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East Wind

Uttara-Kuru

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Album Review

The second album by the Japanese production team of Kazumasa Yoshioka and Seiichi Kyoda as Uttara-Kuru combines acoustic traditional Japanese music with Western synth pop, producing somewhat jarring results. This is an album that can feature a koto solo on one track ("First Image"), and not long after introduce a synth pop dance track reminiscent of Depeche Mode ("Our Life"). The result is definitely eclectic, but it's hard to imagine a listener who could enjoy the various styles equally. The album comes packaged with incense sticks intended to enhance the listening experience.

Biography

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s

Fusing ancient Japanese instruments like the koto and the shakuhachi flute with western acoustic instruments and synthesizers, Uttara-kuru forged a sound that was firmly planted in the 20th century yet echoed a deeper, more primal purity. Their name came from the Japanese Buddhist version of Shangri-La, a place where peace reigned and cultures converged — an appropriate moniker for a group that sought to create a similar peaceful convergence in music. Their debut album, Prayer, consisted almost...
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East Wind, Uttara-Kuru
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