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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.
Top customer reviews
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
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