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Music Activist


Kama Aina is the project of Takuji Aoyagi, and is a Hawaiian word for 'native man' or 'islander'. Music Activist shows off Aoyagi's unique perspective and is compiled from his many Japanese releases as a 'best of', or introduction. In Japan, Aoyagi is perceived as almost uncategorisable, although, like Tori Kudo of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, he is fascinated by native musics, even if his own music seems closer to a different Japanese underground; perhaps the one where Susumu Yokota expertly makes new tracks out of Young Marble Giants off-cuts. Aoyagi's main source is himself and he creates a homespun exoticism from his multi-instrumentalism and the found sounds he uncovers on his travels. For Aoyagi these travels are the key to this music. "Kama Aina represents me as a fan of music which comes from islands, as well as referring to myself living in an island country. I sometimes think that my music reminds me of a remote island somewhere. On the other hand it also sounds like a champroo music of an island, which is a melting pot of everything from the outside world. Again I thought the word would suit my position well." Aoyagi is a Tokyo resident with wanderlust, frequently travelling abroad to see the sights, meet people and collect sounds wherever he goes; Bali and Hawaii are two of the places which have left a very deep impression. Aoyagi formed a seminal rock trio, Little Creatures, in the late 80s while he was still in high school and ever since has been writing, performing, recording and producing music restlessly for his own projects as well as with Double Famous and Ram, and in collaborations with Kev Hopper, Lonesome Organist, Tommy Guerrero and others. He is a keen curator too, operating the Folkcore label with P-Vine, and the 'Orca' brand with Tamie J. Hirokawa, producing clothes, books and miscellaneous goods including a famous 'don't shoot' t-shirt for journalists in dangerous areas. He has composed for film and performance, and promotes an annual 'Book Worm' event. With Kama Aina, Aoyagi has shown an impeccable talent for writing instantly memorable melodies, and he's already constructed a uniquely sparse yet rich style across a catalogue of intimate, personal music which always aspires towards an all-encompassing feeling. Music Activist is a compilation of Kama Aina music selected by Aoyagi as his favourite recordings. This year he's planning to visit Hawaii, Dominican Republic and Spain, and will visit the UK in September for his first peformances outside of Japan.