The stunning minimalist metallica of the gong orchestras of the Champasak and Attapeu provinces of Laos, recorded between 2003 and 2007 by Sublime Frequencies collaborator Laurent Jeanneau.
With a new version of the composer’s huge hit Sukiyaki.
This is great. Traditional and theatre music from Vietnam, the celebrated singer mazily leading dan tranh zither, dan bau monochord, sao flute, dan kim lute, dan co fiddle and trong percussion.
Their fourth collaboration, gently traversing boundaries.
The gamelan component of topeng dalang classical drama, played trenchantly and bewitchingly by farmers from this island in the Indonesian archipelago (one of three and a half thousand).
Dangdut is a raucous Javanese mix of Indian film music, transatlantic rock, scraps of Middle-Eastern pop. Kroncong songs with ukelele-style accompaniment (and brass band settings here) run way back to Portugal.
Six deeply spiritual pieces from the Kinko School, developed in eighteenth century Japan by wandering zen monks for whom this flute music was a pathway to enlightenment.
Musical accompaniments to kabuki theatre, by this pre-eminent Japanese chamber orchestra, with voice, shamisen lutes, fue flute, and kotsuzumi, otsuzumi and taiko drums.
With accompaniment on the sanshin lute — a lovely, melodic blend of Japanese, Chinese and South East Asian styles characteristic of the Okinawa archipelago (formerly the independent kingdom of Ryukyu).
The medieval story of the Heike clan — combining drama and heroics with Buddhist reflection on the ephemerality of existence — sung by Kakujo Iwasa and Kakuryu Saito, with lute accompaniment.
Second magical, poignant volume drawing on a set of sixty 78s issued in 1942, this time featuring Noh theatre musicians, many trained by artists active before the Meiji period, prior to 1868.
Imai Keisho playing koto and Yamase Shoin shamisen, amongst others. Historic recordings by Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai. Excellent label.