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Black Editions present the first ever vinyl release of Ché-SHIZU's signature album A Journey,
originally issued in 1994 by Tokyo's legendary P.S.F. Records.
Ché-SHIZU is one of the most original and mystifying groups to ever
emerge from the Tokyo underground. Founded by master improviser Chie Mukai
in 1981 the group has been guided by her singular vision for nearly 40
years. Throughout its history Ché-SHIZU has challenged traditional
notions of song structure and improvisation. Mukai's signature
instrument, the Chinese er-hu, is an ancient two stringed bowed
instrument rarely found outside of traditional music. Even within the
wildly diverse roster of artists on P.S.F. Records, Ché-SHIZU is a
playful and confounding outlier. Early on Mukai became active within the
avant-garde movement flowering in Tokyo during the mid-1970s. She
studied with renowned Fluxus composer and violinist Takehisa Kosugi,
recalling, "that encounter was so huge for me, much more than any one
technique. Even in terms of the er-hu, I only started playing it because
Kosugi gave it to me." In 1975 she joined his East Bionic Symphonia,
a large improvising ensemble featuring students from Tokyo's Bigakko
art school. From there she contributed to improvising avant-garde groups
including an early version of Marginal Consort and later the Vedda Music Workshop. Her work with Ché-SHIZU however is where her vision most clearly emerged. Ché-SHIZU released its first album I Can't Promise
in 1984 on Zero Records, in time the album would become a revered
classic. It would be another ten years before another full-length would
be released. During that time the group performed extensively with
various rotating line ups. In the summer of 1994, Mukai led the group to
Studio J in Tokyo to record an album for the P.S.F. label. Released
later that year, the album was titled A Journey. Fittingly, it is
a sprawling excursion through ethereal dreamscapes, the group confident
in its own resplendent joy. Over the album, the group creates a
spontaneous, loose form of chamber pop that weaves folk and a light
psychedelia into something entirely unique. Pop songs like "Juso
Station" intersect with instrumentals such as the title track to create a
varied yet coherent improvisational language. Remastered; deluxe
double-LP edition cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin and pressed
at Pallas Germany. Includes new expansive artwork and lyric
translations, housed in a spot gloss heavy gatefold jacket; Includes
high resolution digital download.
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