimori Makoto will join the band as substitute.

October 6, 2017
@ Hearts+
Otsuka, Tokyo
other acts: Owarikara, Kuchusen, Rahulas
open 18:00 - start 18:30
adv 2,800 yen - at door 3,300 yen

Hearts+, Otsuka, Tokyo

October 7, 2017
"Yokohama Jazz Promenade"
@ KAAT Yokohama Art Theatre
start 12:00

KAAT Yokohama Art Theatre, Yokohama

October 16, 2017
@ LaMama
Shibuya, Tokyo
other acts: Kozure Miwazo, Oedo Sukeroku Daiko (Traditional taiko ensemble)
open 18:30 - start 19:30
adv 3,000 yen - at door 3,300 yen

LaMama, Shibuya, Tokyo