RIYL: enka-reggae

Label: Jahtari

Karma No Kusari is Japanese artist Kiki Hitomi’s solo debut, but heavy emphasis on the fact that this is her solo debut. Hitomi’s no upstart, as she has plenty of years under her belt working with King Midas Sound (a trio including her, The Bug, and Roger Robinson) and in Dokkebi Q, a duo including her and producer Gorgonn. Karma No Kusari is definitely one of the stranger things (no pun intended – promise) I’ve come across this year, with its combination of Enka, dub reggae, and 8-bit squelching electronics – overall, this is quite the psychedelic tapestry. I feel like this would have been a perfect fit for the annals of the Hyperdub catalog, but Hitomi decided to release it on a label in her city of residence – Jahtari. Dub reggae is usually rather sunward, but Hitomi decides to take you down a dark alley for this journey, away from the vibrant stars that nearly smother the cover. As another thing of note, there’s a track featuring the (unfortunately) deceased Space Ape on here. Listen to all the tracks from Karma No Kusari via the YouTube streams below and see what you think of them. Cheers!

The Details

Belt up for a mind-altering journey through time and space stopping by Japanese enka, 8-bit
psychedelica and mutated digi dub on this genre-defying long player from King Midas Sound’s
Kiki Hitomi and Jahtari bossman disrupt.
Set against an intergalactic backdrop of riddims and soundscapes "Karma No Kusari" ("Chain
Of Karma") unfolds piece by piece, with Kiki's otherworldly tone of voice providing a ghostly
atmosphere that is at times unsettling but always achingly beautiful.
This gritty disc of cosmic vintage pop - entirely done without a computer - includes compositions
by Maffi, the mysterious Tapes plus a transmission from the immortal Space Ape. With stunning
artwork by Kiki herself "Karma No Kusari" is indispensible for any true space cadet.
Strictly limited pressing - only 500 blue marbled vinyl copies for the galaxy!

Price $21.52

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