Saturday, March 26, 2016

OJP006 : Sachiko Nagata - Chiharu MK / Blue Flow

Cover art by A.L.

OJP006 : Sachiko Nagata - Chiharu MK / Blue Flow

Chiharu MK (bio + portfolio) is a Japanese electronic artist.
In 2007, she releases her 1st album Piano Prizm and her acclaimed 2nd album Waterproof in 2009.
She is also active in the art field such as sound contributions fro German contemporary artist Nina Fisher & Maroan El Sani’s visual piece and sound installations for domestic Triennial exhibitions.
This 3rd album 'Blue Flow' is a collaboration album with Sachiko Nagata who is a percussionist and improviser mainly using the iron slit drum called « Hamon ».
She is known for her solo works and collaborations with other artists.
Hamon is an original instrument made by Japanese artist Teppei Saito being inspired by the sounds of the traditional Japanese garden ornament called Suikinkutsu.
With the excellent skills of Sachiko playing this rare instrument, combining them with field recordings recorded by Chiharu MK which was taken around Kamui promontory and other different places in Hokkaido (Japan’s North island), they construct one and only illusory and very Japanese soundscapes.

Kamui promontory’s « Kamui » means « God » in Ainu (indigenous group of people in Japan and Russia) language and it used to be a place where no women were admitted and now known for it’s beautiful sea called «  Shatokan Blue ».

Chiharu MK

Sachiko Nagata

Review in Vita weekly Nederlands:
'In a way perhaps one could say that the release by two female Japanese artists Chiharu MK and Sachiko Nagata. The first is, I think, a computer musician and the latter a percussion player mainly using the iron slit drum  called 'Hamon'. She combines that with field recordings from Japan, recorded by MK. As I was playing this, someone walked in and said: what's this release from Obscure Records again? I told him it was not, but I could see what he means, as it bears resemblance to the Toop/Eastley record on Obscure Records - the percussion that seems to have been set outside in the field somewhere, and we hear wind, birds and watery percussion sounds. This is indeed music that very much deals with the surrounding in which it was recorded and perhaps also in which it is played back. Like far away temple music, which may be odd in my street, or wind chimes on a summers day - again odd for the time of the year. Excellent meditative music here, one that actually fits all seasons. Maybe aural wallpaper too, but then of an almost religious nature.' (FDW)

A live video of Blue Flow:

Original cover art from the cd

Digital release on the 25th of March 2016.

Track Listing:

1: Blue Flow, Part.1
2: Blue Flow, Part.2
3: Blue Flow, Part.3
4: Blue Flow, Part.4

Thursday, March 17, 2016

ODG049 : Ryan Choi / Whenmill

Cover art by A.L.

ODG049 : Ryan Choi / Whenmill

'Whenmill', the second release from Ryan Choi, features four modern classical compositions for solo baritone ukulele. 
Marked by masterfully expansive fingerwork, extended tunings and ex tempore forays into traditional and experimental harmonies, Whenmill is a decisive, visionary flight beyond the common rhetoric of the instrument, bearing distinctive relevance not only to ukuleleists, guitarists, and other string instrumentalists, but to all composers and adventurous ears.  Recorded in secret over a period of three years, these fiercely elusive, emotive and often surreal explorations establish the ukulele as a premier vehicle for musical ideation and virtuosity.

Ryan Choi - Baritone Ukulele
Composed, recorded and produced by Ryan Choi

Edited, mixed and mastered by Frank Lockwood"

Ryan Choi

Ryan Choi, born in 1984 in Honolulu, Hawai’i, is a composer, artist, and multi-instrumentalist.  His other works include the album Three Dancers (ALP-060, Accretions).  He began his musical studies on the double bass and later developed an interest in the tenor and baritone ukuleles, which he plays in both standard form and a variety of non-traditional tunings and preparations.  He lives and works just outside of Downtown Honolulu.  His website is

Excellent review in Elsewhere magazine here, in TheWholeNote here, in Chaindlk here and in SLUG magazine here and in Italian here.

Digital release on the 18th of March 2016. Bandcamp, Cd Baby and Baboom at a special price(see under) + limited cd edition (see under).

Track listing:

1) Set I: 1. - Quixano (2012)
2) Set I: 2. - Inn Blue (2012)
3) Set I: 3. - Whenmill (2013)
4) South Aleksandr (2011)

Cd available also:


Friday, March 11, 2016

ODX007 : Jazz Momentum On / Off

cover art by A.L.

