Nov 29, 2015

Nomoto Kazuhiro Memorial Concert on November 30 and December 13, 2015

In November and December 2015, Hikashu holds two concerts commemorating the late Nomoto Kazuhiro, an ex-member of the band.

Nomoto started playing alto saxophone while attending a college in Tokyo. He joined Hikashu in 1984 shortly after graduating. Soon he went contributing the band by playing and composing.

He quitted the band in 2002, and died next year by esophageal cancer. He was 43.

In 2004, Hikashu already has did a tribute concert for him with Umezu Kazutoki who is a veteran saxophone player and a long time collaborator of Nomoto. So this is the second time the band commemorating the deceased one.

This time there is a lot of guest, all of them had played with him in the past and getting together for commemorating him.

For Hikashu fan, this is a big reunion as well. Being formed in 1978, the band went through many line-up, and two of them will be reformed. Part one is 1991 and Part two is 1996 and both line-up have left impressive albums for us. They were great bands - so don't miss these precious opportunities.

November 11, 2015
Nomoto Kazuhiro Memorial Concert Part 1
@ La Mama
Shibuya, Tokyo
Acts: Hikashu with Inoue Makoto (synthesizer) and Tsuno Ken (drums), Otomo Yoshihide (guitar), Kuri Corder Quartet
open 18:30 - start 19:00
adv 4,000 yen - at door 4,500 yen

La Mama, Shibuya, Tokyo

December 13, 2015
Nomoto Kazuhiro Memorial Concert Part 2
@ Pit-Inn
Shinjuku, Tokyo
Acts: Hikashu with Yoshimori Makoto (keyboard) and Niida Kozo (drums), Yanoyuki (theremin) and Akagi Chuji (vocal, guitar), Sakata Akira (alto saxophone), Betsuni Nammo Klezmer
open 16:30 - start 17:00
adv 5,000 yen - at door 5,500 yen

Pit-Inn, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Nov 25, 2015

"a sonic explosion from another world" - Hikashu in Copenhagen 2015

Hikashu at Kocertkirken, Copenhagen on October 31, 2015. photo Lars Bjørnø

Hikashu has just completed a foreign tour. This time the band performed in Russia, Lithuania, Germany, and Denmark. Notably they broke into west europe at last, although this is not the first time ever -  they played in Berlin and Hannover in 1991 shortly after recording the "Hanauta Hajime" album at Hansa Ton Studio in Berlin.

Anyway, the result is very encouraging - it seems that the reception is quite well everywhere they performed. The following is one of the evidence - the review of G((o))ng Tomorrow 2015, the avant-garde music festival in Copenhagen. The original is in Danish (of course) and the excerpt is quoted here with the help of the mighty Google Translate.

A blow for tomorrow's music or an echo of the past?
Reportage from G ((o)) ng Tomorrow 2015
by Simon Christensen

With the name change from Wundergrund to G ((o)) ng Tomorrow desired festival organizers to strike a blow for tomorrow's music. This showed from the speech at the opening concert in the Concert Church, after which the pretty amazing percussionist Marilyn Mazur struck festival officially gong with a cozy newly composed piece (for gongs in different sizes), and so the name was sworn in with the stylish 'Selbst bewusstheit'.

The festival of new, experimental music and sound art was held this year for the tenth time, and compared to the previous one must say that special focus on international artists this year has grown on this ever-curious event. Not just came musicians from Beirut, New York, Zagreb, Tokyo and Sydney via Berlin, but they also brought their own local expression instead of playing out of the universal beaten track. The festival is also event like shuffling cards for modern composition, rhythmic music, performance and noise with new commissioned works from current musicians and composers from the Danish scene. And it is an event which in its basic form is to open the experimental composer music often easier esoteric scene up by including Copenhagen's most evocative special venues and a few half-tacky tricks from experiential handbook like. slow food, crossover art and receptions beer.

(...) humorous ended G ((o)) ng Tomorrow the concert with the legendary Hikashu, which was formed in 1978 and then followed the Western zeitgeist inspired by both rock and early electronic music and synth-pop à la Kraftwerk. The concert was Hikashu's first ever on Danish soil, but the group's frontman, extreme vocals and theremin player, Koichi Makigami have been several occasions in recent years, where he has both performed solo and in The Living Room with Torben Snekkestad and the aforementioned Søren Kjærgaard.

2015 edition of Hikashu is, however, entirely on its own feet in a style of music, ranging from avant-garde of complex compositional positions and Makigami's vocal experiments to the decidedly prog-rock groove. Hikashu were found to be in great shape with a rather interesting instrumentation with sound effects from childish toy, rustling plastic bag in guitar pickups, bamboo flutes and theremin games in expressive style. So far as is known, the material was a mixture of new and quite old stuff, and although I could not decipher much of the themes was quite humorous and well-executed way to end the festival on a sonic explosion from another world.

G((o))ng – Et slag for morgendagens musik eller et ekko af fortiden?

Nov 3, 2015

John Zorn's Cobra Tokyo Operation on November 14, 2015

Tokyo Operation is back. This time the unit is led by a saxophone player Tanaka Kunikazu.

John Zorn's Cobra Tokyo Operation
Tanaka Kunikazu Unit

Izumi Satoshi, guitar
Kurihara Tsutomu, drums
Keitaimo, bass
Shika Udai, cello
Takara Kumiko, percussion
Takei Makoto, shakuhachi, fue (pipe)
Tanaka Kunikazu, saxophone
Tanaka Yumiko, shamisen
Nakaji Hideaki, trombone
Nobie, vocal
Ono Satoru, synthesizer

Makigami Koichi, prompter

November 14, 2015
@ LaMama
Shibuya, Tokyo
open 18:30 - start 19:00
adv 3,000 yen - at door 3,500 yen

LaMama, Shibuya, Tokyo

Gigs in November 2015

Hikashu and Oki Itaru at Vilnius Jazz Festival, October 2015 allaboutjazz

Hikashu has just returned to their homeland after the three-week foreign tour but it seems that they have no time to rest well. In this month, they have two gigs. One is held at Star Pine's Cafe of Kichijoji on November 4, and the other is at LaMama of Shibuya on November 19. Moreover, there a tribute concert for the late Nomoto Kazuhiro, ex-member of the band - it will be covered on different entry.

The Kichijoji gig is devoted only for Hikashu. Over two hours of extraordinary performance. Also, this is the first gig after the oversea tour, so they must have a lot to tell, full of interesting road stories.

Sakata Akira, the veteran saxphone player who has been a frequent collaborator of Hikashu since 1980s, is back to play with the band at the Shibuya gig. Isso Yukihiro on Noh kan (Noh flute), and Naito Tesuro on taiko will be participated as well.

November 4, 2015
"Hikashu's Autumn"
@ Star Pine's Cafe
Kichijoji, Tokyo
open 18:30 - start 19:30
adv 3,900 yen - at door 4,300 yen

Star Pine's Cafe, Kichijoji, Tokyo

November 19, 2015
"Crossroad Fantasia"
@ LaMama
Shibuya, Tokyo
other acts: Sakata Akira (reeds), Isso Yukihiro (Noh flute), Naito Tetsuhiro (taiko)
open 18:30 - start 19;00
adv 3,300 yen - at door 3,600 yen

LaMama, Shibuya, Tokyo