Sugai Ken | Lieven Martens — „KAGIROI“ (March 29, 2021)JAPAN emojiBELGIUM emoji                                                                          Sugai Ken | Lieven Martens — „KAGIROI“ (March 29, 2021)
°≡  Zcela jedinečná práce zde spojuje slábnoucí japonské kulturní zvyky s terénními nahrávkami a belgickou instrumentální performancí. Je toho málo, co jsme slyšeli docela rádi. „Nedávno mi z čista jasna poslal Sugai San sbírku osobních terénních nahrávek, které vytvořil z folklórních skupin a veřejných vystoupení v Tokiu, Toyamě, Kanagawě, Kjótu, Tottori ... Informovaný posluchač již ví, že estetika Sugai Sana hovoří o velkých znalostech těchto scénických umění.“ 
Otevřená výzva: „tradiční místní divadelní umění ve 21. století si přirozeně představuje „křehkost“, protože je náchylné k vyhynutí. Japonské místní divadelní umění, které se objevuje v této nahrávce, není výjimkou. Je ohrožené klesající porodností a stárnutím populace, které jsou pro tuto zemi typické.“ (SUGAI KEN)
Location: Tokyo, Japan/Antwerp, Belgium
Album release: March 29, 2021
Record Label: Edições CN/Tobira Records
Duration:     29:06
1. KAGIROI I   14:59 
2. KAGIROI II   14:07 
° SUGAI KEN — field recordings, liner notes
° Lieven Martens — collage, additional sounds and field recordings
° Jeroen Stevens — additional percussion
° Roman Hiele — double bass, mastering
° Kohei Oyamada — liner notes translation
° Jeroen Wille — artworkKiezsalon with The Space Lady & Sugai Ken,  Wednesday, 18.04. 2018Description:
BELGIUM.png                    °≡  I met SUGAI KEN a few years ago in Tokyo, outside the Dommune radio studios. His personality and music, a very special brand, touched me. His music is a coded vision of a dream world. A trade that is progressive yet traditional — in the most positive sense of the word.
≡°  Recently out of the blue, Sugai San sent me a collection of personal field recordings he made of folklore groups and public performances in Tokyo, Toyama, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Tottori, … The close listener already knows that Sugai San’s aesthetics speak of a great knowledge of these performing arts.
°≡  An open invitation: “The traditional local performing arts in the 21st century intrinsically conceive “fragility” as they are vulnerable to extinction. The Japanese local performing arts that appear in this recording is no exception, endangered by the declining birth rate and aging population which are typical to the country.“ (SUGAI KEN)
≡°  I bring the original recordings into conversation with new elements (corresponding field recordings and or additional percussion and strings, performed by Antwerp musicians Jeroen Stevens and Roman Hiele) like a ‘monomane’ — tr. imitating — sound game. But when i throw these old and new figurines together on the podium, the objects immediately disappear in the cracks of the stage wood. Thus only the understament of the suggestion remains. And relentlessly the significance of every movement now becomes a question.
°≡  Furthermore, what’s in focus? The manipulation? Or the content? Or are we zooming in on the aspect of archiving ~ preserving? Dubious.
≡°  In KAGIROI — tr. heat haze — people coexist for a moment severely carved in time like a high contrast still of dancing flames. When you bring this composition home, it will never boil yet merely evaporate. And when you gaze at the clouds of condensed droplets inside your own darkness, on a soft volume, You complete our puzzle.
Boomkat Product Review:
Completely singular work here, linking fading Japanese cultural customs with field recordings and Belgian instrumental performance. There’s little else we’ve heard quite like it.
Sound artist Sugai Ken and Edições CN boss Lieven Martens met five years ago in Tokyo, where they connected over a mutual respect for each others’ work. More recently, Sugai sent Martens recordings out of the blue that he’d made of traditional musical performances in Tokyo, Toyama, Kanagawa, Kyoto and Tottori. He noted that due to Japan’s declining birth rate, the art form was becoming extinct, giving the recordings an added resonance. Martens responded to the sounds by adding new elements from his world: percussion and strings from local Belgian musicians Jeroen Stevens and Roman Hiele and corresponding field recordings.
The result is peculiar and almost ghostly, like chopped and pasted pieces of a movie without the visual accompaniment. The sounds of the original recordings and Martens’ contributions are blurred into one another, so it’s never completely obvious where one element begins and where another ends. Processing is minimal, but effective, and it’s a testament to both artists experience that they’re able to do something so subtle and frankly so original. The title “KAGIROI” means heat haze, and that’s an apt descriptor.
Achtergrond door Daphné Pascual, interview: