Akiko Yano (矢野顕子) ‎– There Must Be Love (愛がなくちゃね。) [1982]

Simple and direct this is one of the Top 5 albums that I’ve been listening to nonstop since our departure in 2014, a wild collaboration between Akiko, YMO and David Sylvian’s Japan. East + West = Gemstone! There will be more Akiko’s albums throughout our trip, she is a VERY special composer, singer, and performer that is still rocking on so this is just the beginning. This LP is a fav of the Blog so get ready…

Let’s go to our artist:

Akiko Yano (3 February 1955) was born in Tokyo and raised in Aomori, Japan. She began playing piano at the young age of three (!) and demonstrated promising talent. When she was only fifteen, Akiko moved to Tokyo on her own and entered into Aoyama Gakuin High School where she pursued her musical career. She later began performing in jazz clubs where her masterful skill at the piano brought her popularity among other musicians. Akiko joined a band with roots in Tin Pan Alley.

Nihon Shōjo

Akiko recorded her debut album, Japanese Girl, primarily in Los Angeles with Lowell George and Little Feat. When it was released in 1976 many reputed her to be a “girl with a musical wonder.” She then began collaborating with Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO).
They continued to play on her next recording projects and invited Akiko to join them on two of their worldwide tours. Akiko expanded her musical collaborations with YMO on her subsequent LP releases, she continued to release LPs joined by Japan and Pat Metheny and has performed on albums by Thomas Dolby and other artists.

YMO Tour

In 1990 Akiko relocated to New York where she collaborated and toured with some of the world’s most renowned musicians including The Chieftains, Toninho Horta and Jeff Bova on his project The Hammonds. August 2007 marked her second debut as yanokami a pop unit with Rei Harakami, an electronic musician and sought-after producer.

To date, Akiko has released more than 30 (!) original albums, being Welcome to Jupiter her last in 2015, latter ones such Soft Landing are reissues or even Live records.

Let’s go to our album:

1982 Promo

The following text is taken from Jansen Photography Blog, so I will take a short extract from it, thank you for the Infos and photos!

‘In 1978 YMO performed as Yano’s back-up band for a Japanese tour, and at this time she became romantically involved with Sakamoto, following the breakup of her marriage. Although at the time this wasn’t noted in the press, once YMO became famous the story was spread across the papers, something that Akiko further highlighted herself by including clippings from the tabloid reports in a tour program. In 1979 Akiko became a support member of YMO; taking a break in early 1980 when she gave birth to daughter Miu Sakamoto, before returning for the second YMO world tour.

Japan the band first became aware of Akiko Yano because Japanese fans gave the group mixtapes of music they thought they would like. At that time, they did not know that there was a connection between YMO and Akiko. This soon changed when Japan attended a YMO concert and was introduced backstage. David Sylvian, Sakamoto and Yano started to exchange letters, something referred to in the song “David” released later in the 80s.

Japan

For her 1981 tour, Akiko recruited Masami Tsuchiya as a guitar player, and he went on to play on her album “Tadaima”. Both artists came to London in early 1982 and booked time at Air Studios, Masami to record “Rice Music” and Akiko “Ai Ga Nakucha Ne”.

Akiko specifically chose to work with Japan members and to record at Air because of “Tin Drum”; she liked the clarity of sound and the feel of the album, and wanted that for her own recording. To that end, not only did Akiko recruit the Japan members, but she employed Steve Nye and David Rhodes for the duration of the recording.

The producing role would be performed by fiancé Ryuichi as the couple would marry before the album was released in 1982.06.25.’

Akiko Yano + Ryuichi Sakamoto

So finally let us drink the waters from a synth-pop masterpiece with multiple touches you will hardly find it in any Western release!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Onnatachiyo Otokotachiyo and Donnatokimo Donnatokimo Donnatokimo.

Tracks Include:

Side A うし (Ushi – Cattle)

A1 愛がなくちゃね (Ai Ga Nakucha Ne – There Must be Love)

A2 悲しくてやりきれない (Kanashikute Yarikirenai – Unbearable Sadness)

A3 What’s Got In Your Eyes?

A4 おいしい生活 (Oishii Seikatsu – Small Time Crooks)

A5 みちでバッタリ (Michi De Battari – I Ran Straight on the Road)

Side B ぞう (Zō – Elephant)

B1 女たちよ 男たちよ (Onnatachiyo Otokotachiyo – About Women and Men)

B2 あいするひとよ (Aisuru Hitoyo – Overnight Love)

B3 Sleep On My Baby

B4 Another Wedding Song

B5 どんなときも どんなときも どんなときも (Donnatokimo Donnatokimo Donnatokimo – Anytime, Anytime, Anytime)

B6 Good Night

All songs and lyrics by Akiko Yano

Except for A2 by Kazuhiko Kato & Hachiro Sato / A5 by Yuji Takahashi & Masafumi Oka.

Credits

Arranged By: Akiko Yano, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Bass: Haruomi Hosono, Mick Karn
Drums: Steve Jansen, Yukihiro Takahashi
Guitar: David Rhodes, Kenji Omura, Robbie Mackintosh
Keyboards: Akiko Yano, Ryuichi Sakamoto

Engineer: Shinichi Tanaka, Steve Nye

Mixed By – Steve Nye

Co-producer: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Producer – Akiko Yano

This album was recorded in London with members of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Japan.

