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Saturday, 11 June 2016

Kan Mikami “Hiraku Yume Nado Arujanashi” 1972 Japan Folk Rock

Kan Mikami “Hiraku Yume Nado Arujanashi”1972 Japan Folk Rock 
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Japanese folk rock. Pretty sure he’s a bit of an underground legend in Japan, but I know virtually nothing about Mikami Kan, and given that he sings solely in Japanese, I don’t even know what he’s singing about. His vocals, however, are awesome, ranging from a near-whisper to a quavering wail to (most often) a hoarse scream juxtaposed against a driving but generally ‘nice-sounding,’ simple musical backdrop of acoustic guitar, piano, bass, and drums. ...~
One of the first Mikami's releases. Basically, a typical album for him: mostly songwriting style, some tracks are with guitar, but more tracks are fully arranged - with rhythm section, piano, flute, sometimes sax, harpsichord etc. It is really good at listening and yet the same style that someone described as "folk performed with punk expression". Mikami is screaming, groaning, growling, wheezing, forced whispernig and his agonizing vocal is striking contrast with srene music sometimes, adding yet more tensity. Such tracks like "Dare o Urameba Iinode Gozaimashouka" or "Showa no Daikikin Yokoku Hen" are really strong. Like his albums but will not recommend him for all - this style is on the certain listeners. .~
Kan sings the blues, brutal, all-embracing, sad. He sings fado, mournful Portuguese music from the 1920s. XIX century. His voice makes everything inside of you shrink and respond with a howling wind. There is something unspeakable in his ballads that overcomes time, light and shadow. The pure sound of the electro-acoustic guitar contrasts with his powerful voice with a husk, as if torn apart countless times. 
Very strange interesting and attractive music, within the framework of a particular genre completely incompatible. There is also Japanese folk (very expressive and passionate), and seventy-rock (with specifically Japanese motifs), and avant-garde compositions. 
Mikami screams, groans, snarls, wheezes, whispers, and his agonizing vocals sometimes contrasts dramatically with serene instrumentation, adding even more stresses by emphasizing somebody's certain style as "folk performed with punk expression." 
Kan Mikami (三 上 寛) was born on March 20, 1950 and is still considered one of the extraordinary and striking artifacts of the entire Japanese psycho-prog era. (it's not mine, I dug it on the principle "from there-from here" and compiled it.) ..~

A good handful of folk well blended with a lot of traditional enka and finally, a pinch of blues well understood. Such a sacrilegious combination is carried out by Kan Mikami with fabulous results. Moving always in a folk instrumentalism and enka voices is surprising its subtle but interesting dalliances with a blues own bass. Innovative and original, he has never achieved the recognition he deserved except among other musicians. His personal style, acid, sad and sexual transports us to past times of cheap alcohol and women who may never have returned or will return. 

Starting with an elegant handshake in Anata mo star ni nareru that takes us for a short, rather powerful walk of good jazz. Which gives us the background to folk, more natural in Kan Mikami, with Hibike Denkigamaen which we already see some interesting blues traces with the torn enka voice of Mikami. Also sometimes dares to embrace beautiful songs of pure pain, pure enka, as in the fabulous Mata no shita or tohri sugiru to soko wa akai umi datta. Or its more wild and wild reverse that we found in the simple Panty stocking no youna sora, only with acoustic guitar and voice. When it is decided by the most blues forms it gives us jewels like Yume wa yoru hiraku. A sad, rabid and sensual song that with a beautiful trumpet and a precise battery unfolds its voice more and more fragile, emaciated and guttural. The end, pure enka, is already on the verge of crying for the best moments of his style. He is also able to go over to the strictly folk, with some Andean touches, even in songs like Kokyo and kaettara where his broken voice is not forgotten. Which does not leave and mix with the brutal enka that practices in the glorious Kigurui. To finish it returns to a more jazzy style where the inclusion of a piano is shelling the most beastly and avantgarde song of the album in an apotheosis finale. A perfect and ideal ending. To finish it returns to a more jazzy style where the inclusion of a piano is shelling the most beastly and avantgarde song of the album in an apotheosis finale. A perfect and ideal ending. To finish it returns to a more jazzy style where the inclusion of a piano is shelling the most beastly and avantgarde song of the album in an apotheosis finale. A perfect and ideal ending. 

If there should be no doubt about something when you finish reading this, Kan Mikami is one of the greats of music. Not only Japanese or enka, but in general music. His broken voice, his mastery and mix of sounds and his combination of tradition and the most western sounds make him one of the most interesting references in his style. Their unique voice and ability to transmit despair and pure sexuality at the same time have never known an equivalent reference ever. And probably, they will not even know it. ...~

Track listing: 
1. あなたもスターになれる 
2. ひびけ電気釜!! 
3. 痴漢になった少年 
4. 股の下を通りすぎるとそこは紅い海だった 
5. パンティストッキングのような空 
6. 一人の女のフィナーレ 
7. 昭和の大飢饉予告編 
8. 誰を怨めばいいのでございましょうか 
9. 夢は夜ひらく 
10. 故郷へ帰ったら 
11. 気狂い 
12. 夜中の2時 
13. 五所川原の日々 
14. 青森県北津軽郡東京村 
15. 葬式 
Tracklist
Anata Mo Star Ni Nareru (2:30) 
Hibike Denkigama (3:42) 
Chikan Ni Natta Shonen (3:23) 
Mata No Shita O Tohri Sugiru to Soko Wa Akai Umi Datta (2:14) 
Panty Stocking No Youna Sora (3:19) 
Hitori No Onna No Finale (2:39) 
Showa No Daikikin Yokoku Hen (2:22) 
Dare O Urameba Iinode Gozaimashouka (3:48) 
Yume Wa Yoru Hiraku (5:02) 
Kokyo E Kaettara (3:13) 
Kigurui (2:59) 
Yonaka No.2 Ji (2:58) 
Goshogawara No Hibi (5:26) 
Aomori-ken Kitatsugaru-gun Tokyo-mura (2:49) 

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