Red hook launches with the final studio recording of Masabumi Kikuchi as its debut

Erstwhile ECM producer Sun Chung has a new label called Red Hook Records, self-described as ''a place for encounters, where musicians have opportunities to interact with creative minds, share insights, explore and carve new adventurous ways of …

Published: 16 Feb 2021. Updated: 20 days.

Erstwhile ECM producer Sun Chung has a new label called Red Hook Records, self-described as ''a place for encounters, where musicians have opportunities to interact with creative minds, share insights, explore and carve new adventurous ways of creative wayfaring.'' The first release from the Bantry, County Cork-registered label on 16 April is to be Hanamichi from the Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi (1939-2015). It comprises six solo performances and is the final studio recording by the great musician. Among the label’s other upcoming releases are new projects by trumpeter-composer Wadada Leo Smith, drummer Andrew Cyrille and electronic musician Qasim Naqvi.

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Chihei Hatakeyama listening

Hugely prolific Chihei Hatakeyama has released dozens of albums since 2006. Listening to 'Sound of Air' from Late Spring to be issued in April is an unusual experience. There is quite a width of sound. However, there really is no content to grab on …

Published: 16 Feb 2021. Updated: 20 days.

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Hugely prolific Chihei Hatakeyama has released dozens of albums since 2006. Listening to 'Sound of Air' from Late Spring to be issued in April is an unusual experience. There is quite a width of sound. However, there really is no content to grab on to apart from swells and decay, swells and decay. That width, duly noted. Can you grab on to dynamic effects? An album that was more than 2 years in the making, deem all this soundscapery? No, it's better than that. Issuing label Gearbox have come a long way since begining in the early days by putting out for instance poke-your-ears-out quality sounding Tubby Hayes recordings from the archives on vinyl only. For a musician such as Hatakeyama who multi-tracks electric guitar, acoustic guitar, sound effect, modular synth and much more this is a galaxy away from mountain ranges of ''little giants'' who blow in the back rooms of pubs. Pity really because that sound still counts more than we all know, the mantle now taken up by the Jazz in Britain label picking up the slack. Yet what's here is a sophisticated lead-off track nonetheless although it seems as if it appears on the wrong label really to make sense of where its heart really resides. Maybe Gearbox will continue their transformation ongoing since the much more jazz-relevant Chiminyo album I Am Panda and in a few years the release might fit in if the plan is even more to be electronica etc R us. SG