BEGIN to release their first single in 11 months!

Well, it’s not like they weren’t busy but the guys from Ishigaki will be releasing their first single in 11 months on June 25. Other than the release date and title of the single, “Bokura no kono Subarashiki Sekai,” we don’t have much other information as to whether it’ll be shimauta-inspired or their bluesy J-pop. Will post an update as soon as more information is available.

(Via bounce.com.)

Hawaiian meets Okinawan: Churamana

If you’re a fan of Hawaiian and Okinawan music you may be interested in the duo Churamana (チュラマナ, roughly translated as “Beautiful [chura, Okinawan] Energy [mana, Hawaiian]”) with Tokyo-born Maki Uehara on vocals/hula and Ishigakijima-born Makiko Miyara (formerly of the O-pop group Donann) on vocals. If you’re familiar with the group TINGARA (Okinawan healing music) — check out this Pop.i-O entry I posted about 2 years ago on them — Churamana’s music may seem familiar and that’s due to Gerhen Oshima’s (ex-TINGARA, on sanshin) involvement in the project along with a well-known musician of Hawaiian music in Japan by the name of Yuki “Alani” Yamauchi (on slack-key guitar, Hawaiian guitar and ukulele).

Samples of the duo’s music is available at the Japan iTunes Store (clicking on link will launch iTunes). If you’re interested in purchasing their CDs, they’re available at one of my favorite online stores, CDJapan.co.jp.

Churamana’s Discography (caps = katakana):

Rakuen no Niji
“Rakuen no Niji” 2007.05.23 (VICL-62409)

  1. Hi‘lawe ∼ Akata Sundunchi
  2. Aloha Oe
  3. ChuraMANA
  4. Hana ∼ Subete no Hito no Koroko ni Hana wo
  5. Mana
  6. Umi no Joou Rainha do mar
  7. Pua Mae‘ole
  8. Asadoya Yunta
  9. Kokoro ni Niji wo
  10. Amakakiru Hashi
  11. Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua
  12. Yuuyake no Niwa

Futatsu no Rakuen
Futatsu no Rakuen 2006.06.21 (VICL-61977)

  1. Ula No Weo —Prologue—
  2. Kodou ∼Ichimadin∼
  3. Akaka Falls
  4. Tinsagu nu Hana
  5. Pua Ahihi
  6. Furusato
  7. Pua Anela
  8. Kanahele —Interlude—
  9. Tsuki nu Kaisha
  10. Yashi no Mi
  11. Ula No Weo

Official Website (Victor Entertaiment, Inc.)
Official Blog (Futatsu no Rakuen)