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Ryukyu Underground
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Ryukyu Underground

18 Oct. 2005 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 24 Jun. 2002
  • Release Date: 18 Oct. 2005
  • Label: Riverboat Records
  • Copyright: 2002 Riverboat Records/World Music Network
  • Total Length: 58:38
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001HRJ100
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,708 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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) HASH(0x927c8318) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x925ffe94) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0x925ffee8) out of 5 stars 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!
HASH(0x9260133c) out of 5 stars FANTASTIC! 12 Sept. 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.
HASH(0x92601708) out of 5 stars Glad I was able to get it again 16 April 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Miss the music. I had this CD before (as well as 3 other ones from this group), but gave it away. Glad I was able to get it again.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x926016b4) out of 5 stars 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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