Category Archives: Sean Roe

The Last JunKroom in Kyoto

Sean bids farewell to Urbanguild

There were two fundraisers I wanted to attend on Friday night; one at Tadg’s and the other at Urbanguild. Unable to be in two places at once though,  I paid a brief visit to Tadg’s early in the evening, gobbled down one of his gorgeous vegan pizzas with a lovely Oatmeal Stout and made my donation to the worthy cause on my way out. I heard later that Tadg’s event raised spectacular amounts of cash for IDRO (International Disaster Relief Organisation Japan). I’ll be posting more on that brand new, local NPO tomorrow.

At Urbanguild, our good friend Sean Roe was hosting his very last JunKroom. Sadly, I wasn’t able to stay for the whole event but I did enjoy two performances in particular: musicians Christopher Fryman, Komaki & the dancer Misuzu and also Bridget Scott’s performance with Problematica. You can see my photos of this event at the bottom of this post. Sean’s event raised 50,000 yen for two very good charities doing important work in Tohoku. Here’s some information on them both in case you feel like bulking up that figure a tad:

1) ゆめ風基金(Yume-kaze fund)
Well organized fund which was founded for helping handicapped people in the disaster-stricken area in 1995, when the big earthquake hit Hanshin. The Office is located in Osaka. Usually, handicapped people are in much harder situation in shelters. To help them immediately after the disaster, the fund gathers and saves donation in long span (their original plan was to save one billion in 10 years, though it hasn’t been realized yet; now about 0.2 billion).
The fund has a network connecting 51 associated societies (Yume-kaze Net) in each prefecture in Japan. These societies provide local information as soon as natural disaster happens. The fund provides the pooled money to that region, considering the precise needs of people there.

They are now working in Tohoku and calling for donations. They have only one bank account for donations (meaning, it is both for pooling and for Tohoku), but if you are inclined to donate directly to Tohoku, write “とうほく” on the message form in the transfer paper.
郵便振替口座(P. O. Savings Transfer account)
Account number: 00980-7-40043  Account holder’s name: ゆめ風基金

2. JVC (Japan International Volunteer Center) is also working in Tohoku.
They send everyday goods and medical resources to Tohoku and also support the Kesennuma City volunteer centre in Miyagi prefecture. The centre accepts 100- 200 volunteer members everyday. They remove mud and rubble in accord with people’s needs there.

P. O. Savings Transfer account
account number: 00190−9−27495
name: JVC東京事務所
write「東日本大震災」on the paper.

As for JunKroom? Sean says: “Please watch this space for for future developments….The JunKroom event will take a break and restart in London where I hope to be able to promote the excellent work of my friends in Kyoto and give UK audiences the chance to see some of the best Music, Dance and Art coming out of Japan.” Link to JunKroom website for more images.

JunKroom Final Event April 22 @ UrBANGUILD!!!

"Elevated Saints of the Kansai Underground" - Sean Roe and Christopher Fryman (a hat tip to Jerry Gordon for the quote).

Sean says…

After producing and being involved in about 30 shows in the last 4 years or so… the JunKroom event in Kyoto finally comes to an end. I will be returning to England in the next few weeks after having lived in Kyoto for 5 years. Organizing and participating in these events has been an education for me and it’s helped me meet some of the most interesting performers in Kyoto. I hope in return, the event has contributed to the diverse cultural life of this city by acting as a forum for both local artists and those visiting from overseas. To all the performers who have contributed, and to all the visitors to the event, I’d like to say thank you for supporting JunKroom in Kyoto! Continue reading

Images from the JunKroom Special Event

My apologies to all for the tardy posting of these images. I was trying to retrieve some footage I took on my i-phone but for technical reasons beyond my ken it appears to be GONE. I do however have a lot of photos and some video clips I took with my regular camera. Sean Roe deserves congratulations for organizing yet another very successful and enjoyable event. A lot of people came and the atmosphere was good-humored and contemplative. There were also a lot of wacky looking instruments that provided visual entertainment during the musical acts. My own favorite performance of the evening was Fujita Yosuke and his homemade pipe organ. I mean, seriously, he made it himself! From scratch! I was so impressed I bought both of his CDs. Here’s a clip:

Mitsu Salmon performing with ryotaro also gave a bravura performance. As Sean said later “She was on fire tonight!” Here’s a short clip but you’ll have to take my word for it, immediately after this part , she went wild!

