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SHINKI CHEN & FRIENDS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Japan


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Shinki Chen & Friends biography
SHINKI CHEN & FRIENDS was a short-time project of Sino-Japanese Shinki Chen, often mentioned as Nippon's Jimi Hendrix and one of the most celebrated guitarists on that island. He was born 1949 in Yokohama City and began to play at the age of fourteen. According to the development of the beat music he joined several Liverpool-styled and blues based bands founded by his friends. He even changed to play drums in between but soon came back to the guitar as his main instrument.

Music releases with his collaboration are known from the band Power House (1969) with cover songs played very unusual and Foodbrain (1970). He was also working in a theatre ensemble for the musical HAIR until he produced his solo album 'Shinki Chen & Friends' in 1971 supported by George Yanagi (bass, vocals), Shinichi Nogi (drums) and former Foodbrain band mate Hiro Yanagida (keyboards).

The cover is showing him with afro look and perpetual cigarette dangling from his lips. This album is characterized by a special blend of traditional blues rock and spaced-out psychedelic elements. After that he produced two other albums with the project 'Speed, Glue & Shinki' - 'Eve' (1971) and an eponymous double LP (1972). No informations were given what happened with him afterwards.

Shinki Chen is interesting for fans of weird japanese psych and krautrock.

Rivertree (Uwe Zickel)

Shinki Chen & Friends official website

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4.20 | 12 ratings
Shinki Chen & Friends
1971

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 Shinki Chen & Friends by SHINKI CHEN & FRIENDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.20 | 12 ratings

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Shinki Chen & Friends
Shinki Chen & Friends Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by judan_maiku

5 stars Shinki Chen & Friends... looking on video sharing posts now, one sees comments like " I listen to it every day; it gets me where I need to be"... that being the case, I am deeply concerned for such people. Needless to say, I can relate.

I'm using the five-star rating sparingly, but I do believe it deserves it. For a year, I had only a few tracks streaming online, and I really did play them out. After ordering the record, I was not disappointed.

Ensemble playing like this is simply not heard anymore. There are no guitar overdubs, and there do not need to be. Firmly, deeply, exhaustively grounded in bass guitar riffs, this record alone dispels any stereotypes about bass players or drummers not pulling their weight. A musician listens to this record and wants to play the bass just as much as the sparse but cutting leads.

I personally do not know anything about George Yanagi and Johnny Yamazaki, but their vocal imparts an essential honesty to the record, and contributes further to a sense of nostalgia even for listeners born too late.

Also, I've been searching for more of Shinki Chen's material and likewise not found it. He's brilliant here, and exercises restraint not often seen on solo albums; whether this is due to nonchalance or a stiff upper lip I have no idea.

Even if this is an album that is dominated by its influences (and that is open to discussion), one can only hope it continues to forcibly hold open the door to interest in this exhilarating period of Japanese rock 'n roll.

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 Shinki Chen & Friends by SHINKI CHEN & FRIENDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.20 | 12 ratings

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Shinki Chen & Friends
Shinki Chen & Friends Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams

4 stars One of Japanese junkie travelers SHINKI CHEN exploded his electric guitar and his friends and HIMSELF!

I suggest this eccentric work should have realized a dream of Ikuzo Orita (one of sharp-sighted directors of Polydor). He might always hope that he change Japanese Rock scene drastically and let SHINKI CHEN one of worldwide guitar heroes. Regretfully Shinki was a hermit and a junkie traveler. His selfish action might sometimes let himself into hiding and make this recording harder. Whatever it would go, his talent for the guitar and his aggressiveness for the rock world both were surprisingly great. Shinki and his skilled friends maybe played together with drug or speed...songs in this album show obviously their trippin' out. The first track The Dark Sea Dream is characterized by lazy and freaky guitar and piano sounds with playing an open reel into reverse. We can enjoy this uselessly long and so much boring trip (sorry!). Wow, heavy riff of George Yanagi's bass and voice, Shinichi's drums, and Shinki's sharp-edged guitar produce a bluesy blues Requiem Of Confusion. In those days, Japanese guitar freaks might feel so cool I suggest. Next Freedom of A Mad Paper Lantern has a style like Old Brown Shoe by The Beatles, lots of Japanese's fave. Suppose Shinki should hope he get to be cool and attractive for all rock freaks. In Gloomy Reflections earsplitting keyboard solo impresses us deeply and other instruments are behind the keyboard. In this sense Hiro Yanagida (keyboard) should be another hero in this work. On the contrary, harsh sound effect in It Was Only Yesterday breaks Shinki's wonderful guitar solo...what would they want to do? Corpse is, as the song be titled, a song with Shinki's depressive and dissipated guitar solo. He's a brilliant player but never a hypocrite. Yes, with the last track Farewell To Hypocrites he could get crazier as a guitarist and a junkie. The beginning part is exactly a heavy progressive song. Wait! From the middle part, Shinki's guitar show opens! In the part are full of his skill and passion for guitar play and rock scene we can feel evidently. And his guitar be more exploded and more speedy in the last part. ABSOLUTELY FREAK OUT!

This album MUST be one of basic items of Japan Psychedelic Rock and ADDICTIVELY recommended by DamoXt7942. :-)

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