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Jun Ray Song Chang

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Album Review

Tony Morley's fascination with the obtuse has carved out an enviable reputation for his London-based Leaf label. "Hana" opens the album, the disfigured call and response between cut-up spoken word and Asa-Chang's drunken clacks of percussion comparable to a Lynch-esque car crash, with a hair-raising blend of emotive string rises left to rein in the chaotic drum works. This first track pretty much summates an album which collates the band's recordings for the Hot Cha and Trattoria imprints, all recorded in the spirit of kidoairaku, a Japanese word encapsulating the full emotive spectrum of humanity, where thunderclaps are as likely as psychotic beats or simple jazz-folk compositions. A difficult, through ultimately rewarding, listen.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Asa-Chang And Junray is actually a trio comprising Koichi Asakura, tabla player U-Zhaan, and Hidehiko Urayama, a programmer who eschews live performances. The trio create an exotic and playful music that merges breathtaking futurism and time-honoured spirituality, juxtaposing virtuoso tabla playing and dissected, treated voices. Tokyo-based tabla guru and session percussionist Asakura likens this music to a Möbius strip linking nostalgia with experimentalism. He reportedly tours with multi-million...
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Jun Ray Song Chang, Asa Chang & Junray
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