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Akuphone

  • Sothy 'Chansons Laotiennes'

    Akuphone

    Sothy 'Chansons Laotiennes'

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    Akuphone

    Sothy 'Chansons Laotiennes'

    £14.99

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    Slow paced drums with offbeats softly phased with the guitar, misty takeoffs from the synthesizer: a hazy idyll is starting off on the road to the rocket festival (bun bang fai). Answering each other on the responsive mode of the lam soeng, Sothipong engages in a flirt but Oulay Vanh is not ready to trifle with just anybody.

    As a stylistic variation of a popular Lao musical genre, the lam soeng was the source of several themes among which the “bang fai” - which is part of the Lao conciliatory festivities preceding the rainy season - remains one of the most renowned.

    However, the producer and composer of these songs, Sothy, created an unusual arrangement: the instrumental introduction separates from the sang canon, the synthetic mix is stripped down of the traditional organology - everything here becomes unsettling for a listener familiar with the genre. Everything comes with a reason: the record was edited in 1981 under the title Sothy Productions yet produced in France by the Parisian label Oxygène (famously known for its unforgettable first French punk compilation 125 grammes de 33 1/3 tours).

    Chansons Laotiennes still remains hard to classify. And then who’s Sothy? Along with the unverifiable identity of the seemingly Laotian singers, skepticism gains ground concerning the man behind the pseudonym. Is he an escaped musician from one of the first Cambodian rock bands of the 1960s? A surviving producer from the 1980s Paris? Or a composer in transit in one of the many places of the Laotian diaspora? Sothy eludes any researches and disappears behind his numerous homonyms.

    The second track is just as enigmatic: a beat box, a lightly reverberated voice as well as a guitar solo and a small synthesizer break, “Tuei” or “Tawai” [offering] (as the writing on the record suggests) makes way to dancing step and a truly joyful melody. Twisted and lively steps on a romantic background tune turn this second track into a genuine paslop - a program recommended by therapists to relieve muscular pains due to seated positions: you will unlock your pelvis with some synchronized Laotian choreographies.

    For their first edits, Akuphone called on a young Parisian producer. Shelter, aka Alan Briand, mingles his own mixes and electro productions with a large variety of influences and styles: krautrock, disco, traditional music, psychedelic, synth pop, ambient, bossa nova, Japanese funk. He produces both original compositions and remix. Here is the first Akuphone’s maxi single!

    Tracklisting:
    1. Lam Seung Bang Fai (Original Version)
    2. Tawai (Original Version)
    3. Lam Seung Bang Fai (Shelter's Edit)
    4. Tawai (Shelter's Edit)
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  • Various Artists 'The Gamelan Of The Walking Warriors'

    Akuphone

    Various Artists 'The Gamelan Of The Walking Warriors'

    £14.99

    The Gamelan Of The Walking Warriors : Gamelan Beleganjur and the Music of the Ngaben Funerary Ritual in Bali.

    A fascinating immersion in the heart of a funeral ceremony live recorded in Bali, where gongs, cymbals, and drums give rhythm to the bewitching atmosphere of this mortuary procession.

    The international audience’s interest into Balinese music and its gamelan orchestras dates back to the edition of large ethnographic series in the 1950s, 60s and 70s which largely encouraged the discovery of this music beyond Indonesia’s borders.

    Taking advantage of a more advanced technology compared to the vinyl golden era, the present field recordings produced in 2011 render at the closest the power of gamelans. They are presented here in two forms.

    The first one offers a display of Beleganjur music out of the ritual context, which can be differentiated by a more melodic form and a more dramatic and hypnotic aspect of the compositions.

    The second one presents the Beleganjur style in the ceremonial context of the Ngaben funerary rite in the village of Peliatan. The utmost vitality of these orchestras springs out throughout the different stages of these funerals, and the sound environment surrounding the musicians immerse the listener in the very heart of the procession following the corpse.

    With The Gamelan of The Walking Warriors, Akuphone carries on its exploration of ritual and ceremonial music with those materials of rare intensity. These recordings were collected by Vincenzo Della Ratta, PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sapienza University (Rome).

