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KITCHEN. LABEL

Kofū / 古風

by Meitei / 冥丁

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Fuck The Noise!
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Fuck The Noise! This album is truly magical. Especially the last two songs here make me feel incredibly melancholic. They give me the feeling of having to leave some place behind that you have the fondest memories of. The closing track makes me feel like you've accepted you're not going to return, so you take one last look before you leave. Favorite track: Sūki / 数寄.
docbobster
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docbobster My enthusiastic review of the followup (Kofu II) applies to this one as well, so here I'll just say something about the CD version. Even if you've given up on physical media, you ought to consider getting this one. The packaging is so beautiful, and the label's love for it is clear from the great care they used in boxing it up securely when they shipped it. Favorite track: Gen'ei / 幻影.
👽🍹
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👽🍹 Imagine Teebs tripping in Japan produced by The Caretaker
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $11 USD  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    ## 3rd Repress, Available Now ##

    180g heavyweight vinyl, capped obi, 16pp inserts (22 x 14cm) with words in Japanese and English from Meitei. Offset printed, full colour on premium matt paper. LP ships with tracking.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Kofū / 古風 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $26 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    *Now available for immediate shipping*

    Glass-mastered CD housed in a die-cut outer case with rounded obi, 16pp inserts with words in Japanese and English from Meitei. Offset printed, full colour on premium matt paper.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Kofū / 古風 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 1 day

      $14 USD or more 

     

  • Limited Edition LOST JAPAN Tote Bag
    Bag

    The original Meitei 'LOST JAPAN' tote bag in black and navy lightweight cotton canvas. Made in Japan. 39 (L) x 31 (W) cm.

    Sold Out

  • Limited Edition Kofū Post Card Set
    Poster/Print

    Set of 5 postcards with photography by T. Enami. Offset printed, full color on 210gsm premium paper by TAKEO.

    Sold Out

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about

It began with ‘Kwaidan’, a simmering study on the lost art of Japanese ghost story-telling. Then there was ‘Komachi’, baptized in the earthly winds and static that define its comforting sonics.

On ‘Kofū’, Meitei masterfully closes his trilogy of lost Japanese moods with an engaging interrogation of artforms and aesthetics as a provocation — or, as fashioned in the album’s subtitle, a “satire of old Japanese aesthetics”. Each entry’s distinct flavour has earned Meitei acclaim for conjuring a bygone culture through his transportive form of ambient music. ‘Kofū’ arrives as a deconstruction of this approach. His first release with KITCHEN. LABEL, Meitei has quietly defied expectations set by his previous two albums, while continuing to challenge modern notions of Japanese sounds.

Once again, Meitei resumes his focus on a Japan that has long ceased to be. This time, ‘Kofū’ is deliberately playful in bridging a sensibility that connects this imagined past to the present. Fractured piano chords are the first to greet you on ‘Kintsugi’ before they make way for a spectral elegance that parades the haunted mask of Kwaidan on ‘Man'yō’.

But like an ambient soothsayer schooled in the art of the 808s, Meitei quickly drives ‘Kofū’ with propulsion on ‘Oiran I’, which shares a sibling in Side B track ‘Oiran II’. On both songs, he builds tension served up by flickering hip-hop rhythms — achieved by carefully processing old drum and metal sounds — with a subversive spirit unforeseen in any of his work thus far. Dissecting vocal recordings to the point of incomprehensibility, Meitei aims for something stirring beyond- words — not unlike J Dilla and his mountain of cut-up soul samples, or The Caretaker with decaying 78s. He abides by a principle attributed to the master Hayao Miyazaki: “Beyond logic speaks of human nature”.

‘Kofū’ allows full immersion into fragments of the past without the trappings of nostalgia. The tracklist is denoted by prominent (and unseen) figures of this history. Tracks ‘Sadayakko’ and ‘Otojirō’ are named after renowned entertainers from the Meiji era, while ‘Nyōbō’ is dedicated to a long-suffering line of working class women within a patriarchal Japanese society. The sounds of ‘Oiran’, sharing the name of the title bestowed upon courtesans, were sparked after learning about the treatment of red light district workers within this era. It paints a grim picture of baidoku (also known as syphilis) and its ravage spread.

These stories cloud the overall mood of ‘Kofū’, but Meitei takes a Mizoguchi-like approach to mould that unimaginable pain with tenderness. ‘Oiran I’’s hidden subtitle is Hana, and ‘Oiran II’ is Shiokaze. As Meitei explains, “Hana means gorgeous and glorious. Shiokaze is the sea breeze — for her life.” Tracks like ‘Urameshi-ya’ and ‘Gen'ei’ provide a meditative space amidst the turbulence, while ‘Shōnen’ takes a turn for the cinematic. The eight-minute odyssey is engulfed by shadowy voice loops, mixed best for a headphone experience in a solitary setting.

Meitei bids farewell to an expedition first sparked by a passion for a long-forgotten cultural past. ‘Kofū’ is a definitive conclusion with an open invitation to listeners from Japan and beyond — encouraging continued appreciation of this sacred part of history, wholly untethered from the world at large.

Available on limited edition LP and CD including 16-page inserts with words in Japanese and English from Meitei and design by KITCHEN. LABEL founder Ricks Ang. This record is mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama in Tokyo, Japan.

credits

released September 27, 2020

Composed & Arranged by Meitei
Mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama at WPM Mastering, Japan

Art Direction by Ricks Ang
Photos by T. Enami

Released by KITCHEN. LABEL
www.kitchen-label.com

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Meitei / 冥丁 Hiroshima, Japan

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