Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Japanese taiko drumming has been Kodo's speciality since 1981, and this sixteen-strong, highly disciplined troupe is still its main ambassador to the world. The power of these drums, many several feet wide, rivals their Af... more »
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Japanese taiko drumming has been Kodo's speciality since 1981, and this sixteen-strong, highly disciplined troupe is still its main ambassador to the world. The power of these drums, many several feet wide, rivals their African counterparts, especially in live performance. Ibuki features Kodo ("heartbeat") in ten ritualized compositions, augmented with occasional flutes and handclapping. The focal point is the drums however, rising with great precision from whisper-quiet to a thunderous roar, with band members' shouted encouragements ("kakegoe") helping to recreate the theatrical presentation of what is also a very visual, very Japanese art form. Bill Laswell provides an unusually straightforward production, but when dealing with such a primal and dramatic medium there is little point in adding anything to the mix; the drums speak their own language and need no outside help at all. --Derek Rath
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A critical look
Adam Weiner | 01/02/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As an American Living in Japan these many years, I have tried in earnest to absorb as much of the culture as I possibly can before I leave. However, upon hearing the traditional drumming which is a treat reserved mostly for major holidays, I must admit I have narrowed my focus of interest (to this). Kodo is a fine troupe and their Sensei is indeed a master, but I must say that there is a "commercial" feel to the cd release. Understandably, with an international release an aritist must include a certain "wider audience appeal" factor, but this has taken the album too far from tradition. There is a purity and clarity in what one experiences live at a celebration; complimenting the drums will usually be no more than a gong, bamboo shaft and cast bell. The addition of flutes and excessive "encouragement" shouts sounds a bit "Westernized". I still recommend this title to the uninitiated as an introduction to Taiko (albeit in a New Age genre sort of way)."
Smithy | Redcar, Cleveland Great Britain | 06/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The mood of this music is perfect, with a mixture of soul shaking pieces to stir even the sleepiest of listeners - I found it fantastic for the car - then couple these with the classic blend of shakahatchi, koto and voice then you have an album with a definate wow factor. Excellent - this is my 4th Japanese music album and the more I listen the more I realise what a music scene traditional Japan is hiding from the mainstream."