    As a specialist of the gongs music from the Austronesian cultures of Southeast Asia, Della Ratta is the author of numerous articles on the subject. His field researches have already been edited as a vinyl entitled Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo (Sublime Frequencies, 2016).

    Tracklisting:
    1. Pemungkah
    2. Semut Megarang
    3. Gilak Melasti
    4. Dedari Ngindang
    5. Procession To The House Of The Deceased
    6. At The House Of The Deceased
    7. Procession To The Cremation Ground
    8. Lamentation
    9. At The Seaside
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  • Lily Chao 'Chinese Folk Songs'

    Akuphone

    Lily Chao 'Chinese Folk Songs'

    £14.99

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    Akuphone

    Lily Chao 'Chinese Folk Songs'

    £23.99

    As the first entry in its catalog, Akuphone presents a reissue of Lily Chao’s Chinese Folk Songs, originally released by Four Seas Records in 1968.

    This edition includes four previously unheard titles and exclusive liner notes containing Lily Chao’s biography and lyric translations. Chao Xiao-Jun aka Lily Chao was born in Taiwan in 1948, while mainland China was rapidly undergoing major changes immediately following the end of the Chinese Civil War.

    After experiencing hard times in her girlhood, she ventured out into singing quite unwillingly. Indeed, at age 19, Lily Chao was compelled to give up her studies to support her family and start a career as a singer, after passing an audition at the Taipei Cabaret in Taiwan.

    The cabaret industry was in full swing at the time, offering destinations for popular entertainment, and Lily Chao’s efforts to launch her singing career immediately attracted producers’ attention. Her appearances at the Taipei Cabaret as part of its shows, which combined music in Mandarin, poetry, drama, magic, and other fine arts, soon earned her a reputation.

    Despite the immediate success that her numerous stage performances and appearances on the national television channel won her, Lily Chao led a chaotic and painful private life. As she smiled very little and tended to appear distant, the audience dubbed her the «Ice Queen,» a nickname that she would keep for the rest of her career. This barely-concealed melancholy can be felt throughout Chinese Folk Songs, as well as in her very particular way of singing, which is both jerky and perfectly fluid.

    The album stands halfway between Mandarin folk songs and rock singing inspired by The Shadows, all surf guitar and garage sounds recorded with pinpoint precision and enhanced by saxophone and organ touches, while Lily Chao’s intoxicating vibratos bring a pinch of soul to the music.An outstanding achievement of timeless pop music from the 1960s.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Whose Blooming Rose
    2. Mountain Girl
    3. Rainbow Girl
    4. The Nostalgic Song
    5. A Carrying Pole
    6. Shepherd Girl
    7. In That Distant Land
    8. Lift Your Veil
    9. Little Cowherd
    10. Feeling Grieved
    11. Tea-plucking And Catching Butterflies
    12. Youthful Dance Song
    13. Kangding Love Song
    14. Who Can Know My Heart
    15. I Smile Whenever I See You
    16. Its Vexed To Talk About Love
    17. My Heart Is All For You

    Release Date: 13/10/2017

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  • Chiemi Eri 'Chiemi Eri'

    Akuphone

    Chiemi Eri 'Chiemi Eri'

    £14.99

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    Akuphone

    Chiemi Eri 'Chiemi Eri'

    £23.99

    With its second release, Akuphone keeps exploring Asia with an original compilation of Japanese singer Chiemi Eri. This edition – which is available in vinyl, CD and digital - includes exclusive liner notes and a rich calligraphed booklet containing the romanization of lyrics. It encourages to (re)discover Chiemi Eri’s recordings. On this compilation, Akuphone has brought together 16 songs from 10 inches albums originally released by King Records (Japan) between 1958 and 1962.

    As the daughter of a musician father and a singer mother, Chiemi Eri (1937-1982) grew up in a musical environment. When she was still a teenager, she started a career as a singer on US military bases. She became famous by singing numerous classics from the post-war American musical repertoire.

    At the age of 14 she recorded the song Tennessee Waltz with King Records, which turned out to be an immediate success, the first of many others. Chiemi Eri is considered as one of the most famous Japanese singers of the 20th century, more precisely of the Showa era (1926-1989), named after the Japanese emperor of the time, better known under his westernized name Hirohito.

