Tag Archives: Avant Garde

Fake JuNkroom Vol. 2

Sean Roe may have departed these shores, but the spirit of JuNkroom lives on!

Our friend Bridget says,

I hope you have been enjoying your summer.
I came back from two weeks volunteering in Tohoku with IDRO, a Kyoto based NGO. It was a very fulfilling experience.
Now I’m back in Kyoto my dance life begins again with a performance at Urbanguild on Friday, September 9th.
I am lucky to be performing with a very good contra bass player, Morisada Michihiro. It will be the first time we have worked together as a duo.
I’m looking forward to see what happens.
Here is the information below. I’ve been told that we will be second or third in the lineup.

Thanks Bridget! Here’s that lineup.

http://sewingmachine.jp/Andrew Couzens (sound, image) × みすず (dance)

Bridget Scott (dance)+ 森定道広(コントラバス)

Mauro Arrighi (from Venice)

Aroma Soul

DJ Jiro Fukunishi

DJ Rrryyyooo

OPEN 18:30 / START 19:00

Advance tickets: 2000 yen with 1drink / On the door: 2300 yen with 1drink

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.

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 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!

Mitsu Salmon & ryotaro’s “Restaurant Gig”

I managed to catch the tail-end of Mitsu and ryotaro’s performance at Urbanguild on Tuesday evening. Here it is:

I think ryotaro needs to come out of the dark and show us all his handsome face! Spotlight please! Mitsu and ryotaro will be performing next at The “Not A Word” Dinner Show on the 18th, and are also organizing another event (details to follow!) for the 7th of July, before Mitsu flits away for the summer to milder climes.

Photos from JunKroom Vol 12

Here are some pictures from last night’s journey into the strange.


Video screening by Armelle Dousset.

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JunKroom Vol 12

Sean Roe‘s next JunKroom event will take place on Friday December 18th at Urbanguild. I dropped him a line via facebook.junkroom12poster

Deep Kyoto: Your last event (For Gaza 2) was jam-packed. Are you expecting similar crowds?

Sean Roe: Usually we get a good crowd at the JunKroom events (about 80-90 people) The last For Gaza event had crowd of about 130! Thanks to everyone who came to that event. This JunKroom event is going to be a party to celebrate two years – our first show was almost exactly 2 years ago at Aoi Recycle shop on Kitayama Dori. Many of the performers from the 1st event will be joining us again for this show. I’m going to dust off the Mirror ball and make sure I have some Fela Kuti records in my bag. Continue reading

Zac Baran

I first met Yoshida Koichi in the music bar Hawkwind. A shakuhachi player, he told me he plays in many styles, not just traditional, but jazz, folk, avant garde, new age, pretty much anything. In Hawkwind we were listening to some hip-hop. “How about this then?” I challenged him with a grin. And do you know, he stood up immediately, he played, and it was wonderful. I was very impressed (not least because he had obviously had a few). Koichi is still but a student of shakuhachi though, so he supports himself by working part-time at the jazz cafe, bar and diner Zac Baran. I decided to go and visit him there in the New Year.

Zac Baran, is listed in 新版 京都音楽空間 (Kyoto Music Spot Guide) as one of the “legendary places” of Kyoto. It first opened in 1977 during Kyoto’s jazz boom along with other great jazz cafes like Yamatoya and Lush Life Zac Baran is not so strict about the jazz as those other locations though.  In the entryway you will find a stash of over 2000 old vinyl records that includes blues and latin music and the current management are clearly not averse to a bit of rock guitar too. When I visited I found myself watching DVDs of The Police, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Nirvana on the big screen. Not what I was expecting! Among the succession of owners Zac Baran has had over the years, one was clearly a fan of the  Freak Brothers as their images are all over the walls.  I asked current owner Nakano Koji what kind of people come here now. “We get musicians, not so many salarymen… students from the nearby university… doctors and nurses from the nearby hospital…”
“And maybe a few patients too!” quipped regular customer Kikuchi Yousuke. He himself is a jazz pianist.  “Why don’t Koichi and I play a little something for you?” he said and so they gave an impromptu performance which you can see at the end of this post.  First here are some pictures to give you a flavour of the place:

The drinks menu here is reasonably priced. A draft beer will cost you ¥600. Spirits and cocktails cost between ¥600 – ¥750. They also have coffee and soft drinks. Food is cheap too and they have a big range of dishes to choose from (on an English menu!): pizza, curry, noodles, stir fries, quiche, etc. Live music events are frequent, and the space can be rented for parties. As for the atmosphere? It’s a dimly lit but friendly place in which to meet interesting and sometimes very talented people. Zac Baran means frank speech or straight talking, and that being its guiding principal, this is a place where you can relax and freely speak your mind.
Zac Baran is on the north side of Marutamachi a short walk east of Higashioji Dori. Here is a most convenient map. Open everyday 18:00 ~ 04:00.
Tel: 075-751-9748
Here’s that video for you:

Next post: The curiously named Sheep’s Public Cafe.

In Search of… Vinyl

I have previously written about the record shop Prototype, managed by my good friend Yoshida-kun but I’ve been thinking it’s time I added a few more Kyoto record shops to the list. I asked friend and collector Nana H. (that’s her on the left spinning discs at Joao) to give me some pointers and she recommended the following stores.


A pure, minimalist store without much decoration, this place is very neat and tidy compared to some of the other record stores in town. Genres include: Blues, Gospel, Alternative, New Wave, Progressive Rock, Reggae, Ska, World music and Jazz. Says Nana: “Most of the stuff here isn’t new, maybe up to the 80’s, or if Hip-Hop then the 90’s. This is where you come if you want to know where the new stuff comes from.” Bootsy’s is on the 3rd floor of the Takase building on the south side of Sanjo, west of the bridge, about two doors down from the Lawson’s convenience store. Here is a map.
Open 12:00 – 20:00 seven days a week. Tel: 075-231-5078

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