(image: Hasegawa Tohaku - Shōrin-Zu Byōbu)

Disconcerted Sounds Last.fm Group - here. A curiosity if nothing more...

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Takahashi Chikuzan - No Shinzui

This was originally going to be a two part post but that Mountainhood CD got upped instead of the first two sides of this record and between then and now I've managed to rip and upload the other two sides.
I would highly recommend downloading both zip folders, Side D is my personal favourite as it has more instrumentation; Side A has some of the better solo pieces - don't shy away from the whole album, it's an excellent set of traditional Japanese music.

I'm trying to take some photos of this, just can't find the charger for the camera at the moment...

Takahashi Chikuzan - No Shinzui

Takahashi Chikuzan was a blind shamisen player throughout the 20th century (born 1910, died 1998). He made quite a number of recordings and there was a 1977 film about his life called 'Chikuzan Hitori Tabi' ('Life of Chikuzan') but, like other traditional music, the albums are not always easy to find. Some were re-issued on CD in Japan and sometimes records appear on ebay or gemm for $5 (but more often $40+), most are relatively hard to get hold of as they are quite often badly listed (in my experience).

There's a lot to listen to on this record - four sides of roughly 20 mins each - and it covers a wide range for an instrument with just three strings. He is accompanied and introduced by other traditional Japanese instruments on a number of songs but the sides tend to stick to one style rather than have a wide range.

Please see the comments for more information on this record
LP 1 / LP 2


Type Records, well, Johann Johannsson have both said that there will be a vinyl release (re-release) of Johann's 'And in the endless pause there came the sound of bees' in the next couple of months (followed later by another CD edition). There is also that Zelienople record looming on the horizon and we've just had Rameses III, Peter Broderick, Seasons (Pre-Din) and Black to Comm is out this week. All looks good over at Type!

Three Lobed Recordings are planning to close pre-orders for the new Steve Gunn and D. Charles Speer & The Helix.

Previews for the next batch of Digitalis Ltd releases are up on Dial Square Tapes (along with a pre-order option) featuring the likes of Xela, Greg Davis and Pink Priest.

Milieu Music: Brian Grainger - White Kingdoms
Brian Grainger - White Dust

Apollolaan Recordings: Brain Lavelle - Avalonian

Reverb Worship: Shores of Darkness - In the Shadow of Distant Nights


Please feel free to join the Disconcerted Sounds last.fm group.


There are some promising sounding shows on BBC4 at the moment - one last night titled 'Synth Britannia' and another next week about Krautrock - on Friday nights. Probably worth keeping an eye out for if you're in the UK (iPlayer?) or have access to good torrent sites.


rickdog said...

Find more Takahashi Chikuzan in my mp3blog and forum searches:

HERE and

Anonymous said...

thanks for the record, cool stuff. looking for a year to tag the mp3's i found out a bit more about this recording. i don't know japanese, but i was able to get some info from this page (the official site of takahashi chikuzan) with help from google and excite translators.

this is actually a split release from 1974 by Takahashi Chikuzan and another shamisen player named Takahashi Yujiro. the first disc is by Chikuzan, the second by Yujiro.
The full title is actually "Tsugaru Shamisen No Shinzui" which means something like "The Essence of Tsugaru Shamisen".
Thanks again, enjoy.

disconcerted said...

Huge thanks for that information. Don't know how I didn't come across that homepage in my searches! Been wondering about the release year and translations of the track listing. The LPs are very different so to find out that it is a split doesn't come as a huge surprise but enough to make me smack my head.

The guy I bought the record from listed it as 'Tsugaru shamisen no shinzui' but I assumed the first part was just a description - had submitted that title to RYM but was unsure.

Thanks again for finding out a bit more and sharing the info. Fantastic stuff.

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