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FEN (Otomo Yoshihide / Ryu Hankil / Yan Jun / Yuen Chee Wai): No One's Island (Mikroton Recordings)

FEN (Far East Network) is comprised of improvisers from Singapore (Yuen Chee Wai), Japan (Otomo Yoshihide), China (Yan Jun), and Korea (Ryu Hankil), using electroacoustic instrumentation to create a unique merging of cultural and personal aesthetic, in their 1st album recorded in NYC using electronic feedback, computer noises and guitar; intriguing and unconventional.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Otomo Yoshihide-guitar

Ryu Hankil-max/msp

Yan Jun-electronics

Yuen Chee Wai-guitar, electronics


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UPC: 5056198930426

Label: Mikroton Recordings
Catalog ID: cd 86
Squidco Product Code: 28189

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Russia
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Pioneer Works, New York City, New York, on May 11th and 12th 2016, by Ethan Primason.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"FEN (Far East Network) is a group project made up of musicians from Singapore, Japan, China, and South Korea who play improvised music. It was first started on the suggestion of globally renowned musician Otomo Yoshihide in 2008 for a French festival MIMI. Each member is an artist who works individually on the experimental music scene in his respective country. They have been supporting each other's activities by organizing concerts in their own countries, and this relationship became the motivation to form FEN, and to extend their network to react with the reality of Asia in artistic means. From their activities, they realized that unlike artists in Europe, those in Asian countries had difficulty communicating due to differences in their cultures, languages, historical backgrounds and political situation. FEN originated from their thinking about not only practical and productive but also aesthetic ways to solve this problem. They soon found out that working as an organizer and as an invited artist didn't help them to sustain their relationship. Certainly, a relationship between collaborators with common interests and concerns was more productive than one arising merely from invitation and acquaintance. They pursue "performing together through improvisation" as a method and "never talk about music" as a private code. FEN is a musical group and at the same time it is a form that maintains unique aesthetics and sustainable relationships in diverse Asian cultures. Also through FEN's activity they explore the aesthetic possibilities of a new form of music which is different from music in the Western world. FEN's goals are to become a foundation and to organize diverse meetings to support other sustainable networks and cultural exchanges among many experimental musicians in Asia. Therefore they withdraw their ego from controlling and designing music. "No One's Island" is their third album and the first studio recording. Here they explore the nuances of the current political situations worldwide which is a mesh of inner and outer laws and decisions taken everywhere and all the time such as visa system, and the gap between official political tension and people's everyday life. All this affects our understanding and expressing, making human condition complex and inefficient. Why human spend so much time for applying visa instead of creating art and listening to each other? The musicians change their instrument and method without letting the other members know. They almost have never done a rehearsal. They agree with any suggestion from other members. They let go. Here in their first studio album recorded in New York they reproduced their attitude to the strange world with electronic feedback, computer noises and variations of rock guitar motifs. All merge into an unfamiliar structure, an ever-changing and unbalanced form. The album trying to add their own, personal, ways of playing and thus undermining the overall similarity of everything, making the reality no one's island their own. It's a voice from no master, an organ within no body, an essential chapter in the body of oeuvres of Otomo Yoshihide, Yan Jun, Yuen Chee Wai and Ryu Hankil."-Mikroton


Artist Biographies

Otomo Yoshihide - born in 1959 in Yokohama, Japan. As a teenager, he spent time in Fukushima. Staying independent, he has consistently composed a wide range of music from improvisation to noise music and pop, and his music talent has spread all over the world. He has a successful career as a film score composer and has produced more than 70 movie soundtracks. In recent years, he has produced special type of concerts and musical works in collaboration with other various artists under the name of "ensembles". In addition, one of his priorities is,producing musical workshop projects involving handicapped children. In 2011, after the Great East Japan Earthquake , he started "PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!" along with people in various sectors. He has been active beyond the music scene and this is the reason that he has attracted a great deal of attention. In 2012, he received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in the category of Promotion for "PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!". In 2013, he received various prizes including the Japan Record Award for his accomplishments, such as composing the theme music for the TV drama "Amachan".

