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Artist: CHE-SHIZU
Title: A Journey
Format: Double LP
Label: Black Editions
Country: USA
Price: $30.00
"Black Editions present the first ever vinyl release of Ché-SHIZUs signature album A Journey, originally issued in 1994 by Tokyos legendary P.S.F. Records. Ché-SHIZU is one of the most original and mystifying groups to ever emerge from the Tokyo underground. Founded by master improviser Chie Mukai in 1981 the group has been guided by her singular vision for nearly 40 years. Throughout its history Ché-SHIZU has challenged traditional notions of song structure and improvisation. Mukais signature instrument, the Chinese er-hu, is an ancient two stringed bowed instrument rarely found outside of traditional music. Even within the wildly diverse roster of artists on P.S.F. Records, Ché-SHIZU is a playful and confounding outlier. Early on Mukai became active within the avant-garde movement flowering in Tokyo during the mid-1970s. She studied with renowned Fluxus composer and violinist Takehisa Kosugi, recalling, "that encounter was so huge for me, much more than any one technique. Even in terms of the er-hu, I only started playing it because Kosugi gave it to me." In 1975 she joined his East Bionic Symphonia, a large improvising ensemble featuring students from Tokyos Bigakko art school. From there she contributed to improvising avant-garde groups including an early version of Marginal Consort and later the Vedda Music Workshop. Her work with Ché-SHIZU however is where her vision most clearly emerged. Ché-SHIZU released its first album I Cant Promisein 1984 on Zero Records, in time the album would become a revered classic. It would be another ten years before another full-length would be released. During that time the group performed extensively with various rotating line ups. In the summer of 1994, Mukai led the group to Studio J in Tokyo to record an album for the P.S.F. label. Released later that year, the album was titled A Journey. Fittingly, it is a sprawling excursion through ethereal dreamscapes, the group confident in its own resplendent joy. Over the album, the group creates a spontaneous, loose form of chamber pop that weaves folk and a light psychedelia into something entirely unique. Pop songs like "Juso Station" intersect with instrumentals such as the title track to create a varied yet coherent improvisational language. Remastered; deluxe double-LP edition cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin and pressed at Pallas Germany. Includes new expansive artwork and lyric translations, housed in a spot gloss heavy gatefold jacket; Includes high resolution digital download." - Black Editions.

Artist: CHE-SHIZU
Title: 火の環 = Hi No Tamaki
Format: CD
Label: Jingen
Country: Japan
Price: $15.00
2016 release featuring Tori Kudo, Chie Mukai, Takuya Nishimura, and Takahashi Tsukasa.

Artist: CHE-SHIZU
Title: A Journey
Format: CD
Label: PSF
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
"Second CD by this group featuring Chie Mukai. The sound is a very advanced, mature/classic form of "rock," with guitars, piano, bass, drums and streaming, evocative vocals from Mukai. Hard to classify, theres a non-cliched slant to their music that one almost never experiences in the horrific corridors of near-rock. Surreal dreamscapes, perfectly realized."

Artist: CHE-SHIZU
Title: Nazareth
Format: CD
Label: PSF
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
"Live material from Chie Mukais group, recorded in 1981, who play "ambient psychedelic music... includes Tori Kudo, leader of Maher Shalal Hash Baz." From Alan Cummingss "Japanese Psychedelia Primer" in The Wire: ""The dream-pop psych unit Ché-Shizu are one of the rare examples of a traditional Japanese instrument (in this case, the three-stringed kokyu bowed fiddle) being used in a psychedelic context. Nazareth is a sometimes shambling compilation of their live recordings and features the fascinatingly atonal sound of Chie Mukais kokyu drifting through the cracks of conventional melody. The groups interest in traditional English folk music is just one more indication of the breadth and complexity of underground Japans continuing interaction with the West."" - FE.

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