Minyo Crusaders rework traditional Japanese folk songs (minyō) with Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms to create some of the most infectious music anywhere between Latin America and Japan. The punchy and inventive arrangements of this ten-piece big band seamlessly blend Afro-Cuban and Caribbean rhythms with old Japanese minyōto create a compellingly modern sound. Since label Mais Um released the band’s debut album Echoes of Japan in April the acclaim has been universal.
The band’s sound could be described as having a retro Japanese feel influenced by a a hefty dose of worldwide music. Otemoyan, a well-known folk song from southern Kumamoto Prefecture about a young maiden marrying a man with a pockmarked face, is reshaped into a reggae track with dub sensibilities. Akita Nikata Bushi from northern Akita Prefecture takes its cue from Ethiopian funk, while Fukuoka Prefecture’s Tanko Bushi swings to the sound of boogaloo. All the while, however, minyō’s distinctive stylised form of singing is maintained, providing a sense of authenticity despite the melange of rhythms.
For more information visit: www.comono.co.uk/live/minyo-crusaders/