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TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA – SKA = ALMIGHTY

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Announcement Japan Music Review

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA released new album ‘SKA=ALMIGHTY’ on March 3, their first studio album since November 2019’s ‘Tsugihagi Colorful’.

The album includes ‘Ribbon feat. Moral Distraída’, a globally minded collaboration with Chilean band Moral Distraída, whom the members of TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA met by chance when they performed at Lollapalooza Chile in 2019. The song is a new version of ‘Ribbon feat. Kazutoshi Sakurai’, which the Tokyo band had previously released in 2019 to commemorate their 30th anniversary; Moral Distraída reinterpreted an instrumental version of the song and added new lyrics sung in Spanish.

Also on March 3, TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA released a brand new music video for ‘miss you。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。 feat. Hakushi Hasegawa’, a collaboration with breakthrough young prodigy artist Hakushi Hasegawa that features on the new album.

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA ‘miss you。゚(´ω`)゚。 feat. Hakushi Hasegawa’ music video:

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA have worked with many artists over the years, but this is their most diverse collaboration so far –in fact, you could call it an evolution. The band came across Hasegawa about two years ago, when trumpet player NARGO heard the intro to one of the young artist’s songs on his car radio and, amazed by what he was hearing, immediately pulled over to check who it was. On hearing the song, NARGO felt as though “a door to a new kind of music has opened!” He quickly messaged the other members of TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA over LINE to tell them to check out this amazing new artist.

The music for ‘miss you。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。’ was initially written by bassist Tsuyoshi Kawakami, with lyrics cowritten by baritone sax player Atsushi Yanaka, and the track features vocals by Hasegawa and drummer Kin-ichi Motegi. Kawakami’s version of the song was deconstructed and rebuilt by Hasegawa, who added lyrics, new melodies and more.

Meanwhile, the video is a fusion of animation and live performance that breaks the conventional conception of TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA. The music video is a collaboration, too: It was directed by Hidenobu Tanabe, who is familiar to TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA fans for the videos to ‘ALMIGHTY – The Masked Promise feat. Yoohei Kawakami’, ‘Good Morning – Blue Daisy feat. aiko’ and ‘Ribbon feat. Kazutoshi Sakurai’, while the animation was created by Shu Yonezawa, a regular illustrator on Hasegawa’s work.

The video references the current situation where many of us are forced to connect remotely, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It begins with a laptop being started up; in one desktop window after another, the members of TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA play separately but together, giving dynamic individual performances, while Hasegawa appears in animated form, like an apostle who connects the virtual and the real. It is a must-see video that symbolizes the remote era, while presenting all 10 performers in the same virtual space – a sight that is becoming increasingly common in these unusual times.

Just as NARGO felt when he first heard Hasegawa’s music, the sound and visuals of ‘miss you。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。’ will make you feel as though “a door to a new kind of music has opened”. Check it out and see for yourself!

 

Comment from Atsushi Yanaka (TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA)

“It was a real pleasure to see Hakushi Hasegawa take the song written by our bassist Tsuyoshi Kawakami and build upon it, add new melodies and arrangements, write lyrics and sing them. For me, while cowriting the lyrics and communicating over email, I became a burning spirit. 。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。 I’m so happy to have the chance to work together with such a rare talent, and I want as many people as possible to hear it. In the video, the members of TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA were sucked into Hakushi’s world – I hope you will take a look!”

Comment from Hakushi Hasegawa

“This song has an unbelievable amount of light and chaos. ‘When distance and time converge, even when you feel lost, to be confident we will meet.’ Together we were able to find the perfect expressions, and make everything many times greater, which impressed me deeply. ‘A burning spirit’! Wow! Thank you so much! 。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。”

 

 

Release information

Artist: TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA
Album title: ‘SKA=ALMIGHTY’
Release date: March 3, 2021

