Lost Map Records are thrilled to welcome Bristol-based Japanese experimental singer-songwriter, instrument- maker and performance artist ICHI to the label for the release of his playful masterstroke, Maru.
Singer of songs, speaker of Japanese, maker of instruments, wearer of weird papier mâché masks, our latest signing to Lost Map is a pretty special guy. So to help you all get to know ICHI a little bit better, we asked James and Mark Hankins of Hankins Films - whose video-making mad skillz you may be familiar with for the likes of Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd and many others including ICHI himself - to make a mini-documentary all about the cat from Japan. Splicing together interviews from his Bristol attic studio and snippets of videos and live performances, typically of anything involving ICHI, it's funny and strange and intriguing and utterly heart-warming. You can watch it, by clicking the above image.
Watched it? Good. Being as you are basically in love with the guy now, you can make your way straight on over to the Lost Map web shop and pre-order ICHI's debut album for the label, which is called Maru and which we'll release on limited-edition (just 300 copies) cut-cover CD and download on March 18. There's a launch party for Maru coming up on March 24 at the Total Refreshment Centre in London. If you don't live in London, but instead somewhere further afield like Morecambe or, say, Okazaki, then ICHI is coming your way soon too riding his stilt-bass and honking his trusty tapumpet, on tours of the UK and Japan. Note that there have been a few slight changes to the UK shows - these are all the latest confirmed dates below. Get ready to get happy.
ICHI - LIVE DATES
THU, MAR 24 @ TOTAL REFRESHMENT CENTRE, LONDON, UK (MARU ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY)
SAT, APR 2 @ WORLD OMOSIROI AWARD, OSAKA, JAPAN
SAT, APR 9 @ KINSE RYOKAN INN, KYOTO, JAPAN
SUN, APR 17 @ RYOUDENJI TEMPLE, MACHIDA, TOKYO, JAPAN
SUN, APR 23 @ MALTA PICNIC, OKAZAKI, AICHI, JAPAN
SUN, MAY 1 @ RISSEI SHOUGAKKOU, KYOTO, JAPAN
SAT, MAY 14 @ MANMOTH POW-WOW, FUJI SAIKO, JAPAN
SAT, JUN 19 @ UNEARTHED IN A FIELD FESTIVAL, CERBID, SOLVA, UK
SAT-SUN, JUL 16-17 @ CATCH THE WIND KITE FESTIVAL, MORECAMBE, UK
FRI, AUG 26 @ UNORTHADOX PARADOX FESTIVAL, HAY ON WYE, UK