1. Uka 04:04
2. Galar 05:07
3. Sowah 07:34
4. De De 09:05
5. Mammamelie 06:44
6. Nchakara 04:36
Three years after their critically acclaimed and sold out Abrada LP the great and joyful Japanese afro groovers Ajate are back with their much awaited brand new album Alo!
Ajate is a Japanese band who plays a unique blend of afro-groove dance music mixed with Japanese traditional festival music called "Ohayashi". Formed in 2011 by the band-leader John Imaeda, Ajate consists of 10 Japanese musicians.
Another unique feature of the band is the use of hand-made bamboo instruments as well as traditional Japanese percussion. The "Jahte" is a bamboo-made xylophone or balafon with a piezo pick-up mic attached to each key, connected to a pre-amplifier to obtain a loud sound and to add some touch of dirty distortion to its warm and natural acoustic sonority. The "Piechiku" is also a bamboo-made string instrument inspired by the west-African "Ngoni" or Moroccan "Guembri" instruments. The Piechiku uses strings of the Japanese traditional "Shamisen". This instrument is also played through a pre-amplifier and John sometimes adds some wah-wah effect to it. All these bamboo instruments are designed, made and named by John Imaeda himself.
On Alo you will also be amazed by the exceptional sound of the Japanese Shinofue flute, which was not on the previous Abrada LP.
Now, add to this unique sound some well-crafted Japanese female and male singing and you get a killer mix of Afro-Funk flavored grooves with traditional Japanese music!
Since the release in 2017 of their Abrada LP on the 180g label Ajate has toured Europe twice and has played a memorable concert at the world famous Trans Musicales festival in France in 2018, which has been followed by another great KEXP Live session.
Here is some music you will not be able to hear anywhere else, by one of the most joyful Japanese band to hear on record and to listen live!
Alo players are:
- Junichiro "John" Imaeda: piechiku (bamboo guitar), vocal, chorus
- Yukio "Gen" Sato: vocal, chorus, take (bamboo cylinder)
- Takako Uchida "PEPPERMINT U" : vocal, chorus, tama-sudare (a prop for Japanese traditional busking performance)
- Kazuki "Cho-san" Chonan: shinofue (Japanese bamboo flute)
- Noriko "Nyori" Ota: jahte (bamboo xylophone)
- Tomohiko Kikuchi: bass
- Yugo Akamatsu: kane (Japanese traditional metal percussion)
- Keigo "Shin-san" Yamada : shime-taiko (Japanese traditional high-pitched drum)
- Yusuke "Su-san" Suzuki : ohdo (Japanese traditional low-pitched drum)
- Bunpei Shibuya: guitar
Recorded by Motoki “Moky” Tanizawa at Music Inn Yamanakako on 25th & 26th of May, 2019
Assisted by Emi Kaito
Mastered by Seiki Kitano (Bang On Studio)
LP mastering by Jeremy Henry at La Villa Mastering, Paris
Cover painting by Masamichi Kawamura
Design by Notarine Graphics