King Records to release a 6-CD box set of Sadao China’s recordings

I heard about this upcoming release about a month or so ago but haven’t seen any big promotions of it—which is quite sad indeed. So we here at Karakui.com will do our part by promoting the King Records release of a 6-disc box set featuring music by utasaa (Okinawan folk singer) legend Sadao China. Titled “Hyakkei,” the limited release box set of 101 tracks will sell for ¥15,000 with each disc featuring a theme of: Celebration & Dance (Disc 1), Playful & Fun (Disc 2 & 3), Drama & Admiration (Disc 4), and Love (Disc 5 & 6). “Hyakkei” will be released on October 7, 2009, and is available for pre-order at online retailers like (our favorite) cdjapan.co.jp. Click here for a full list of tracks in the box set.

Not interested in the box set? Well, there’s a release for you as well. Coming before the release of “Hyakkei” King Records will release a (single) disc of Sadao China’s recordings titled “Uta Damashii” on September 9, 2009. “Uta Damashii” will have a total of 15 tracks—13 of which are in “Hyakkei” and 2 bonus tracks which aren’t included in the box set—and is priced at ¥2,800. “Uta Damashii” is available for pre-order at cdjapan.co.jp.

Ayano Uema’s new album available online at Amazon.co.jp

Ayano Uema’s sophomore album, “Majun,” is available for pre-order online at Amazon.co.jp for ¥2,000.

The listing on Amazon.co.jp gives us a peek at what we may expect out of her new album. It’ll have a total of eight tracks and by the looks of it will be, like her debut album, original songs penned by Ayano. So those of you (like yours truly) who were hoping for an album of traditional shimauta we’ll have to wait a little longer.

The CD is also available for pre-order at Takara Records stores in Okinawa.

Her official website has also been updated for the upcoming album.

(Link: 先行予約開始:上間綾乃の、日々ブログ – 上間綾乃の、日々ブログ)

Ayano Uema’s 2nd album will be released on 8/2/09!!!

ayanouema-majun.png

We knew she was working on her 2nd album back in January 2009 and now we finally have a release date and a title for it, “Majun,” which will hit local store shelves on August 2, 2009. No other information on the number of tracks or its price but we’ll report it as soon as it’s available. Ayano’s debut album, “Negai Hoshi,” was released in 2006 and the majority of tracks were penned by her. Containing a total of 8 tracks, it sold for ¥2,000.

Ayano Uema’s official website

(Via 上間綾乃の、日々ブログ.)

Shimobuku Rekoodo: Masaru and Isamu

shimobuku_record350.png

Just in time for the start of summer is a new musical unit comprised of Masaru Shimabukuro (BEGIN) and Isamu Shimoji who call themselves Shimobuku Rekoodo (Record). The duo just released their debut album, “Looking South West,” on the Teichiku label. Isamu’s previous release was last year’s collaboration with (Karakui.com favorite) Yukito Ara for the EP “SAKISHIMA meeting.” Masaru, besides his work with BEGIN, has been busy producing songs for artists like Miki Imai, Hiromi Iwasaki and Aya Ueto.

The album is currently available at cdjapan.co.jp (affiliate link) for ¥2,381 and has a total of 12 tracks. And for kicks, check out the duo’s “press conference” on Teichiku’s YouTube channel.

(Via Campus Record Staff’s blog.)

Yui Aragaki’s 2nd album set for 6/17 release!

Titled “hug,” Yui Aragaki’s (or Gakky) follow-up album to her 2007 debut “Sora” will be released on June 17, 2009. Containing a total of 13 tracks, it will be released in a CD+DVD format with the DVD including four PVs, as well as two first release editions. From the release of her single “Make my day” in 2008, Gakky’s single releases have included a “naked voice” (a cappella) version of the title track and one of the first edition releases will be a full album in a cappella.

(Via bounce.com.)

THE BOOM to release a special cover album commemorating the band’s 20th anniversary

On July 22, 2009, THE BOOM will commemorate their 20th anniversary with a special cover album that will feature several artists from Okinawa. Known for their song “Shimauta,” THE BOOM has released a number of singles with an Okinawan-sound to them. Titled “THE BOOM 20th SPECIAL COVER ALBUM,” it will feature Kariyushi58, MONGOL800 and BEGIN.

(Via bounce.com.)

Stereopony’s 1st album to be released on 6/17

Popular 3-piece all-girl rock band, Stereopony, coming off from a gig in the US at SXSW ’09, will be releasing their debut album on June 17, 2009. Titled “Hydrangea ga Saiteru,” the album will have a total of 13 tracks with the limited edition CD+DVD version (cdjapan link) containing a documentary of the trio at SXSW ’09.

(Via bounce.com.)

Veteran Amami utasha Ikue Asazaki

We often focus on the new singers from Amami-Oshima like Rikki Nakano, Chitose Hajime, Kosuke Atari, and Minami Kizuki, leaving out the traditional singers. So, better late than never, no? Ikue Asazaki is a veteran utasha (now in her 70s) who has been singing Amami shimauta since picking it up from her father and regarded as a genius of the music. While Ikue has had indie record releases since 1997, it wasn’t until 2002 that she had her first major label release with the album “Utaba Utayun” on Universal Music. According to her Wikipedia page, “Utaba Utayun” is one of her most famous, notably for the song “Obokuri Eeumi,” which was featured in the anime “Samurai Champloo” (see below video).

With 2005’s “Obokuri” (Toshiba EMI) being her last major label release, Ikue has since returned as an indies musician with her most recent album released on 2007 titled “Hamasaki” from the HIGH CONTRAST RECORDINGS label. Ikue’s official website can be found here.

(Nifee deebitan to Shari Tamashiro for bringing the singer to my attention.)

New album from Ryukyu Underground on April 15

ryukyuunderground_umui.png

It’s hard to believe that Ryukyu Underground’s last album was released three years ago so it’s great news to hear about their new release for 2009, “Umui,” which will be the duo’s 4th album. Ryukyu Underground features a mixture sounds of Dub, Hip Hop, Afro Beat, and Lounge, to create a club sound out of traditional and new Okinawan songs. “Umui” (omoi in Japanese) will have a total of 10 tracks and feature guest musicians (and frequent contributors) Toru Yonaha, Mika Uchizato, Ayano Uema, Natsuki Nakamura, and Mitsuko Nagado. The group’s albums can be sampled and purchased on iTunes (link opens iTunes).

(via Campus Record Staff blog.)

Emi Tawata collaborates with apparel brand SOULSMANIA

Singer Emi Tawata’s latest mini album, “Sweet Soul Love,” was just released on the 18th and it features a collaboration with popular apparel brand SOULSMANIA. The combined effort produced a lineup of t-shirts that perfectly compliment both sides as the apparel from SOULSMANIA are influenced by black culture and Emi’s style of music is a mix of R&B and Reggae. The t-shirts will be available for sale during Emi’s “Sweet Soul Tour 2009” beginning March 24, 2009.

The video above is a promotional clip for her new mini album featuring the song “Baby Come Close To Me.” (A full version of the song can be found on YouTube.)

(via bounce.com.)