Mar 31, 2012

Currents: March 2012


Uragoe - the first impression

We finally took a listen to the new album. After the gig with Kuro Yagi Shiro Yagi last week, Makigami played the yet-unreleased album entirely through the PA system of Bar Isshee in Shibuya, Tokyo.

We don't want to spoil your listening pleasure so keep it short - It's great of course, and there's one thing we'd like to tell you - it's not like any of their previous efforts. It's hard and pretty rocking. The rhythm section is tight as ever. It's hot as well, and we respectfully suggest you rush out and grab a copy.

HMV Japan now takes a worldwide pre-order. The link is here.

Orguss 02 OST reissue

Yes, it is. Orguss 02 OST, one of the most sought after Hikashu releases, will get reissued at last. The album has already been remastered and now plans to be out in late May. Originally released in 1992 as an original soundtrack of the video animation series, it is also the only so-called "media tie-in" title the band ever committed.

After the original release, it has never been rereleased before and now became a collector's item, unfortunately.

The remastered edition has a bonus track as well - the edited version of "Fushigi o Mitsumete," which is the one used on the actual video release.

Jazz Art Sengawa 2012 update

It's official. This year's Jazz Art Sengawa, the annual festival of jazz, improvisation and avant-pop, will be held on July 20-22.

Appearing will be Fujiwara Kiyoto, Sakamoto Hiromichi, Makigami Koichi, Oki Itaru, Cicara-mvta, Pet-Bottle Ningen, Kurachi Kumio, Kikuchi Naruyoshi, Sotoyama Akira, Ohtaka Shizuru, Kuramubon Mito, Davide Santorsola, Hikashu and more!

Mar 19, 2012

"Uragoe" Tour - Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya

Besides the Tokyo concert on April 5, Hikashu will embark a tour for the support of the upcoming album, "Uragoe." The dates are as follows:

May 6 - Osaka
May 7 - Kyoto
May 8 - Nagoya

The album has been mastered and now waiting to be released. Although the official date for the album release has been set on April 8, you could get the disc before the date, at the album release concert on April 5. Buy the album and support the band!

May 6, 2012
@ Compass
open 17:00 - start 18:00
adv 4,000 yen
ticket available via e+

Compass, Osaka

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May 7, 2012
@ Rag
open 18:00 - start 19:00
adv 4,000 yen - at door 4,500
ticket available via e+, ticket pia on March 31

Rag, Kyoto

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May 8, 2012
@ Tokuzo
open 18:30 - start 19:30
adv 4,000 - at door 4,500
ticket available via ticket pia

Tokuzo, Nagoya

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Mar 11, 2012

"Uragoe" - Tabaimo's cover art and track listing unveiled

Hikashu - Uragoe

1. Fude o Fure, Kanata-Kun [Wave the Brush, Kanata-Kun]
2. Chiisaku Ikizuku [Taking a Little Breath (or a Faint Breath)]
3. Uragoe [Uragoe (or Voice Overturned)]
4. Haraburi
5. Hitori Houkai [A Lonesome Breakdown]
6. Sude Ni Kokoni Nai [It's Already Gone]
7. Bintoru
8. Sokohaka [Uncertainly (or Vaguely)]
9. Yuugata No Iesu, Asagata No Nou [The Affirmation of Evening, The Reversal of Morning]
10. Shikotama [Plentiful]
11. Donten Ni Beni [Crimson under the Crowded Sky]
12. Umare Tate No Hana [A Newly-Born Flower]
13. Tsugi No Iwa Ni Tsuzuku [Continued on Next Rock]

Hikashu unveiled the cover art by Tabaimo and the track listing for their forthcoming album, "Uragoe."

Here we list English titles for each track. Please note that those are not official, just our interpretations, and prepared only for sake of convenience. Still, some titles could not be translated (4, 7). These look like adverbs of classical Japanese (wikipedia) but we're not sure. Anyway, need not mind the meanings and enjoy the sounds of those words since they're almost incomprehensive, even for natives.

Also, several have already pointed out that track 13 might be a quote from the short story by R. A. Lafferty (wikipedia).

By the way, Uragoe means usually "falsetto" in Japanese, but Hikashu's "Uragoe" seems to mean different as the lyrics of the song has a phrase "Voice go overturned" and that overturn is likely to be unintentional. So it might mean "Uragaetta Koe" (Overturned Voice) and just shortened as "Uragoe." (In this contraction, the word "Koe" is pronounced "goe" with a voiced "g.")

Right now, the album is waiting to be mastered and it is soon. The release date is April 8th.

Mar 10, 2012

Hikashu and Urbangarde - a concert in Shibuya

On May 2, Hikashu will perform at a double bill concert with a rising techno combo, Urbangarde.

Self-proclaimed "a traumatizing techno-pop band," Urbangarde was formed in 2004. Having gained a reputation as a notable act, they landed a contract with major label Universal in 2010. The leader Matsunaga Temma said, via twitter, that he's glad of the opportunity as being a long-time fan of Hikashu, and now considering to play the band's tune at the concert.

Urbangarde official site (English, French)

"Hikashu and Urbangarde"
May 2, 2012
@ La Mama
Shibuya, Tokyo
open 19:00 - start 19:30
adv 3,500 yen - at door 4,000 yen
(one drink order minimum)

La Mama, Shibuya, Tokyo

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Mar 7, 2012

Club Jazz Byobu - Nomination and Exhibit

It's announced that Club Jazz Byobu is selected as a finalist for the prestigious Ito Kisaku Award of set design.

Organized by Japan Association of Theatre Designers and Technicians (JATDT), the award is given annually for the best set design works of the previous year and named after Ito Kisaku, the famed set designer known for theatre and film. The entry for Ito on IMDb is here.

Club Jazz Byobu, proudly billed as "the world's smallest jazz venue," is a movable stage set for performance and operated in conjuction with Jazz Art Sengawa.

Nagamine Maki, the designer, expressed her delight for the nomination via twitter and thanked to all involved for their support.

Also, there will be an exhibition of the nominees for the award at Kinokuniya Gallery of Shinjuku this month. Of course, Club Jazz Byobu will be displayed with related documents, along with other finalists.

JATDT website (Japanese)

Club Jazz Byobu 2010

Nagamine Maki performed at Prague Quadrennial Japan Booth on June 18, 2011.

March 22-27, 2012
"Finalists for the 39th Ito Kisaku Award"
@ Kinokuniya Gallery
Kinokuniya Bookstore Building, 4th floor
Shinjuku, Tokyo
10:00-18:30 (closed 18:00 on March 27)

Kinokuniya Bookstore, Shinjuku, Tokyo

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Mar 6, 2012

Makigami Koichi meets again with Aleksei Aigui in Tokyo

Aleksei Aigui, a noted composer and violinist based in Moscow, will visit Tokyo this month. In response to his visitation, Makigami Koichi organizes a session of improvised music on March 14, with Mr. Aigui as a guest.

This is the second time for the two playing together. Mr. Aigui has performed with Hikashu at their Moscow gig last year.

March 14, 2012
Makigami Koichi (voice), Takaoka Daisuke (tuba), Tanaka Noritaka (drums)
guest - Aleksei Aigui (violin) from Moscow
@ Sabaco
Waseda, Tokyo
open 19:30 - start 20:00
admission: 2,500 yen (with one drink)
Sabaco site (Japanese)

Sabaco, Waseda (Tokyo)

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Related Entry:
Alexey Aygi - special guest of the Moscow concert