Here also is a clip from Sigbjørn Apeland and Espen Sommer Eide on harmonium and Espen’s self-made concertinome (a combination of concertina accordion with a monome style keyboard and electronic air pressure sensors). Their performance was an improvisation with folktastic overtones.

Sean Roe, ieva (Samuel Andre) and Alexander Rishaug all gave equally contemplative performances. I felt at one point that we should all be sitting in zazen before them. Here’s a clip of Alexander Rishaug in action, photographs of the event follow after.

JunKroom Special Event on 17th February

Sean says…

JunKroom will be holding a special event on Thursday 17th February at Urbanguild on Kiyamachi Dori in central Kyoto. We are very honoured to have Alexander Rishaug, Espen Sommer Eide (Phonophani) and Sigbjorn Apeland, 3 great artists from Norway participate in this event as part of their Japanese tour. This will be their only appearance in Kyoto. In addition we will have local performers Mitsu Salmon & ryotaro, ieva (Samuel Andre) Sseeaann Rrooee and Yosuke Fujita.
Please see descriptions and links for each of the performers below.

So… There’s a broad mix of musical styles on show at this event it will certainly be an entertaining evening! I’m looking forward to seeing you… Please tell your friends and let’s give our Norwegian visitors a big welcome to Kyoto!

JunKroom Special Event
17th February 2011 (Thursday)
at Urbanguild
Doors open 6.45pm Starts 7.00pm
1500yen in advance 2000yen at door (includes 1 drink)

We also have a facebook page for this show- here’s the link. If you join the guest list (attending/maybe attending) the entrance is only 1500 yen including 1 drink. There are also details on the JunKroom site.

Alexander Rishaug is a sound artist and musician based in Oslo, Norway. His sound is melodic, melancholic and often quiet. Rishaug explores tones and textures through the use of electronics, field recordings, toys or simply just playing around with an instrument. Rishaug combines an intimate knowledge of his musical equipment with the curiousness of an amateur.

Phonophani (Espen Sommer Eide) was born in Oslo, Norway. Espen played music originally on percussion instruments, flutes and trumpet, before emphasising computer-generated sounds. Eide has released several solo albums as Phonophani, on the Rune Grammofon record label. Phonophani is multi-instrumentalist and digital electronics music, characterized by various manipulated live instruments integrated with pure electronic sounds.

Sigbjørn Apeland (born 1966) is a musician (organ, harmonium) and academic, well known for work that is on the border between folk music, church music and improvisatory music.He graduated from The Rogaland Conservatory of Music (1988) specializing in the study and the performance of Church Music. He also studied ethnomusicology at the University of Bergen (1998), before doing a research fellowship at the Grieg Academy writing his dissertation on the Musical Life in the Norwegian Church as Cultural Practice (2005).

Mitsu Salmon creates solo and collaborative performance pieces weaving together her distinctive vocal style with dance, text and visuals.

ryotaro is an accordionist, composer and performer. He uses MIDI-accordion; intermixing accordion, synthesizer and programmed sounds to make music.

Yosuke Fujita
Yosuke Fujita performs on a portable home made pipe organ creating minimal instant compositions.

Sseeaann Rrooee (Sean Roe)
Makes sound collage by performing on stylus free turntables using paper that is amplified to create sounds directly from the grooves in the records.

ieva (Samuel Andre)
Musician and soundtrack composer. Using his computer he creates live performances use multi layered field recordings creating quite mysterious imaginary aural worlds



181-2 Zaimoku-cho
new-Kyoto bldg. 3F,
Kiyamachi Dori

From Sanjo Dori go down Kiyamachi Dori. This is the narrow street running alongside Takase stream. Urbanguild is on the east side (left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo). Walk approximately 150 metres. Its on the 3rd floor of the New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here’s a map.

Thanks Sean!

Outsider’s Record Fair & JunKroom Special Live

Click the image for more information!

Sean says:

The Outsider’s CD & Record Fair at Urbanguild (Kyoto) 2010.10.24 (Sun) 11.00am – 6.45pM – Huge Sale – Many Bargains !!!
Join our unique event…….. Just like a record fair or Market in LONDON! ……. Great Atmosphere …… cups of Tea………….and of course……….Fantastic cheap and collectable records…….. CDs ……and some Books…….. Enjoy!!

