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京​極​流​箏​曲​「​新​春​譜​」​Kyogokuryu​-​s​ō​kyoku "Shinshunfu"

by 雨田光平 (Kōhei Amada), SUGAI KEN

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Orlando Laman
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Orlando Laman This single is definitely a great document of Japanese tradition folk music and a great fun oddity kind of release of two pieces of music that feel like totally different genres of music but work so well together :) Favorite track: 新春譜 Shinshunfu (SUGAI KEN Rework).
bloodzboi thumbnail
bloodzboi 雨田光平的古筝和当代爱尔兰竖琴的一次文化碰撞,EM Records神发行 Favorite track: 新春譜 Shinshunfu (SUGAI KEN Rework).
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NM Exactly what I've been yearning for, A real gem of irrefutable beauty. I melted when the shō came in! Total bliss. Thank you EM! Favorite track: 新春譜 Shinshunfu (1970).








「考えうる最高レベルの古今東西融和」(俚謡山脈)を人知れず成し遂げていた幻の傑作であり、現代のアーティストや作家達を惹き付けてやまない秘曲、京極流箏曲「新春譜」。作者、雨田光平の貴重な自演と電子音楽の名工、SUGAI KENによるリワークをカップリングしてお届けする必殺の1枚。



対するSUGAI KENのリワークは現代音楽/RVNG/HIPHOPをメビウスの環のようにつないだ作品で、リワークというよりはSUGAI KENのオリジナル新曲と考えた方がいい。



マスタリング:倉谷拓人(Ruv Bytes)


released March 15, 2019

The cover of this release features a gradation of color, a subtle but complete infusion of one element into another, an almost imperceptible moment where A becomes B and both become more. And that is one way of thinking about the music in this release, a piece composed in the mid-1950s, and a 2018 re-working of that same piece. The original was composed by Kōhei Amada and played by an ensemble in which the Japanese traditional instruments koto, shō and taiko fuse perfectly with the French grand harp. The composition itself also melds Amada’s traditional, classical sensibilities and his knowledge of the deepest roots of Japanese music with his appreciation of new developments in both Japanese and Western music. Another element to consider here is the role of Amada’s voice and lyrics, fusing noh and other traditional elements with a modernity foreshadowing the rise of the singer-songwriter, melding high tradition with folk impulses. This theme of gradation and infusion continues in the other piece of music on this release, Ken Sugai’s revision of the original, with its puzzling amalgamation of analog/digital, acoustic/electric, and performed/programmed, with the various temporal and geographical elements of Amada’s music melted and melded into the 21st century.

- Cover art: Ginji Kimura
- Mastering: Takuto Kuratani (Ruv Bytes)
- Liner notes (CD & vinyl only): Takuya Kitamura
- English & Japanese text/rare photos (CD & vinyl only)


Comments by Spencer Doran (Visible Cloaks):

EM Record's release of little known koto auteur Kōhei Amada continues the label's tireless mapping of multi-hued human expression, sitting outside genre convention and confusing record store clerks everywhere. "Shinshunfu" is sectioned into two parts: a more recognizable duet between koto and Irish harp, and a complete 180 into an elongated vocal piece repellent with droning shō and taiko drum bass hits. This concoction brings up familiar scents: Lou Harrison's small ensemble harp pieces, or a Japanese recasting of the Medieval troubadour songs performed by transcultural-minded early music groups like Studio der frühen Musik or Hespèrion XXI. Yet these comparisons are merely abstract, "Shinshunfu" exists at a crossroads, a form both distinctly Japanese and distinctly "other", a complex blend of folk strains that is deep with emotional resonance and hard to place even for aficionados of Japanese traditional music.

Sugai Ken's rework renders the source material almost unrecognizable, pushing even further in the non-deterministic, GRM-like meta-concrète direction of his recent work, jump-cutting in high definition between synthetic birdsong, haunted vocoded voice and arresting, back-of-the-head foley. Of "Shinshunfu", only the drone of the shō and the occasional taiko hit appear in plain view. The exploration sits comfortably in the idiosyncratic sound world that Ken has been prolifically constructing for himself in the last few years (what he has come to call "Japanese electronic-folklore"), just as brilliant as one would expect.


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