[Ed. Note: In an effort to provide a diverse range of music, not only in genre but also by location and culture, Lin Lizhuang, from Singapore, writes about music from parts of the world that may go unnoticed on this here blog (you can find more of her work on her blog, Rock Loves Romantic.) Enjoy! Previous KR Goes Global here.]
By Lin Lizhuang
In my opinion, the Japanese rank very highly on the “Asian mysticism” mysterio-meter. They have a language that is specially designed to mask the true emotions of the speaker and anything that goes through their handling becomes somewhat complex (origami, flower arrangements, gift wrapping, elaborate green tea ceremonies) and entirely worth your worship. You don’t really understand their motivations and inspiration, but somehow, you find yourself trusting and fascinated by whatever that is Japanese (ok, let’s leave Toyota out of the picture for a while, those guys will be back on their limited edition sneakered feet in no time, I presume).
Shena Ringo (or sometimes known as Shiina Ringo) is a Japanese lady who has named herself after a fruit (ringo = apple in Japanese). She also happens to have a very peculiar voice, which is complex and very difficult to describe. Sometimes it’s rusty like the sound of paper tearing, other times its sexy and exciting like the ring of pants unzipping in the midst of passion. But for most of the time, she sounds like a women soured by bad relationships and listening to her can be like torture; it can bring out some pretty intensely unpleasant emotions.
Tokyo Jihen is her band, made out of some of the most competent musicians in the Japanese music industry. Each of them are gods of their respective instruments, and although at times you are confused about what to listen to, you are more than likely to be stricken with awe at the impeccable precision of the instrumentation, and the cosmic chemistry between the band members.
At this point I must admit that it has been one hell of a long introduction, but the matter of the fact is, Sports is the worst Tokyo Jihen album to date, and I do desperately want to impress upon you that they are indeed too great a band to be judged based on the shortcomings of a single album.
東京事変 (Tokyo Jihen) – “雪国 (yukiguni)” (from Adaruto) [stream only]
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]