More iTunes links!

Yeah, I know. We just blogged about finding two Okinawan music collections on iTunes and here we are about an hour later and we have more links for you to click on. (Links will open iTunes.)

The Fumi and Kazuhisa Negishi records are instrumental sanshin arrangements of popular J-pop and Okinawan folk songs (respectively) so both can be filed in the BGM genre though they also serve as learning aids for those learning the instrument.

As always, you can keep a watch on our “Listing of Artists on iTunes” page for links to our discoveries found at the store. BTW, if you’re wondering why we even bother mentioning our findings it’s because Okinawan music is all over the place at the iTunes store (as is J-pop music and perhaps any type of music that’s not in the mainstream). There’s really no one way to find the stuff so leave it to nerds like us to do the legwork for you. Once in a while, we’d appreciate a little ‘thank you’ tho. 😉

Okinawan music collections on iTunes (it’s growing, slowly)

It was quite awhile ago when we found the wonderful Okinawan music colletion “Respect Records Presents Okinawa Best Song Collection” on iTunes and since then we’ve found two more. Titled “Okinawa Traditional,” (iTunes link) the 16-track collection from the High Wave label features top utasaa (Okinawan folk singer) like Seijin Noborikawa, Sadao China, Tetsuhiro Daiku, Yoshikazu Nago, Misako Oshiro, and Keiko Kinjo. Whereas the first find is a collection of traditional songs, our second find, from Respect Record, is a mixture of new and traditional songs. “Sanshin de Kikitai Okinawa Minyou Best 15,” (iTunes link) is a 15-track collection featuring the next generation of top musicians Tooru Yonaha and Ayano Uema to established musicians like Hirokazu Matsuda and Minoru Kinjo. Of this album, Tooru Yonaha’s “Uchinaa Sanba” (1st track) is one of my favorites of his compositions.

Yukito Ara x Isamu Shimoji’s “Sakishima Meeting” available on iTunes!

sakishimameeting.png

If you’ve been a longtime follower of my blogs, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Yukito Ara and his O-pop band Parsha cluB. Therefore, I’m ecstatic to find music of his (albeit a recent collaboration with Isamu Shimoji, an awesome artist from Miyako Island) available on iTunes. The EP, “Sakishima Meeting,” was released last year (July 26), contains a total of four tracks and while the disc is priced at ¥1,200 (about USD $12), it can be purchased on iTunes for USD $3.96. Awesome stuff.

iTunes Link

Rinken Teruya’s latest solo album “Pause 2” now on iTunes (and more)

Rinken Teruya (leader of the O-pop band Rinken Band) has been one of the most tech-savvy of his peers—as evidenced by the rinken.gr.jp website which has been around for several years as well as his willingness to release his music digitally. Although he’s had numerous projects in the past (like Tink Tink, Mihanagumi, Tomoko Uehara’s solo works, among others), he released his first solo instrumental album last year titled “Pause” and this year released the follow-up album, “Pause 2” (link opens iTunes). Both albums are available in the US iTunes Store.

Unfortunately, many of his other projects (like Tink Tink’s music) are only available at the Japan iTunes store. While we’re on that subject (i.e. of what those of us who live outside of Japan can’t get), I’ll share two iMixes[1] worth checking out. Please be aware that these links will open iTunes and log you off of the US store as it’ll open the Japan store. For an exhaustive look at artists with music available for sale at the US store, check out my special page: Listing of Artists on iTunes.

iMixes found at the Japan iTunes store:

  • Ryukyu Utahime Shu – an iMix of female singers from Okinawa.
  • Ryukyu Geinou Catalog – although I usually think of performing arts when I hear the word “geinou,” this iMix is just a collection of rock and pop artists from Okinawa.
  • Shimauta – an interesting iMix of artists covering THE BOOM’s “Shimauta.”

And although I haven’t done any in awhile, here’s a link to my iMixes (link will open the US iTunes store).

Back to post1 These are customer-created mixes that include links to the artists’ album. Both of the iMixes consist mainly of songs that are currently available only at the Japan iTunes store. Hopefully, this gives us a look at what may one day reach the US store too—especially the Parsha cluB stuff FTW!

Just in time for Xmas? Karakui.com updates our iTunes page


Genres icons from iTunes 8
Originally uploaded by kalphegor

Looking for a Xmas gift for that Karakui.com *ahem* fan this season? How about an iTunes gift card? We just updated the page with lots of Okinawa-related artist goodness. Of note is the various artist collection “Respect Record Presents Okinawa Best Song Collection.

(And, since we didn’t receive the touch of the iTunes God for an affiliate badge [we applied when it was first available and there wasn’t much or any Japanese selection at the time] I’ve included a link to my Amazon.com Wish List if you think we’ve been Nice this year. Cheers, Richie.)

My Amazon.com Wish List

As much as we’d appreciate a gift to us, we’re just as happy to have reached 100,000 hits giving us just about 50,000 hits a year. Thanks! Mahalo! Nifee deebitan!

YouTube: U-DOU & PLATY

I first heard about U-DOU & PLATY a while ago but never really gave them a look until they were featured on NHK’s wonderful English-language music program J-MELO (its current VJ is J-pop singer melody.). Their music is a champloo (mix) of Okinawan folk music and J-reggae (dancehall) and I if may add, quite infectious.

A few of their older EPs are available at the US iTunes store (as iTunes Plus tracks) so it’s a great way to sample their music. CDJapan has most of their albums for sale if you’re looking for more than what iTunes has to offer.

Music: iTunes Plus (DRM-free) tracks available for select Okinawan artists

Great news! If you’ve been holding off purchasing that Seijin Noborikawa album because it was DRM’d (not to mention that it was also previously available at 128 kbps) now is the time to purchase it. I’ll have to do a more comprehensive search (the tracks I’ve found so far are from Respect Record) for other artists but music from Okinawan artists are available as iTunes Plus tracks, or DRM-free. An album I highly recommend is Sadao China’s (that’s pronounced chee-nah) “Utamaai” which is available in iTunes Plus too. I had Sadao sensei autograph my copy of the album and he said it’s one of his best (it’s also his latest album). Lovely. 🙂