The record fair is free and the event from 7.30 pm is 1,500 yen including one drink.  Click on the poster (left) for more information.

JunKroom! JunKroom!

That there is a picture from JunKroom #16 and you can see more pictures from that night and also videos of Lorenzo Senni and ieva at the end of this post. However, as JunKroom #17 is imminent ( Tonight! Friday October 1st from 7pm!) here are some details.

Sean says…

There’s a great line up for this show!

(Paed Conca & Raed Yassin) Duo hailing from Switzerland and Beruit.. A maelstrom of frantic bass, clarinet and electronics- their performances are absolutely exhilarating. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! Take a look at the video clips here to get an idea about their performances. Continue reading

Miimo @ JunKroom Vol. 16

Gary and Bridget get down!

JunKroom Vol. 16 was a hell of a lot of fun. But undoubtedly the highlight of the night was the post dub three man band Miimo. Combining drums, bass, electronica and steel drums (yes! steel drums!) their sound is unique yet instantly likeable. “How could you not dance to this?” I asked myself and turned around to find my friends Gary Bloom and Bridget Scott had already answered that question by cutting a brand new rug of their own.

I was so impressed by what I saw and heard that I immediately bought TWO of their CDs. And I never buy anything…

Here is a small sampling of Miimo’s performance in three videos followed by details of JunKroom Vol. 17 which is coming up this Friday. Do take a look.

JunKroom Vol 17 will take place on 1st October at the usual venue Urbanguild.

Click on the picture to read the details....

Starts at 7.00pm Ends at 1:00 am
1500 yen in advance 1800 yen at the door (includes 1 drink)
Students: 1500 yen (with ID)

Featuring the following Performers:

Problematica + Bridget Scott
Christopher Fryman (trumpet) + Misuzu (dance)
Harikozue (Harico + Kozue Sugiura)
Hamah Moh
Sseeaann Rrooee
surprise guests and Videos

Further details and pictures can be found here on the JunKroom blog or here on facebook (with links!).

If time allows I may post other videos from JunKroom #16 later in the week…

Damo Suzuki’s Network @ Urbanguild

Sean says…

The upcoming show by Damo Suzuki’s Network at Urbanguild is definitely one you shouldn’t miss… Believe Me!

Suzuki is best known as the vocalist for Cologne based band Can from 1970-1973 – taking over from the original vocalist Malcolm Mooney following the recording of their first LP Monster Movie.

The following 3 records by Can that featured Suzuki on lead vocals (Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days) are regarded as their best and most influential, and are praised for their experimental sound – combining spontaneous composition free jazz, cut and spliced production, live sampling, ambient passages and…. the unique singing style and lyrics of Damo Suzuki. These are groundbreaking recordings that still sound fresh 40 years after they were released.

After leaving Can in 1974 Suzuki retired from music – but returned in 1983 forming The Damo Suzuki Unit. Since then he has been bringing together different sets of musicians (interestingly described as “sound carriers” ) to perform with him building up a network as he tours around the world. Details about the activities of the Damo Suzuki Network can be found here.

For the performance at Urbanguild the core of the group is made up of members of SOFT: Ukon on Bass, PON2 on Drums, and SHIMIZ on Guitar. Take a look at this clip of one of their live performances – it really has a kind of slow build up and subtle rhythmic shifts reminiscent of Can.

The other members of the group are ryotaro on Midi Accordion, 宮島哉行 on Violin, and 家口成樹 on Piano/Synthesizer.

So expect some free flowing improvisatory workouts with Suzuki’s stream of consciousness vocals floating through the mix!!

The evening’s entertainment will also include DJ’s ナカムライタル (OUTPUT) and Myself. In addition there is a VJ: のっぽぽ.

We’ll be spinning discs until 26:00 if the flyer is to be believed! So…. make sure you have your free-form experimental dancing shoes on!!

Time: 20:00 – 26:00
Tickets in advance: 2500yen+1drink/On the door: 3000yen+1drink
Location: To find Urbanguild, from Sanjo Dori go down Kiyamachi Dori (this is the narrow street running alongside Takase stream) Urbanguild is on the east side (left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo) after approximately 150 metres. It’s on the 3rd floor of New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here is a map.

