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Shogun Kunitoki biography
The Helsinki based instrumental quartet, Shogun Kunitoki, started its life in 1998, creating music with Commodore 64 computers and gradually outgrew that phaze into a real band with live instrumentation. They released their first album, Tasankokaiku, in 2006 and their sophomore album, Vinonaamakasio, in 2009, both through Finnish label, Fonal.
Their sound is best described in their label's band page:
"Elements borrowed from 50´s electronic pioneers, 60´s psychedelia and minimalism, 70´s experimentalism and 90´s revivalism come together in concise instrumental compositions built on rhythmic interplay between simple repetitive motifs and between the players. Rejecting the cold bleakness of the digital domain, Shogun Kunitoki choose to craft their sounds using worn analog equipment in order to give electronic music human warmth, a soul."

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Vinonaamakasio [Vinyl]Vinonaamakasio [Vinyl]
Fonal 2009
$27.19 (used)
Fonal 2006
$4.38 (used)
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 Vinonaamakasio by SHOGUN KUNITOKI album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 2 ratings

Shogun Kunitoki Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars How to describe the instrumental music of this obscure Finnish band with a Japanese name? To say it's psychedelic mixture of hectic, percussive space rock and electronic music feels hopelessly insufficient. Words like crazy or hypnotic may capture some of its essence. The sound is totally unique, created by synths, percussion, recorder, piano, electric harpsichord, sitar, theremin and other devices. One comparison could be the Düsseldorf branch of Krautrock, ie. bands such as Kraftwerk, NEU! or Cluster. But no, none of them is quite like this.

It's very open and undetermined what kind of emotions or associations the listener will get, since the music stays very abstract all the time, and the track titles give no guidance either. One can's say whether it's cold, gloomy and disturbing, or the opposite, funny, looney, tongue-in-cheek, even refreshing in its overdose of energy and innovation. The tempo is mostly quite fast and the percussion is merciless, but again to say this feels partly misguiding. I'm wondering why I get any pleasure of this seemingly idiotic bastard of music. Hell, it has something in common with Zeuhl (the branch of prog I've never felt much sympathy for) - or has it? I'm still too unexperienced with Zeuhl to be sure.

I guess it all comes down to the sound which is so cleverly constructed. Especially I like the semblance of church organ, reminiscent of some early Klaus Schulze stuff. One track happens to be called 'Holvikirkko' (Cathedral). The other titles, mostly made-up names of persons or places, don't make much sense which is of course the point. Vinonaamakasio??? Oblique Face Kalkulator? (Kasio is a non-existent word whereas Casio, as you know, is a calculator brand.) What about the cover design? An interesting mixture of digital abstraction and green flora. Schulze, Edgar Froese and also Brian Eno have had something similar. Perhaps they're more or less in the same page of the whole musical Atlas with Shogun Kunitoki, but at least Eno has never been this manic.

35 minutes go with a blink of an eye (unless it's an endless torture or yawn, depending on the listener). What was that? Did I really enjoy it? I press PLAY once more and jump again into the carousel.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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