    Both a singer and an actress – she played in more than 50 films, as well as many theatre plays – she definitely made a mark in the post-war Japanese cultural landscape, along with fellow singer-actresses Izumi Yukimura and Hibari Misora.

    The success of these true national icons, who were nicknamed « the three sisters », can be connected to the specific context of the time, that is the cultural opening of Japan which, although initiated a century before, accelerated with the US military occupation of the archipelago (1945-1952).

    This period saw the import of popular musical styles of the time: jazz, be-bop, swing, mambo, etc, as well as the development of a hybrid musical style - the Kayokyoku - which consists of a delicious mix of so-called “western” music with Japanese music. Combining vocal jazz, Latino rhythms and Japanese folk, this new compilation of Chiemi Eri offers an original musical syncretism.

    Supported by Tadaaki Misago and the Tokyo Cuban Boys – the oldest and most prolific latin-jazz group in Japan – Chiemi Eri sings themes, in Japanese, that are mainly taken from the traditional folklore. Thus, the drums and brass of the Cuban arrangements are mixed with the Min’yo, which shows how rich these folk songs are: every region, every local tradition, every event is celebrated by a particular song or dance.

    Chiemi Eri also reveals the vocal prowess specific to the Min’yo, in particular the kobushi, a sort of melisma – this vocal technic that consists in singing a single syllable while moving between several different notes in succession.

    This compilation, which surprisingly blends Min’yo and latin-jazz elements, invites to the discovery of the archipelago from a different perspective.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Okosa-bushi
    2. Shinonome-bushi
    3. Otemo-yan
    4. Dodoitsu
    5. Mamuro-gawa Ondo
    6. Hanagasa Odori
    7. Tabaru-zaka
    8. Itsuki-no Komoriuta
    9. Yakko-san
    10. Fukagawa Kuzushi
    11. Kiso-bushi
    12. Kushimoto-bushi
    13. Sano-sa
    14. Kuroda-bushi
    15. Sado Okesa
    16. Saitaro-bushi
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  • Mol Kamach & Bck 'Ne penser qu'à toi'

    Akuphone

    Mol Kamach & Bck 'Ne penser qu'à toi'

    £15.99

    Cambodia's first guitar band officially reissued for the first time with identical artwork, postcard and exclusive liner notes. (includes digital version)

    Whereas most of the original recordings disappeared during the Khmers Rouge era, this
    single bring back to us the Cambodian musical scene of the 1960s.

    For the first time two single records of Baksey Cham Krong - the first Cambodian guitar band - are officially being reissued in an identical version. Between surf music and ballad, these two records released in 1963 and 1964 are an invitation to rediscover the effervescent Khmer musical scene of the 1960s.

    The early 1960s are often described as the “golden age” of Cambodia, with a flourishing economy and a strong cultural development. As the country had just won its independence, the King Norodom Sihanouk - who had been a singer himself (see below) - encouraged dynamism and creativity in all aspects of cultural life.

    In 1959, in the midst of this artistic turmoil, Mol Kamach and his brothers created a band: the Baksey Cham Krong (also spelled Bakseis Cham Krung) named after a temple of the Angkor site. The teenagers were influenced by the latest hits they had listened on the radio.

    For the music, Kagnol got his inspiration from the rock n’ roll of the Ventures and the Shadows while Kamach took over the vocal techniques of crooners such as Paul Anka. The lyrics were either in French (as for the song Ne penser qu’à toi) or in Khmer. The song Pleine Lune became a hit and revealed Kagnol’s musical genius at playing guitar and Kamach’s delicate voice.

    From their beginnings on the capital’s high school stages to their first broadcasts on national radio, the success of the Baksey Cham Krong was very quick. At the end of the decade the band already split, the brothers getting back to activities that conformed more with their parents’ expectations.

    A few years later, in April 1975, the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh put an end to this musical development and started the darkest era of Cambodia’s contemporary history. A quarter of the population was killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide and the majority of artists and intellectuals were exterminated in a sordid will to wipe out any form of culture in the country.

