Bristol-based Japanese experimental singer-songwriter, instrument-maker and performance artist ICHI has just announced the release of his third album Maru, his first to be released via Lost Map Records. If you’ve seen him perform live then you won’t forget him – you may have seen him sharing the bill and performing with his wife Rachael Dadd (it was Rachael who introduced me to Ichi many moons ago now), although ICHI probably arrived on stage on stilts…forget everything you’ve associated with the one-man-band concept…he’s a phenomenon! Lost Map Records, established by founder and director Johnny Lynch’s (AKA Pictish Trail) from his caravan home on Eigg, seems the ideal home.
In 2014 he was let loose on the streets of Bristol for the making of his video and advance single ‘Go Gagambo‘. If that wasn’t surreal enough then feast your eyes and ears on 2 Klaxons below. He heads out into Bristol again via City Farm…being pursued by a giant fish.
Hailing from Nagoya’s underground scene, ICHI moved to the UK and Bristol after meeting English singer-songwriter Rachael Dadd, now his wife, at a small DIY festival in his hometown. He takes inspiration for his art from far and wide – a melting-pot of punk, reggae and dub, Henri Salvador, tribal music and old scratchy 78s. With his trusty sampler never far away ICHI spends hours poised, ready to capture the perfect water droplet or page flick, a process which he describes as being “like catching an animal”. Recorded entirely onto a four-track tape machine in his attic studio, Maru finds ICHI layering Heath Robinson-esque song-scapes crafted out of found objects and bizarre homemade instruments (stilt-bass, kalilaphone, hatbox-pedal-drum, skip-xylophone and tapumpet) with vocals depicting colourful characters. The album features guest vocals from This Is The Kit frontwoman Kate Stables, his wife Rachael Dadd and Lost Map’s own Rozi Plain.
ICHI will be touring the UK and Europe throughout 2016 (see dates below), and will launch his new album with a party at the Total Refreshment Centre in London on Thursday, March 24
SAT, MAR 5 @ THE WARDROBE THEATRE, BRISTOL, UK (MATINEE)
THU, MAR 10 @ THE GLAD CAFE, GLASGOW, UK
SUN, MAR 13 @ THE WEE RED BAR, EDINBURGH, UK
TUE, MAR 15 @ SANDBAR, MANCHESTER, UK
THU, MAR 24 @ TOTAL REFRESHMENT CENTRE, LONDON, UK
(MARU ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY)
SAT, APR 2 @ WORLD OMOSIROI AWARD, OSAKA, JAPAN
SAT, APR 9 @ KINSE RYOKAN INN, KYOTO, JAPAN
SUN, APR 17 @ RYOUDENJI TEMPLE, MACHIDA, TOKYO, JAPAN
SUN, APR 23 @ MALTA PICNIC, OKAZAKI, AICHI, JAPAN
SUN, MAY 1 @ RISSEI SHOUGAKKOU, KYOTO, JAPAN
SAT, MAY 14 @ MANMOTH POW-WOW, FUJI SAIKO, JAPAN
SAT, JUN 19 @ UNEARTHED IN A FIELD FESTIVAL, CERBID, SOLVA, UK
SAT-SUN, JUL 16-17 @ CATCH THE WIND KITE FESTIVAL, MORECAMBE, UK
FRI, AUG 26 @ UNORTHADOX PARADOX FESTIVAL, HAY ON WYE, UK