"Marewrew (pronounced: Ma-leoo-leoo / m?le?ul? e?u)? is a female vocal group that sings traditional Ainu songs. The music of the long-suppressed people from northern Japan has been a particular focus of Pingipung's output in recent years, together with Oki Kano who recorded and produced many Ainu artists. Following various re-releases by Umeko Ando, the late grande dame of traditional Ainu music, the spotlight is now on the a cappella music of Marewrew, which by the way means 'butterfly' in Ainu. Attentive listeners will recognise the voices, as some of the band have already performed as backing singers on recordings by Umeko Ando. Their a cappella versions of traditional Ainu music shed a whole new light on the fascinating songs that have been passed down through generations exclusively through song. 'Ukouk' means 'round singing', which refers to the form in which Marewrew perform and record. Many of the songs are set as tightly interwoven canons: one starts, the others join in, but slightly out of phase: Almost like dub echoes, except that they are sung and not created in post-production. The short songs sometimes unfold into a wondrous trance ('Sikata Kuykuy', 'Honkaya') that seems to spin round and round - if singing can actually dance, then this is how. Nature sounds and woodpeckers can be heard ('Hawsa'), and there is a funny miniature in which the ladies imitate birdsong ('Takuro'). Things get hypnotic with an evocative song about stranded whales ('Hunpe Yan Na') or an ode to the Orca as 'Little Sea God' ('Pon Repun Kamuy'). The album culminates in unexpected pop ('Yaykatekara') or cumbia moments ('Kanerenren') with a band line-up including percussions and Oki Kano on the famous Tonkori harp. Marewrew are Rekpo, Hisae and Mayunkiki. Rim-Rim was a member of the group until 2022. Mayunkiki reflects on the ambivalence of performing traditional music as a contemporary band: "When we first started performing, we all thought we had to perform in an Ainu way. But over time we have become more and more open to new ways of singing. I think if our way of singing is seen as the only, correct way of our tradition, then it won't spread, it's not alive. We like it when it's traditional, but it changes, just like our voices have changed over time." * 'Ukouk' is a selection of Marewrew's work from the last 13 years, compiled from CD releases by Pingipung's Andi Otto. Oki Kano has contributed unreleased material and added new versions of the songs which had only been released in Japan. The album has been remastered by Kassian Troyer and is now available on LP for the first time." (label info)
in stock | DE| 2023| PINGIPUNG | 24.90

Go back