    Films and music were banned, movie tapes and vinyls were destroyed. Mol Kamach and Mol Kagnol luckily managed to flee the country: one now lives in France, the other in the USA. Both still continue to make music nowadays.

    Bearing witness to the past history, the reissue of these two single records of Baksey Cham Krong brings back to us the Cambodian musical scene of the 1960s.

    Tracklisting:

    1. Pleine Lune
    2. Je Ne Pense Qu'a T'aimer
    3. De Quoi Pleures-tu
    4. Ne Penser Qu'a Toi
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  • Mol Kamach & Bck 'Je te quitterai'

    Akuphone

    Mol Kamach & Bck 'Je te quitterai'

    £15.99

    Cambodia's first guitar band officially reissued for the first time with identical artwork, postcard and exclusive liner notes. (includes digital version)

    Whereas most of the original recordings disappeared during the Khmers Rouge era, this 
    single bring back to us the Cambodian musical scene of the 1960s.

    For the first time two single records of Baksey Cham Krong - the first Cambodian guitar band - are officially being reissued in an identical version. Between surf music and ballad, these two records released in 1963 and 1964 are an invitation to rediscover the effervescent Khmer musical scene of the 1960s.

    The early 1960s are often described as the “golden age” of Cambodia, with a flourishing economy and a strong cultural development. As the country had just won its independence, the King Norodom Sihanouk - who had been a singer himself (see below) - encouraged dynamism and creativity in all aspects of cultural life. 

    In 1959, in the midst of this artistic turmoil, Mol Kamach and his brothers created a band: the Baksey Cham Krong (also spelled Bakseis Cham Krung) named after a temple of the Angkor site. The teenagers were influenced by the latest hits they had listened on the radio. 

    For the music, Kagnol got his inspiration from the rock n’ roll of the Ventures and the Shadows while Kamach took over the vocal techniques of crooners such as Paul Anka. The lyrics were either in French (as for the song Ne penser qu’à toi) or in Khmer. The song Pleine Lune became a hit and revealed Kagnol’s musical genius at playing guitar and Kamach’s delicate voice. 

    From their beginnings on the capital’s high school stages to their first broadcasts on national radio, the success of the Baksey Cham Krong was very quick. At the end of the decade the band already split, the brothers getting back to activities that conformed more with their parents’ expectations.

    A few years later, in April 1975, the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh put an end to this musical development and started the darkest era of Cambodia’s contemporary history. A quarter of the population was killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide and the majority of artists and intellectuals were exterminated in a sordid will to wipe out any form of culture in the country. 

    Films and music were banned, movie tapes and vinyls were destroyed. Mol Kamach and Mol Kagnol luckily managed to flee the country: one now lives in France, the other in the USA. Both still continue to make music nowadays. 

    Bearing witness to the past history, the reissue of these two single records of Baksey Cham Krong brings back to us the Cambodian musical scene of the 1960s.

    Release Date: 13/10/2017

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  • Various Artists 'The Golden Era of Sinhalese & Tamil Folk-pop Music'

    Akuphone

    Various Artists 'The Golden Era of Sinhalese & Tamil Folk-pop Music'

    £17.99

    While India and Pakistan’s respective musical heritage had already aroused interest among foreign audiences, Sri Lanka still remained one of the rare South Asian countries whose folk-pop music from the 1960-70s had not yet been compiled abroad. This gap is now to be filled with Sri Lanka.

    The Golden Era of Sinhalese and Tamil Folk-Pop Music.

    This double compilation is conceived as a panorama presenting the diversity of Sri Lankan musical styles between 1967 and 1979 through 30 titles. It comes along with a booklet depicting the country’s historical, cultural and musical context.

    As a deeply multicultural society, largely based on religious affiliations (Buddhist Sinhalese, Hindus Tamils as well as Muslim and Christian minorities) Sri Lanka possesses a great variety of musical traditions and influences which have been shaped by centuries of regional and international exchanges. If Sri Lankan music is undeniably part of South Asian musical culture, its heritage is also a product of almost five centuries of European imperialism.

