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ASA-CHANG & JUNRAY
Jun Ray Song Chang
BAY22CD
The Leaf Label 2002
11 Tracks. 48mins15secs

Buy this CD on line now

Jun Ray Song Chang confronts the talent of self-taught tabla-bongo artist Asa-Chang and traditionally trained tabla master U-Zhaan, with additional input by programmer Hidehiko Urayama and mixmaster Kiyoshi Kusaka. Once the leader of Japanese cult act Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Asa-Chang nowadays plays with as a session musician for cheesy pop bands in Japan. In his spare time, he works on his own project with U-Zhaan, Urayama and Kusaka, to explore the potential of percussive music and break the boundaries between instruments and voice.
Jun Ray Song Chang collects a mini-album released on Hot Cha Records, and an EP, published by Corneliusís imprint Trattoria. Asa-Changís use of the small Indonesian dandud bongo, which he plays mock-tabla style, contrasts with the more academic style of U-Zhaan. The intricate canvas of textured percussions and multi-layered voice processing challenges all known conceptions of music by assimilating every element and organising them in totally new ways. The album opens with beautiful stings on which sliced-up vocals and unsettling percussions slowly set the mood. All the way through this album, conventional elements are taken out of their context, deconstructed, crushed and blended into a constantly shifting soundscape. The heavily treated vocal components only add to the disconcerting abstraction of these composition. Not only the use of the Japanese language opens the door of the imagination for anyone not able to speak or understand the language, but the obvious cutínípaste approach undoubtedly also annexes new grounds for those who can. The conscious and respectful attitude toward Indian percussive styles is balanced by a more playful approach to their organisation in the spectrum. The extreme complexity of the work presented here means that Jun Ray Song Chang requires to be listened to with a lot of attention a few times before it reveals its enchanting and melodic nature. The varying flow of information reaching the ear, combined with its highly unusual structure, can lead the listener to switch off at times, only to return to it later with a more open mind.
Asa-Chang and his band offer with these recordings an entirely new approach to music in general and percussions in particular. As challenging a listening experience as it is, Jun Ray Song Chang is ultimately a beautiful and imaginative record, bringing an entire new dimension to anyone who has the curiosity to open their mind enough.

5/5

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TRACKLIST
Hana
Preach
Kobana
Nigatsu
Goo-Gung-Gung
Kutsu #2
Jippun
Kokoni Sachiari
Tabla Bol (Catastrophe)
Radio-No-Youni (Comme A La Radio)
Kutsu
 
ASA-CHANG & JUNRAY Discography
THE SURFER'S GUIDE TO ASA-CHANG & JUNRAY
The Leaf Label
Asa Chang
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