Tracklist

  1. Salvation Ska
  2. 9
  3. Great Conjunction 2020
  4. ALMIGHTY – The Masked Promise feat. Yoohei Kawakami
  5. JUMON feat. AiNA THE END (BiSH)
  6. miss you。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。 feat. Hakushi Hasegawa
  7. Together Again
  8. Kamen Rider Saber
  9. This Is My Life
  10. Multiple Exposure feat. Yoohei Kawakami
  11. A Touch Of Spring
  12. Standing Dominoes
  13. (Everybody is a) SUPERSTAR
  14. Ribbon feat. Moral Distraída

 

Album review

As a fan of TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA I was rather excited about the new album and of course this album is just as amazing as their previous ones. My mom actually saw them first, while we were at a festival way back in 2005, I was elsewhere seeing an artist and she heard the chaos that is SKAPARA (or TSPO as they are called by fans ) as they absolutely rule the stage like no other. We missed their shows after and I FINALLY saw them when they came back to a festival in 2011 and we went especially for them. I’ve never seen a show better than theirs, it’s chaos but it’s perfection. We were there as press and I was filming but I did not know who to film or where to look.. This band is on the top of my list for seeing again one day. Please come back when the world lets us or I will take it upon myself to travel back to Japan specifically to see TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA live.

SKAPARA formed in Tokyo in 1988, that’s 32 years ago which my age, originally started with 10 members but now fare really well with 9 members. In their ful history they have released 25 studio albums, 44 singles and a hefty load of vinyls, dvds and live albums and collaborations. SKAPARA usually works with different artists as vocalist or even different instruments it’s not a surprise this new album is a masterpiece once again.

With Ska and Jazz as the key factor throughout, each single song has their own vibe, rhythm and style so even if Ska or Jazz isn’t your true thing, they will have songs you’ll absolutely love. Starting out with the first song on the album Salvation Ska, this song is a chill ‘original’ type ska, to me how I discovered ska, mellow and chill. The song is only 1.50 minutes long so it’s a great intro to an album. Salvation Ska is followed by 9. This song is much more up tempo but the feeling is excitement when the song plays. Perfect for dancing. Great Conjunction 2020 is so incredibly jazzy, its not my thing though the song is great if you enjoy jazz but it’s too much for my personal taste.  ALMIGHTY – The Masked Promise feat. Yoohei Kawakami get stuck in my head every single time, it is the perfect song to me, it has ska, pop, amazing vocals and the best lyrics, I dance and sing to this song in my livingroom at least twice a day since it’s come out. If you watched the music video earlier in this post you’ll see how great the video is. I love the color scheme of the entire thing, simple and pure but SO awesome. This collaboration also made me look up Yoohei Kawakami’s music and I love that too. JUMON feat AiNA THE END (BiSH) is a song to dance, jump and have fun too aswell as 9 is. True ska in all it’s sense. miss you。゚(゚´ω`゚)゚。 feat. Hakushi Hasegawa is another leading song of this album and I like it but it confuses me aswell because at some point it sounds like the music is rewinding. Hakushi Hasegawa has a great voice, this song is a good example how TSPO is able to do everything with their music, The combination of the electronic sound mixed with their instruments is awesome.

album goods from their fanclub

Together Again, Kamen Rider Saber, This Is My Life  are next, Together Again is stuck in my head for days after listening to it together with Almighty, its annoying how good this song is and I love just relaxing back and listening to it. Kamen Rider Saber is the ending song for the same named movie, ( Almighty is the opening track) and I adore this song, pop with the ska edge! This is My life is absolutely awesome, this is my favorite track of the album I think, it goes from a happy island/beach ska sound into some fast paced beat with grunting then back into a happy beach sound. The happy tunes reminds me a lot of a spanish band I love called La Pegatina, the grunting sounds a lot like MAXIMUM THE HORMONE. It’s perfect.

The following songs are just as amazing, with Ribbon feat Moral Distraida being the last one of the album, Moral Distraida is from Chile which also has 10 members, just think of all 19 of these artists on a stage. It will be intense and fun!

Don’t just listen to me though, go and check out the album yourself and dance with me and TSPO!


TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA official website

https://www.tokyoska.net/

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA TikTok

https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSsEhUBa/

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA Twitter

https://twitter.com/tokyoskaj/

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/tokyoska_official/

TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA Fanclub

FC PARADISE

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