World Music Features    Ryukyu Underground    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


World Music Features    Ryukyu Underground    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
Omega top

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





World Music Features

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Ryukyu Underground
By Sari Heifetz

Published January 30, 2006

There is a local saying in Okinawa, “Ichariba chode,” which translates into “Once we meet we become brothers.” Ryukyu Underground’s self-titled debut release (Riverboat Records/World Music Network) carries this message, vibe and spirit to audiences far beyond Japan. The music is multi-layered, but still simple in its ability to get the head bopping and to infuse the groove into a global audience. Ryukyu Underground is a Japanese island/ambient groove/Afrobeat dub kind of thing, which is making its way into the global Asian realm of sonic pleasures and festivities, among them the Asian Massive crew, with traditional Indian ragas and beats that combine with DJ mixes of all kinds. Okinawa is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands (which number over 100) of southern Japan in the East China Sea, and is infamous for its blinding white sand beaches and turquoise seas.

Keith Gordon of the U.K. is a world traveler and has been a DJ for 15 years. He started out in the late ’80s warehouse scene and created a name for himself around Europe, known for his unique mixes of rare groove/funk/house and techno. When he arrived in Okinawa, he set up Soul Jazz, Inc. and promoted events around the island.

         Serendipitously, he crossed paths with Jon Taylor, a world music radio and club DJ, journalist, producer and musician, who has played guitar with reggae band Murder City Players and backed legendary reggae musicians U-Roy and the Ethiopians. With his groups the Subjects and Mach 5, he released techno records, combined with undercurrents of ambient, industrial and world music.

 The two began to collaborate and soon found themselves working in harmony. Gordon is the beat master, having already found an audience on the dance floors of Okinawa in his DJ residency there. Taylor composes most of the melodies and experiments with sound and production. The good luck kept flowing, leading to a record contract with Respect Records and notoriety in the Japanese music community.

Gordon recalls the time when he was first introduced to Okinawan music. “I don’t think I had heard any vocalists sing in the same way as the Okinawan women were singing—the way they kind of glide between notes is stunning. The actual songs themselves had the most exquisitely beautiful yet melancholy feel to them and the more I heard, the more I was inspired to find out about the place and its people.”

Ryukyu Underground provides a refreshing flavor that is different from other electronica releases in that there is something more, something hard to describe. There is depth here. The producers are inspired by the magic of the islands; they draw from a well that is the beauty of the people and lifestyle, and especially by the folk music. They are juxtaposing world cultures and electronica in a harmonic<

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Roland
Fes Festival
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
sonicbids

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net