1999 album from Tomokawa -- Japans other greatest underground folk singer, not to mention accomplished poet and painter, inveterate on-stage drunk, and now successful bicycle-race tipster. Eight new tracks of deeply zoned, uniquely identifiable, pure folk-soul communication, that range from melodies of limpid beauty, to sudden plunges into viciously hammered guitar, that voice rising, now screaming, and cracking into violent fragments as the other instruments following into a flailing and cathartic rhythmic purge. On Sora No Sakana, Tomokawa returns to some familiar obsessions -- the possibilities of the nursery rhyme form, musical settings for the poems of Japans tragic symbolist poet Chuya Nakahara (in the 70s Tomokawa recorded an entire album of Nakaharas poems), and deceptively opaque natural imagery. At the centre of each song is Tomokawas acoustic guitar and unmistakable voice, augmented with an unusually resourceful and sympathetic group of longterm collaborators (including Toshi Ishitsuka from Vajra). A unique individualist talent worthy of more support. -- Alan Cummings.