Popular utasha (Okinawan folk singer) Kazutoshi “Kaazuu” Matsuda recently performed in two of Okinawa’s New Year’s TV specials: RBC’s “Kouhaku Uta-gassen” and OTV’s “Shinshun! Shimauta no Saiten.” Although both shows won’t air until January (RBC’s one on 1/2, OTV’s on 1/3), Kaazuu is sharing a few pics on his blog which gives us a preview of his performance as well as backstage scenes.
Respect Record has been the record label most associated with original album releases (as opposed to compilations or reissues of an artist’s earlier recordings) of artists from Okinawa that’s readily available outside of Okinawa on say iTunes or from my personal favorite online stores like CDJapan.
The label’s release of Seijin Noborikawa’s fantastic “Spiritual Unity” (RES-45) in 2001 — which apparently is out-of-print but available for sale digitally in DRM-free goodness iTunes Plus — brought an end to a recording drought by the utasaa legend. (Noborikawa’s previous original album was 1998’s “Howling Wolf.”) The 2001 release also brought about a string of shima-uta releases by the record label which brought us many gems and continues onto 2008 with Noborikawa’s first original solo album recording in six years, “Suikojizai” (RES-135).
(Via Campus Record Staff Blog.)
1. utasaa, utasha, 唄者 – folk singer.
2. shima-uta, 島唄 – island song, folk music from Amami-Oshima and Okinawa.
Most of you who know me IRL know that I’m a fan of Toru Yonaha’s music so it’s no surprise that I’m going to hype his upcoming 3rd album to death until its release. The recording part is finished and they’re adding the finishing touches for the CD’s booklet. All that’s left is the mix down of the recorded tracks so maybe we’ll see the album’s release by the end of the year. I’m hoping that he’ll release it through Respect Record which will make the CD easier for those outside of Okinawa to purchase. I can’t wait to see/listen to it!