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Ryukyu Underground

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Album Review

Ryukyu Underground is a collection of ten dance tracks, produced by figures fluent in both the evocative clubbers' trance pumping out of Europe and Asia, and traditional forms of music from Japan's Okinawa and other islands in the Ryukyu chain. Production head Keith Gordon certainly doesn't limit his palette, though, and he drafts suitable forms — from India and Afro-beat — to complement the styles on display. Though the sound of Ryukyu Underground won't turn the heads of many contemporary-dance fans, there are plenty of smooth, textured tracks on display: the pulsing, hard-hitting "Shimajima" and a comparatively downbeat track, "Agarijo."


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Souljazz, Inc. DJ Keith Gordon and Jon Taylor are Ryukyu Underground, a duo that combines traditional Okinawan folk music with ambient, hip-hop, trip-hop, dub, and drum'n'bass. Along with other artists from Okinawa like Nenes, Rinsho Kadekaru, and Misako Ohshiro, the fusionist duo's "Tinsaga Nu Hana Dub" appeared on 2001's The Rough Guide to the...
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