    Coming from an original form of creolization, as defined by Edouard Glissant, the Baila bears the trace of both the African diaspora and the Iberian influences on the country. The Kaffirs - African slaves deported by the Portuguese - introduced African sounds while the Portuguese brought their musical traditions and instruments (cavaquinho, mandolin, violin, tambourines).

    The baila, which is reminiscent of Caribbean calypso, became the ultimate popular music and dance, performed on every festive occasion. Although much more recent but similarly popular, the sarala gee (also called light classical music) is a combination of Indian inspired music, either classical or close to Bollywood productions, with Sinhalese lyrics and a slight pop accent.

    In the early 1960s, the country’s musical scene was very dynamic, partly under the influence of the music label Sooriya Records. Its founder Gerald Wickremesooriya was determined to put into light proper Sri Lankan music in opposition to poor copies of standards of the times. He then invented the « new sound of Ceylonese pop » with the help of a few composers, musicians and singers. Very quickly, the label’s hits came one after another.

    They were performed during concerts organized by the label, the “Sooriya Shows”, or broadcasted on Radio Ceylon, which remained the number one radio for a long time. Sooriya Records’ catalogue reflected the diversity of Sri Lankan musical styles of the times: Anglo-Saxon influenced Sinhalese pop stood next to the baila or the sarala gee. Traditional instrumental music, characterized by large drum ensembles called hevisi, or even nurthy music originating from theatrical tradition, were also edited by the label. This mosaic of musical styles is to be found in Sri Lanka.

    The Golden Era of Sinhalese and Tamil Folk-Pop Music. This selection, which is mainly constituted of titles from Sooriya Records’ catalogue, presents the most popular artists of the times: virtuoso sitar and violin player Pandit Amaradeva, singer Indrani Perera, Paul Fernando and his lively baila rhythms, the psychedelic touch of Tamil producer Paramesh, or even the Sinhalese pop of both Clarence Wijewardena and the Golden Chimes and Baby Shiromi.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Egoda Gode
    2. Soken Pala Ne
    3. Gamen Liyumak
    4. Naan Unnai Thedum
    5. Instrumental Baila Medley
    6. Netha Giya Hematana
    7. Kaffiringha
    8. Ceremonial Drums
    9. Jeevithe Vasanthaye
    10. Anbil Valarnthai
    11. Pinna Mal
    12. Mama Bohoma Bayauna
    13. Vairodi Wannama
    14. Handa Haami
    15. Goyam Gee
    16. Eka Dawasak
    17. Mindada Heesara
    18. Roshi
    19. Sigiriya
    20. Deepa Tupe Vihare
    21. Drum Orchestra
    22. Gavaskar The Century Maker
    23. Bolanda Katha
    24. Sinidu Sudu Muthu
    25. Malli
    26. City Of Colombo
    27. Durakathanaya
    28. Amma
    29. Kimada Naave
    30. Perakumba Davasa
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  • Banteay Ampil Band 'Cambodian Liberation Songs'

    Akuphone

    Banteay Ampil Band 'Cambodian Liberation Songs'

    £14.99

    “When I arrived at the Khmer-Thai border in September 1980, disorganized resistance cadres were busy repairing old guitar instrument by using shing line for guitar strings and employing a rusty, empty gasoline tank as a drum. They played old Khmer pop songs. [ ...]

    They performed for themselves and for appreciative audiences of villagers. Other informal musical groups also came together to entertain themselves and others. One day in 1981, I photographed what was generally called the Bamteay Ampil Band.” Gaffar Peang-Meth, November 2016 Cambodian Liberation Songs is a painful call from forgotten resistance fighters.

    It is a captivating record, a touching testimony of Cambodian history that brings to the world the breathless voice of these resistance members from the Banteay Ampil Band.

    Released in 1983, Cambodian Liberation Songs is a mysterious and overwhelming record. As a genuine piece of history, this “eloquent sadness and fierce passion” runs the gamut of Cambodian music, from folk to rock, expressing their suffering and pain.

