Ryukyu Underground

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Riverboat/World Music Network
PERFORMER: Ryukyu Underground
CATALOGUE NO: TUGCD 1028

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 Turning to the contemporary scene, Ryukyu Underground comes from the vigorous and distinctive musical centre of Okinawa, which has its own traditions within Japan and a positive attitude to outside influences. It needed that since the outfit in question is in fact two British men over there doing good old chilled DJ mixes that incorporate local music into their own digital creations.

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They have worked with taste and knowledge and have evidently gone down well. A Japanese DJ would surely be less respectful of the tunes, which stick out like museum objects, but the mixes themselves are appealingly laid-back. The best tracks use other relatively live elements from extraneous sources, particularly reggae, to give an extra dimension of aural fantasy.