Yoshino Shigihara makes music under the moniker Yama Warashi (meaning ‘mountain spirit’). Her wonderful new single entitled ‘Saku Saku is taken from the new album Crispy Moon, released 27th May 2022 on PRAH Recordings
‘Saku Saku’ is a beguiling and hypnotic song that blurs genres and speeds across continents. Warashi stirs elements of chiming percussion, Japanese folk dance, chanting melodic flights of fancy, free jazz, tribal African beats and horn splashes into a refreshing celestial potion. The accompanying videos’ inventive imagery adds to this mystical brew. Super!
Yoshino explains the origins of the track. “Saku Saku is an onomatopoeia of crispy sound in Japanese but it also means things going really well or being productive as well. It’s a song about crispy moon, when the moon is big and crispy, people are bit mad, people are feeling dizzy, falling love, lured by the magic.”
Yoshino Shigihara came into 2019 needing a change. The Japanese artist had been based in Bristol ever since co-founding the now-defunct Maloya-influenced raucous psychedelia collective Zun Zun Egui. She then blossomed on her own across an EP and two albums of more meditative but no less territorially transcendent records as Yama Warashi.
“Moving to London gave me the chance to work with more diverse musicians,” Yoshino says. “And I wanted to be here too because of the high creative energy, the diversity of the music and art here and the people who live here.”
The first material to come out of her relocation is a bold advancement of her sound, her third album Crispy Moon. Recorded at the Total Refreshment Centre in London with Kristian Claig Robinson, with most of the mixing coming from Hannes Plattmeire and mastering by Zun Zun Egui guitarist Stephen Kerrison, there are new contributing members, as well as some older friends.
The drive for Yoshino is to get across the universality of her music, to keep an open ear and absorb everything that she can before returning it back out into the world. Moving to London has only strengthened that for her, with new collaborators (Vanishing Twin, Mermaid Chunky, Evil Usses), fresh experiences and altered perspectives. Crispy Moon is the colourfully brilliant end result.
1. Makkuroi Mizu
2. Dividual Individual
3. Saku Saku
4. Umi No Mon
5. Haha No Uta
6. Makai No Keiyaku
7. Doudou Meguri
8. Yuru Yuru
1st: Astral Festival – Bristol
13th: The Great Escape – Brighton
15th: Drawsome Festival – York
3rd: Shackwell Arms – London
9th: Clandestino Festival – Gothenburg, Sweden
11th: The Talleyrand – Manchester
12th: The Waiting Room – Stockton on Tees
14th: Hug & Pint – Glasgow
15th: Hyde Park Book Club – Leeds
16th: Cobalt Studios – Newcastle
18th: Jam Jar – Bristol
19th: Unearthed in a Field Festival – Pembrokeshire
25th: Unorthodox Paradox Festival – Anglesea
6th: The Boileroom – Guildford
7th: The Rosehill – Brighton
8th: Elsewhere – Margate
8th: Valley Fest – Chew Valley
Credit: Adam Isfendiyar (image) & Crystabel Riley (makeup)