We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience. Most of these are essential and already present.
We do require your explicit consent to save your cart and browsing history between visits. Read about cookies we use here.
Your cart and preferences will not be saved if you leave the site.
Out of stock
Best of 2023


Kwaidan / 怪談 (LP, smoke haze vinyl)

Label: Kitchen.Label

Format: LP, coloured

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

** 5th Anniversary Edition. Limited 180g smoke haze vinyl, 12″ sleeve with capped obi, 8pp insert, offset printed, full colour on premium matt paper. Includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks. ** Meitei (冥丁) is a Japanese artist from Hiroshima, who started out as a freelance composer, making various kinds of music across genres. Having done it for eight years, his goal was to eventually release his own original music as an artist. Living in Kyoto for the past two years has deeply influenced his current sound, which is a focus on musically crafting a “Japanese mood” called Meitei (冥丁 (thus, his name). Rich in history, Meitei wanted to borrow this lost “Japanese mood” and incorporate a contemporary spin on it. This led to the creation of Kwaidan (怪談), which was released in 2018. The album, with its unique sound, was met with a lot of attention from critics such as The Wire, A Closer Listen, Tiny Mix Tapes. Pitchfork named Kwaidan as one of the best experimental albums of 2018. Meitei then went on to produce his second LP, Komachi, which drew in enormous praise from the music community, selling out two pressings of the album.

Kwaidan (怪談) is a style of Japanese ghost stories. Meitei took it as a challenge of his skill as a musician to transpose the folklore into intricate compositions, capturing this lost “Japanese mood”. “The shocking elements in the horror have become a staple. It’s functions as entertainment. But I personally felt the mood and ambience from Kwaidan is starting to wither – while the darkness is scary, the beauty is in the curious spirit”.
Koizumi Yakumo (小泉八雲) is an important figure in the Japanese literary world, known for his legends and ghost stories. He left the world leaving a masterpiece called Kwaidan , heavily inspiring Meitei’s direction of the album. Tracks Sazanami, Curio, Shoji and Mushiro are seen as a nod and tribute to his work. Other influences include manga author Mizuki Shigeru (水木しげる), of which drove the sound for Touba and Jizo, intended to be a homage soundtrack for his manga Gegege no Kitarō. Describing himself as an old-fashioned man, Meitei also draws from the legendary Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli.

With this very eclectic mix of influences, the album Kwaidan not only possesses an obvious horror element but also comedy, sentimentality and sorrow. He compares the ambiance as one would visually with wet moss, shrouded in mist. “Music is an important human communication tool. It is interesting to be able to express a mood that is almost impossible to perfectly translate into language.”
While most of the above might stem from important Japanese art, Meitei was also attracted to the new wave of lo-fi hip hop, of which he tried to subtly weave into his music. Something as easy as the wrong placement of a kick and snare on a track can easily divert the track away from the Kwaidan mood. Yet, Meitei managed to find a delicate balance, resulting in a gorgeously crafted album. He goes on to add that he hopes his listeners “experience fresh, timeless entertainment" through Kwaidan.

Cat. number: KI-039LP
Year: 2023

More by Meitei

Kofu II
Kofu III