Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shoukichi Kina And Champloose - Music Power From Okinawa 1977

Shoukichi Kina & Champloose - Music Power From Okinawa 1977 CD (Globestyle - CDORBD 072)

1. Haisai Ojisan
2. Uwaki Bushi
3. Red Ojisan
4. Bancho Guwa
5. Agarizachi
6. Sukuchinamun
7. Ichimushiguwanu Yuntaku
8. Bashaguwa Suncha
9. Shimaguwa Song
10. Tokyo Sanbika
11. Shimaguwa Song (Single Version)

Review written by Cliff Furnald
I first heard a fuzzy, 10th generation cassette of a live recording by Okinawa's Shoukichi Kina and Champloose back in 1980, from a radio listener who had lived in Japan in the late seventies. It was raw, edgy and wonderful. A few years later Henry Kaiser and friends recorded Kina's "Haisai Ojisan", and the legend took root in America.
What made this tape so interesting was it was the first and only time I had heard anything resembling folk rock from Asia. Here was a band of young musicians electrifying sanshin and adding bass, guitars and drums in the only Okinawa garage rock band to be heard outside the islands. You can hear the music clearly on a 1991 British CD reissue. The Music Power From Okinawa (GlobeStyle/UK) is unbelievably viable stuff even fifteen years later. It has all the vitality of punk transposed into an Asiatic mode. It is distinctly "local." There is little given away to make it sound American. The music is, in fact, a reaction to the American occupation of Okinawa during the Vietnam war, and stakes a claim for the locals on an island that has spent most of its history overrun by foreigners. There are lots of interesting ethno-musicological patterns in the region to explain the music. (Read the liner notes. I'll spare you.) The reality is, this was a young bunch of singers and players who were fed up with the status quo, and rocked out in protest.
The songs on this set are wonderfully raw, live recordings made in Kina's own nightclub in 1977, soon after the American retreat from the island. It includes the now legendary "Haisai Ojisan." On this and many of the other songs there is a frantic pacing, singers chanting like a crowd at a football game, the electric sanshin plucked in wild abandon to the thump of bass and drum kit. There are a number of folky ballads that while sweet still have a rough edge that keeps them from getting sappy. The CD also includes two studio recordings that weren't on the original tape, both powerful, madcap and only somewhat slicker rock songs. In 1977, Steeleye Span were electrifying Childe ballads, Americans were playing country with electric fiddles, and Kina was making katcharsee rock. Haisai!

P.S. If You have any other album by this genius from Okinawa - please - share!

MP3 192 kbps
56.4 mb


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