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Ryukyu Underground

Price: £6.57 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Riverboat
  • ASIN: B0000682XD
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,997 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Soi Soi 5:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Shimajima 5:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Ashibi Shongane 5:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Shinkaichi 6:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Tinsagu Nu Hana Dub 4:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Kokusai Dori Dub 5:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Yanbaru Birdcall 7:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Koza Riot 5:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Agarijo 5:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Snow In Okinawa (Remix) 7:16£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Lying in the deep south of Japan, the Ryukyu Islands (the
biggest of which is Okinawa) have absorbed and embraced foreign cultures to
create their own distinctive music. Today it's no different, as Ryukyu
Underground transform and transport original recordings sampled from local
labels into uncharted territory, creating a dance music in what is still a
distinctly Okinawan framework. Ambient, dub, electronica, jungle, soul,
jazz and hip-hop swim in the mix with elements of Indian, Afrobeat and
Japanese traditional music. Now it's a global Asian sound to the world,
direct from the Ryukyu Underground.

The musical masterminds behind Ryukyu Underground are Keith Gordon and Jon
Taylor. Keith Gordon arrived in Okinawa from the UK, with a strong
reputation for playing open-minded DJ sets over a fifteen-year period. Jon
Taylor came to Okinawa with a wealth of music industry experience gained as
world music DJ, producer, journalist and musician (playing guitar with
legendary reggae musicians U-Roy and The Ethiopians).

The mixing of ancient and modern, organic and electronic is a difficult
balance. Ryukyu Underground has successfully updated traditional Ryukyu
Island songs, whilst maintaining their essence that is at the heart of this
unique album. Welcome to the sound of Okinawa-fusion.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jered on 18 Jun 2002
Format: Audio CD
I listened to this CD on headphones in a record store in Tokyo recently while on holiday in Japan. Stupidly I didn't buy it immediately but thought I would buy it just before leaving Japan, rather than carry it around with me. On my way home, I searched high and low for the CD in Kyoto, but it had only just been released in Japan, and wasn't yet available in Kyoto. Now I'm *eagerly* awaiting it being available on Amazon! It's an intriguing fusion of ethnic Japanese sounds with modern rhythms. Superbly recorded. Usually I don't like fusion type things because they always seem somehow watered down, but this is excellent. Ryukyu Underground have taken the (sometimes)quirky Okinawan musical heritage and injected it with a serious dose of cool. This CD has haunted me, based only on a brief listening in a record store. Gotta have it.
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By Andrew Dunham on 17 July 2007
Format: Audio CD
I also first heard this on headphones in Virgin in Tokyo Shinjuku back in 2002. It blew my mind. I bought it immediately. It is a fusion of expertly crafted dubbish bass lines and widely spaced beats weaving around some astonishingly beautiful Ryukyu (Okinawa) traditional songs, sung exquisitely to the accompaniament of a plucked shamisen and a few other things. Especially look for "Agarijo", it brings a tear to my eye and speaks of so much depth, sincerity and longing, while being oddly upbeat and refreshing.
Although Okinawans speak Japanese, it is a dialect and the history of the people who live there is significantly different. The artists are in fact a British guy and an American guy who were in Okinawa teaching English at the time of collaborating.

Just buy this CD. Just go ahead and buy it. If you whine and complain and say it's not enough for you then fine, call me a liar. BUT you will not be disappointed. This CD sings of oceans lapping at your feet. If you don't like that, then there's something very wrong with you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Attention naysayers 19 April 2004
By David R. Munson - Published on
Format: Audio CD
There seems to be an unfortunate bias among many individuals against quote "world" music. There is this preconceived notion that anything that combines multiple cultural influences in a clearly audible manner is somehow lame. Granted yes, there is some thoroughly lame and hackneyed world music out there, but certainly no more than in any other genre or market.
But on to this CD. This is a solid, multiply-relistenable disc. Chill to it, drive to it, fall asleep to it. It has a decidedly positive sound to it and deftly mixes traditional and contemporary Japanse sounds with dub and Afropop and a number of other disciplines in such a way that ultimately you find yourself listening to something that is excellently produced, highly accessable, eclectic, multifaceted and generally kickass. And to those of you out there who labor under the delusion that world music is wholly and undeniably lame, I hold up this album as an example of exactly why you are dead effin' wrong.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you liked Talvin Singh's "Anohka" collection... 23 Dec 2002
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Check out this beautiful ambient-dance electronica from the island of Okinawa, south of Japan. The mixing is skillful and the specifically Asian elements are both intact and integral to the music. The opening tracks feature Japanese vocals and koto strings mixed in with standard-issue beats; later the album shifts into mellower material, with spacy songs such as "Shinkaichi" and the alluring "Tinsagu Na Hana Dub." Nice stuff... definitely worth tracking down!
FANTASTIC! 12 Sep 2003
By Travis J Morgan - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I love this CD and their newest one too, It puts me back in Okinawa. I can listen to it over and over. Many Okinawa sounds mixed with a modern bass beat.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Okinawan music goes drum'n'bass 2 Aug 2003
By J Lee Harshbarger - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album creates a unique sound by taking samples of music from the Okinawa area of Japan and mixing them with dance beats...of sorts. I think it's known as "drum and bass" beats--a lot of activity, but not exactly something I can dance to. At any rate, it's cool to hear this mixture of Okinawan island sounds with western beat.
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