"I use my real name "Otomo Yoshihide" as my stage name. When you write your Japanese name in English alphabet, many people often write their given names first, then their family names, following in the Western traditional culture. But originally, some Asian countries, including Japan, write their family names first, and then their given names follow after that. In my opinion, there is not only one standard for people's names and we should respect the values each person attaches to their name. Calling someone by his first name is a wonderful custom in Western culture to express familiarity with each other but that custom is not necessary in Japan because nobody has ever called me by my first name. It does not mean that people are unlikely to become close friends with me. It is just that calling me "Otomo" seems easier. There are some places with such customs in the world; where people friendlily call you by your family name. I am definitely not a nationalist but I have a feeling that something is wrong with those people who do not only disregard the tradition I am familiar with, but would rather follow Western standards.

For this reason, I would like to continue using the notation "Otomo Yoshihide" as before. When you call me, please call me "Otomo" as before. This will not cause any problems in its use. Until now, many people have written my name "Yoshihide Ōtomo" or "Yoshihide Otomo" but please understand those notations are not my intention. I am sincerely grateful for your consideration."

-Otomo Yoshihide Website (http://otomoyoshihide.com/en/?page_id=4)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ryu Hankil (류한길) was born in 1975 in Seoul, South Korea. He worked for about two years as a professional graphic designer. Hankil was a keyboard player in two famous Korean indie pop groups, but eventually left the groups because he was tired of typical music making and sounds. Then he started his own solo electro pop project, Daytripper, and released two solo albums, A Collector (2001) and Brownpaper (2004).

When he made Brownpaper, Hankil collaborated for the first time with the Korean noise / improvisation duo Astronoise. At that time, he saw a concert by Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Axel Dörner, and Taku Unami in Seoul. He changed his musical instrument and concentrated more and more on improvised music. Hankil has organized a monthly event called RELAY since 2005. He established his own publishing office called Manual, and releases improvised music and magazines.

Hankil uses clockworks as an instrument. He is interested in finding musical structures and so on in the vibration of objects. He focuses on using non-instruments-abandoned objects like old telephones and typewriters."

-Last.FM (https://www.last.fm/music/Ryu+Hankil/+wiki)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Yan Jun was born in 1973 and he grew up in Lanzhou in the province Gansu, where during his teenage years he started writing poetry. He has lived in Beijing since 1999 where he has worked as a music critic, focusing mainly on Chinese underground rock. He founded the record label Sub Jam in 2000, which has since produced a lot of alternative Chinese music. He started making his own music in 2004. Whilst this may be seen as relatively late, his music making can be considered just one of several strings to Yan Jun's bow, along with performance, poetry, writing and curating.

Yan Jun's aesthetic is like a reflection of this borderless, non-hierarchical musical melting pot where everything seems possible. His main sounding materials are field recordings and noise. Esthetically he is interested in sound characteristics such as high frequencies, noise and silence. He plays live, as a soloist or with other musicians and uses lo-tech apparatus, often in improvisation and thus plays a part in the international 'improv' scene. As a composer and musician, he also explores the sonic consequences of body movements, works with video, makes sound installations and writes his own texts for his media works. It comes as no surprise that he has been presented to the Shanghai Biennale, has received a honorarium mention at Prix Ars Electronica and has been invited to the Berlin and Rotterdam international poetry festivals.

With and through different media, Yan Jun is exploring the poetic side of the everyday and of basic materials, exemplified in a few of his works from the last years. Recently, for "Living Room Tour," in Beijing 2014, he visited several private living rooms and from this made a collage of audio and video recordings. The live work "Gestures (Two)" depicts a scene which revolves around a slowly moving and silent figure who is captured in his movements by swarming photographers. In this rather still and quiet performance, the sound of the camera shutters and the flashes give a minimalist commentary on the implication of performing, listening and documentation.

In "Let's act", which was conducted in 2014 in Rotterdam, Yan Jun elegantly links the various cultural activities his oeuvre presents. A text written by Yan Jun about noise and the instrumentalization of noise is juxtaposed with field-recordings and video shots from everyday life. Here noise, rather than being composed, is drawn from a variety of essential parts of life such as communication and social gathering. The work thus artistically displays some of the main features of Yan Jun's music and art. Although he uses a broad range of techniques, he maintains a strong focus and concentration on the everyday and on the importance of the visual as well as an auditive reality."-Andreas Engström

-Berliner Künstler-programm (http://www.berliner-kuenstlerprogramm.de/en/gast.php?id=1298)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Marooned 6:47

2. The Island Within 2:35

3. Islands As Sea, Seabass As Sea 4:14

4. Its Own Flag 6:30

5. For Entirely No One 7:25

6. Naked Island, Naked Tortoise 7:13

7. Letting The Map Go 7:28

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Yoshihide, Otomo
Quartet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Mikroton Recordings.


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