ODX007 : Jazz Momentum On / Off

Finally a compilation of some of the best Jazz moments on Off from the start of the label!
A reason to discover or re discover great Jazz musicians on so many releases.
To listen again and again night and day!

Digital release on the 11 of March 2016.

Track listing:

1: Wild Wild Wes / Four Of A Kind (seeODG037)
2: Pregheria / Marco Bardoscia (seeOCD028)
3: Maria Callas / Blanchet -  Borghi - Chevallier - Paganotti Quartet (seeODG024)
4: The Winding Shell / Jesse Elder (seeOCD013)
5: Pour Francine / Roland Binet (seeODG042)
6: Haru No Umi / Hanami Quartet (seeOCD019)
7: Round Midnight / Marco Bardoscia (seeOCD028)
8: Sac de noeuds / Emmanuel Borghi Trio (seeODG005)
9: Untitled 2 / Blanchet -  Borghi - Chevallier - Paganotti Quartet (seeODG024)
10: Look at Me, so I Can Get Close to You / Meyer - Trim -Rumback (seeODG009)
11: Song 2 / Beaker (seeODG029)

Friday, March 4, 2016

OJP005 : Léo Dupleix - Toshimaru Nakamura / Futaride

Cover art by A.L.

OJP005 : Léo Dupleix - Toshimaru Nakamura / Futaride

Fifth release on the Japanese series is a live album from electronic wizards Léo Dupleix (see OJP004) and Toshimaru Nakamura (home page).

To fans of free improvisation and the Japanese onkyo, or noise scene, Toshimaru Nakamura needs no introduction; to newcomers, the name of his instrument – the no-input mixing board – may sound forbidding, as if its output would sound more machine than music. But for over a decade, Nakamura has cultivated a world of tones from this unlikely instrument, both harsh and mesmerizing, humanist and expansive – with something to lure in music fans of any stripe.
Says founder of Samadhi Sound David Sylvian,“ I have great admiration for Toshi, for his sense of discipline, his risk taking, his openness, generosity and intelligence.”
Nakamura discovered the no-input mixing board while searching for a better balance between himself and his tools. After many “unhappy years” playing guitar in rock bands, he set that instrument aside. “I think I was not moving away from the guitar itself, but from my own attitude when I played the guitar. I had a problem with the idea that I have to be the one who starts the music. You have to play the guitar first, otherwise the music can't exist. ... Then at some point around 1997, I discovered that internal feedback within the mixing desk fit me very well. I think I was seeking an equal relationship with my instrument, instead of putting myself above my instrument. The instrument could lead me.” (Samadhi Sound site

Though this video was made for the released Egrets album (Samadhi Sound) in 2010, i's a perfect explanation of the way Nakamura works and thinks:

Toshimaru Nakamura "Egrets" from Samadhisound on Vimeo.

He began his career playing rock&roll guitar, but gradually explored other types of music, even abandoning guitar and started working on circuit bending. He uses a mixing console as a live, interactive musical instrument. He plays the 'no-input mixing board', connecting the input of the board to the output, then manipulating the resultant audio feedback.
His music has been described as "sounds ranging from piercing high tones and shimmering whistles to galumphing, crackle-spattered bass patterns."
He founded an ensemble A Paragon of Beauty in 1992.

He has recorded solo albums and has worked as a session musician, collaboration with Otomo Yoshihide, Keith Rowe, John Butcher and Nicholas Bussman among others. He has also collaborated with Taku Sugimoto, Tetuzi Akiyama, dancer Kim Ito, drummer Jason Khan, and Sachiko M, "a kindred spirit".

Their live performance was recorded at Futari Tokyo in August 2015. Using only sounds generated by the mix table and a computer, they succeed to bring amazing and powerful noise music.

Léo Dupleix

Toshimaru Nakamura

Live at Futari

Toshimaru Nakamura (no input mixing board)
Léo Dupleix (laptop, electronics)
Recorded live in Ftarri (Tokyo) on august 2nd 2015.
Edited, Mixed and Mastered by Léo Dupleix.

Digital release on the 4th of March 2016.

Track listing:

1: 1-10:06

2: 2-06:10
3: 3-12:37
4: 4-09:28