    On 17 April 1975, the Cambodian people, already crushed under national and international conflicts, was commanded by force to forget their own past; it was Year 0 of the Khmer Rouge calendar. Almost four years of genocide would follow before the start of a war between the Vietnamese army and the Khmer Rouge. Resistance units engaged in the conflict against what they considered a Vietnamese invasion. This record, produced by a resistance group, was given the reference number KHMER 001.

    It was undoubtedly the first record composed and performed by non-Khmer Rouge Cambodians after the tragic events of 1975-79. The refugee camp of Ampil, near the Thai border, witnessed the creation of the Banteay Ampil Band. Musicians and female singers who had hidden their talents during the genocide, gathered around the composer and violinist Oum Dara to engage in a new struggle: the resistance. Oum Dara, who had been a composer for Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothea among others, adapted several of his creations. It is therefore, with a poignant charm, that the Banteay Ampil Band binds together the golden age of Khmer music from the 1960s with the traditional repertoire and the context of their daily struggles.

    Violin, guitar and voices work together to produce melancholic and intense songs - the stirring tone of grief expressed by these resistant fighters. The band went to Singapore to record Cambodian Liberation Songs, the only record of the “Khmer People’s National Liberation Front”.

    Tracklisting:
    1. My Last Words
    2. Please Take Care Of My Mother
    3. Tuol Tneung The Hillock Of The Vine
    4. Don T Forget Khmer Blood
    5. Sereika Armed Forces
    6. Follow The Front
    7. I M Waiting For You
    8. Please Avenge My Blood Darling
    9. Destroy The Communist Viet
    10. Look At The Sky
    11. Vietnamese Sparrows
    12. The Vietnamese Have Invaded Our Country
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  • Ko Shin Moon 'Ko Shin'

    Akuphone

    Ko Shin Moon 'Ko Shin'

    £14.99

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    Akuphone

    Ko Shin Moon 'Ko Shin'

    £20.99

    Blurring the lines between time and space, Ko Shin Moon mixes acoustic instruments from various regions of the world, analog devices, traditional music, electronic arrangements, sampling and field recordings.

    As the soundtrack of a patchwork journey, the band’s first LP conveys one along a succession of hybrid territories, imaginary sound landscapes, multicolored collages: Acid Dabke, Turkish-Greek Disco, Cosmic Raï, New Beat Molam, Tibetan Ambient, Synth Wave Hindi Filmi, Rickshaw Dance Music…

    Tracklisting:
    1. Zaffa
    2. Ciftetelli
    3. Uber Ciftetelli
    4. Dua
    5. Dabke 91
    6. Pashto Karachi 2000
    7. Gabbar Singh
    8. Lam Samai Dao
    9. Klong Yao Dancing Klong Yao Racing
    10. Lune De Koshi
    11. 14 Kumpa
    12. Outro Gompa
    13. Sharie Didouche
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  • Kink Gong 'Tibetan Buddhism'

    Akuphone

    Kink Gong 'Tibetan Buddhism'

    £14.99

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    Akuphone

    Kink Gong 'Tibetan Buddhism'

    £20.99

    "Psalmody, small bells, big cymbals, gongs and drums - this puzzling collage of Tibetan Buddhist rites recordings is hypnotizing.

    It opens the way to the state of trance. The slight electronic arrangement still reminds that reality is not so far. The two twenty-minute tracks instantly convey an unknown and fascinating universe.

    Mantra chanting accelerates, horns become more insistent and a mystical atmosphere arises. With Tibetan Buddhism Trip, Akuphone starts exploring ritual and ceremonial music, here with a subtle mix of field recordings and electronic handlings.

    Over the years King Gong aka Laurent Jeanneau specialized in the recording of ethnic minorities, particularly from South East Asia. He has recorded over 160 albums and his work is now largely well-known around the globe.

    Such an impressive collection enables him to manipulate, assemble and reconstruct his field recordings in order to create new sound landscapes.

    Recorded in Tibet and Yunnan (China) between 2006 and 2013. Recomposed in Berlin in 2016.

    Vinyl comes with printed inner sleeve and download card including live performance in Bristol and unseen pictures."

    Tracklisting:
    1. Tibetan Buddhism Trip Part 1
    2. Tibetan Buddhism Trip Part 2
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