Nowadays

Magic Carpet – Magic Carpet (1972)

folder cópiaThe emotion provided by Raga (classical India music) is not only effective, it’s a real message, an aesthetic of nature, of the divine, a virtue able to guide the listener to a state of emotional trance. In the ’60s, with the launch of the international success of raga, masters such as Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, leaded European and American artists to become more and more captivated by the dynamical relation between mystical emotion, spirituality, and music. The emergence of Raga schools from everywhere (still perpetuating the ancestral musical traditions), and initiatory travels of Western minimalist-modern jazz composers (Terry Riley, Don Cherry) to India, founded a growing interest for this (transcendental) musical universe.

George Harrison & Ravi Shankar
George Harrison & Ravi Shankar

The emphasis on circular rhythms, ornamentation (gamaka), the use of acoustic stringed patterns, the sense of beatific endurance and lengthy improvisation are the central characteristics of this music in term of practice and sound aestheticism. Emotionally, the function on the listener is hypnotic, voluntary trying to reach him into a higher state of consciousness, modulating his perception of time and space. (!)

The basic conception of drone (continuous sound form) will be taken back in popular music and turned into kosmische electronica (70’s Berlin underground). After Seventh Sons’ first original but rather discreet effort simply called Raga (1964) and Malachi’s Holy Music (1967), famous bands such as The Beatles in Revolver (1966) and Traffic in their album Mr. Fantasy (1967) were seduced by the sonorities of Indian raga music, they also occasionally incorporate sitar elements to their music.

Raga Megha, Kailash Raj
Raga Megha, Kailash Raj

Let’s go to our artist:

Way back in the early ’70s in London, three friends came together to play some unusual music: Sitarist Clem Alford, guitarist Jim Moyes, and tabla player Keshav Sathe, formed a unique Anglo-Indian fusion, calling themselves Sargam (the name of a note in an Indian scale). They made one album under the name Sagram, misspelled by the Windmill recording company and inappropriately entitled Pop Explosion Sitar Style. This album was released without the band’s permission, with a ludicrous cover photograph bearing no relation to any band members or anything about them. (!)

In 1971, soon after the release of Sagram, the Sargam trio was offered another Lp recording contract by Mushroom Records, with the proviso that they find a singer. Having met her when they were both at Chelsea School of Art, Jim Moyes contacted Alisha Sufit. She busked in street markets, singing and playing at the London Underground by day, and did gigs around the clubs and colleges at night.

Cheesy Cover!
Cheesy Cover!

Jim Moyes invited her to play and the four musicians soon renamed themselves Magic Carpet, forming a unique Anglo-Indian musical collaboration, facilitated by the fact that Alisha was writing songs set in open modal tunings on the guitar making them instantly compatible with the tuning of the sitar. The band recorded the Magic Carpet album in the winter of 1971/1972 on Mushroom Records label.

The four stayed together for nearly a year, doing a few prestigious gigs, at the 100 Club in London, Wavendon (Cleo Laine, John Dankworth’s venue), several festivals, Sounds of the Seventies on BBC Radio, but they finally parted company in 1972.

Magic Carpet
Magic Carpet

After a considerable gap, the four met up again. Jim was no longer performing and Keshav had retired, but Clem and Alisha were still playing professionally and it was a natural step to do another album, in 1996 they recorded the album Once Moor (subtitle Magic Carpet II) released on the Magic Carpet Records label. It consists of songs written/sung by Alisha, plus some instrumental tracks, with Clem Alford on sitar/tamboura, Alisha on guitar, and Pandit Dinesh and Esmail Sheikh on tabla.

Let’s go to our album:

Originally published in 1972 for Magic Carpet records, the Lp shows a dynamic mixture of original folk inventions, psych-Hindu sitar gems and gorgeous, omnipresent, accentuated female vocals by Alisha. Lyrically all the album is about east mysticism, love, spirituality, time of Creation and such. The music itself is poetic, combining simplistic folk guitar motifs to raga scales, in spiritual Hindu-folk experience, with soft psychedelic flavor floating all along with the album!

Alisha Sufit
Alisha Sufit

There’s a fantastic interview with Alisha Sufit with long details about them made by our friends from It’s Psychedelic Baby, with a track by track comments, and more!

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Father Time and Take Away Kesh.

बॉन यात्रा!

Tracks Include:

A1 The Magic Carpet (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

A2 The Phoenix (Alisha)

A3 Black Cat (Alisha)

A4 Alan’s Christmas Card (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

A5 Harvest Song (Alisha)

A6 Do You Hear The Words (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B1 Father Time (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B2 La La (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B3 Peace Song (Alisha)

B4 Take Away Kesh (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B5 High Street (Alisha)

B6 The Dream (Alisha)

Credits

  • Electric Guitar: Jim Moyes
  • Sitar, Esraj, Tambura: Clem Alford
  • Tabla, Percussion: Keshav Sathe
  • Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: Alisha
  • Design (Cover Design)Alisha
  • Photography: Gabriel Weissman
  • Producer, Engineer: Vic Keary

Magic Carpet Records ‎– MC 1001 LP

Fantastic (Pulp) Magazine
Fantastic (Pulp) Magazine