Thanks Sean! I shall be posting videos from Sean’s JunKroom event last Friday later in the week.

JunKroom Vol. 16 – This Friday!

Sean says…

So The next JunKroom event is coming soon – on the 10th September to be precise, and at the usual place, Urbanguild on Kiyamachi dori in Kyoto.

We have a  great line up for the evening:

Lorenzo Senni – the man behind Presto!? Records will be visiting us from Italy- A description of his latest release “Dunno” describes his music as “…vintage experimentalism of the computer music pioneers and the new digital brutality of fat, acid glissandos and shepard tones in rave style. Using a large palette of computer synthesized sounds and a sophisticated musical awareness he creates ten tracks of beautiful artificial energies and abstract pleasure.”

Also appearing is Ieva (Samuel Andre) a musician and award winning film soundtrack composer who also works on computer interface design. His live performances use multi-layered field recordings that are improvised with creating quite mysterious imaginary aural worlds.

Naked Mozart are the Kyoto based duo of Donald the Nut – proto nerd rocker from San Francisco’s Three Day Stubble and classical violinist Chiko Choko. Expect the rebellious spirit of Mozart, sinister vocal acrobatics and potty humor. Unforgettable!

Miimo are an amazing Post Dub electro beat trio from Tokyo. Featuring Ska and Reggae specialist Tatsu on Bass, Norihide Saji on drums and Yoshio Machida on Steel pans – which truly gives them a unique sound. Expect a high energy set that evokes the sounds of heavy Dub reggae, NY Punk, drum and Bass and Afrobeat.

ra_ka are a duo from Osaka comprised of Toru Koda who performs on Electric Soprano Bass and Guitar and Kanade Amano who performs on Harp and Vocals. Their music is also processed and layered creating lush ethereal soundscapes.

Sseeaann Rrooee will be DJing and perhaps will perform if there’s time…???!!!

Check the blog for details in Japanese!

Starts: 7.00pm
Ends: 1.00am
Advance tickets /students: 1500 yen
On the door: 1800 (includes 1 drink)

To find Urbanguild, from Sanjo Dori go down Kiyamachi Dori (this is the narrow street running alongside Takase stream) Urbanguild is on the east side (left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo) after approximately 150 metres. It’s on the 3rd floor of New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here is a map.

Thanks Sean!

For Gaza Vol. 3 in Pictures & Videos

For Gaza Vol 3 was held at Urbanguild on July 24th. People came to to see speeches, talks, slideshows and video presentations about the plight of the people in Gaza.

The theme of this event was the BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions for Palestine) campaign. You can find out more about that here.

There were also some goods on sale.

And then there was music! The first act didgeridoo/electronica combo Llama Labo were *SUPERB*.

And dance! Sanae Kuroko danced playfully with experimental midi accordian player ryotaro.

I’m not sure what Swiss/Australian duo Buggatronic (Daniel Buess /James Hullick) were doing but they seemed like they were really into it…

Seed, a group put together especially for this event by trumpeter James Barrett, played an improvisational fusion of rhythmic jazz and world music.

And Yoji and his ghost band played quirky, melodic electronica.

But without question the highlight of the evening was the performance by the Raks Khamis belly dancers!

You can see more pictures of the event here. Sean says attendance was “just over 100 in total – a little down on previous events – but we were happy with the turnout (many new faces!) and the performances/speeches were all brilliant and well received!!” Money raised will go to JVC. Sean continues…

The next JunKroom event (jeez – what volume is it??) is on 10th September @ Urbanguild. Some big hitters for this show!! The line up so far…. (with more artists to be confirmed) is…

Lorenzo Senni (Italy)
Miimo (Tokyo) Super Super Super Steel pan Dub Trio!!
ieva (Samuel Andre from France)

The next FOR GAZA show is going to be a JUNKROOM FOR GAZA event! (huh!) What we are thinking about is using a JunKroom event to raise a bit of money for FOR GAZA – so that we can have a little extra to pay the performers at the events – and print bigger/better posters to advertise the event. We’re still discussing this matter though so no final decision has been made yet. The show will take place on 1st October.
Headlining will be PRAED (great Swiss/Lebanese experimental duo). And other performers lined up include Problematica and Christopher Fryman

Thanks Sean!