Kazutoshi Matsuda to release 2nd album in 2010

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It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since Kazutoshi Matsuda released his debut album, “Diigunii” on June 15, 2007. Come Sanshin Day (March 3rd) in 2010, Kazutoshi will be releasing his second album titled “Uta Michi Aruki” on Tundami Label. Featuring a total of 12 tracks, the album will feature a pop rock sound (Ryūkyū Pop) compared to his debut album. The album is priced at ¥2,700.

Track list is as follows:

  1. Hana Kuduchi (Okinawa Minyou)
  2. Mura Ashibi (Okinawa Minyou)
  3. Michi (Original)
  4. Kokoro no Iro (Original)
  5. Hamachidori (Okinawa Minyou)
  6. Chanmii (Original)
  7. Ayagu (Okinawa Minyou)
  8. Tinsagu nu Hana (Okinawa Minyou)
  9. Tabi (Original)
  10. Tuutangaanii (Okinawa Minyou)
  11. Umi Yakara (Okinawa Minyou)
  12. Yume no Sora (Original)

The PV below is for the song “Michi” which will be on the new album.

(Via Campus Record Staff blog.)

Hirara releases debut mini album, “Kanikubata”

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Miyakojima folk singer, Hirara, who performed at this year’s Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, released her debut mini album, “Kanikubata,” on December 1, 2009. The album is currently sold in Okinawa and contains a total of six tracks including “Kanikubata” and “Tsuki ni Negai wo” — both featured in CMs for the awamori Kiku no Tsuyu.

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Fuzzy Control & DREAMS COME TRUE

One great thing to come out of Fuzzy Control‘s joining DCT records (DREAMS COME TRUE‘s indie record label) is the collaborative songs between the two bands and the latest is called “Sono Saki e,” featured in the 4th season of the J-drama “Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji.” Very catchy song and SATOKO rocks the drums!

Connection to Okinawa: Fuzzy Control’s vocalist/guitarist, JUON, was born in Okinawa.

“A.A.Aiyaiya,A.A!” is the band’s first single under the DCT records label and it—as well as its music video—are currently available on iTunes (link opens iTunes).

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)

Ryukyu Cowboy Films

Billed as the first film (or in this case, collection of short films) with directors who are all from Okinawa, “Ryukyu Cowboy, Yoroshiku Gozaimasu.” looks interesting indeed. Although the film itself was released in 2007, it’s currently playing in select theaters around Okinawa and mainland Japan. The film is comprised of three parts, each with its own director, “See Me?,” “Happy [Star] Pizza,” and “Masaa Ojii no Kasa.” I was hoping to find a copy on DVD but as this looks like the indie of indie films, it may take awhile before it’s released on one. Be sure to check out their website.

Monpachi’s albums hit the iTunes Store! Buy now!

If there’s one album you should own that represents the indie punk scene in Okinawa, it’s Mongol800’s (or affectionately known as Monpachi) 2001 album “MESSAGE.” The album contains a couple of their most popular songs: “Chiisana Koi no Uta” and “Ryukyu Aika,” but the album in its entirety is absolutely awesome. If you’re into rock, even pop rock, you’ll definitely love the album. “Chiisana Koi no Uta” is often covered by other artists so that should be enough to buy it, no? Great thing about having it on the iTunes Store is that you can always sample before you buy so what’s stopping you?

“MESSAGE” as well as the rest of the band’s discography is now available at the U.S. iTunes Store (link will open iTunes) in iTunes Plus glory.

I’ve included a PV of Yurika Ohyama’s (from Okinoerabu-jima) found on YouTube of her covering “Chiisana Koi no Uta.”

HY’s “366日” used as the theme song to “Akai Ito”

If you should know the name of at least one indie label band from Okinawa along with all of the other things you’ve accumulated in your mind for 2008, know HY. The band, despite their continued popularity, remain unsigned to a major label (by choice) and have released a total of five albums in a range of eight years (2001-2008). Their latest album, “HeartY,” includes the song “366 Nichi” which is currently featured on the J-drama and the film version of “Akai Ito.”

It’s a wonderful ballad sung by Izumi Nakasone (the band has two main vocals, the other is Hideyuki Shinzato) and it’s currently streaming on the band’s official website or check it out on YouTube (you’ll have to do a little searching around to find it tho). Also check them out on MySpace.com.

Siori (しおり)

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I recall hearing about a singer from Okinawa who had made the jump as an indie artist to a major label and it’s funny that I’d stumble upon her via the U.S. iTunes store. Siori (alt. Shiori) is a 21 year-old J-pop singer-songwriter from Shuri who made her indie debut with the 2006 single “Smile” (watch the clip on YouTube down below) which was used as the CM song for Itoen’s Sanpincha drink (the official tea of Karakui.com). Talk about making a tasty debut (pun intended).

Her major label (Capitol Music Japan) debut came a year later with the August 2007 single “Heart Flower/Yakusoku” and a rerelease of the single “Smile” on November 2007. In July of this year she released her first album titled “Aozora” and her third single, “Towa/sweety,” was just released on December 3rd.

If you like Kiroro, give Siori a listen and I’m sure you’ll like her music. Siori’s indie debut single, “Smile,” is available at the U.S. iTunes Store (link opens iTunes)—DRM-free to boot.

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