Recently released Rough Guide series includes songs from Uchinānchu artists as well as performers of Uchinā music. There was also a Rough Guide for the music of Okinawa released in 2006 but it’s only available in CD format at this time.
A wonderfully diverse collection exploring some of Japan’s lesser-known contemporary styles by artists rooted in tradition. From the female divas of the southern Ryukyu islands to the minyo revivalists Boomdigi, Aragehonzi and Tsukudanaka Sanpachi, this is an album full of intrigue and surprises.
The Qwotchee Records digital releases continue with a couple of singles from the amazing artist Lucy. The singles are “Hounen Ondo” and “Hiyamikachi Bushi” (not available globally) — note that they’re using the same cover art for both songs but one has a blue overlay (“Hounen Ondo”) and the other a red overlay (“Hiyamikachi Bushi”). Lucy has an amazing voice so be sure to check it out!
Taiwanese band noovy’s single “Before We Die” (Japanese version) will feature singer-songwriter Anly! The Mandopop version (without Anly) was released on August 31 and the Japanese version (with Anly) will be released on September 10.
With the recent re-releases of Takara Records Store’s in-house labels (Qwotchee Records, Chikuten) it looks like musician Yano Kenji’s back catalog is up next! I tried the link to Apple Music but sadly it’s still not available overseas but hopefully it’s only a matter of time? We can look forward to the album above (“Sanshin Plays Okinawan Songs”) as well as “Sanshin Island Cafe” and “Sakura Songs on Ukulele”.
The EP vol.1 release follows two singles (“Kunubungi Bushi” and “Tinsagu nu Hana”) that were made available a couple of weeks ago by Takara Records Store’s music Qwotchee Records label. Described as “Okinawan traditional music with Hawaiian and Caribbean influences” the Sons of Ailana are singer Shima Sachiko and musician Yano Kenji. Definitely good music to chill with.
On August 11 The Sanshin Cafe Orchestra’s “Okinawan Cafe Music” album was released on music streaming services. The 2001 album is from a label created by Takara Records Store and they plan to release more of the catalog! The instrumental album is described as traditional meets ambient music — it’s definitely chill cafe music and it’s as fresh as it was 20 years ago.