Hekuri Sarari


A 1 track japan single (4m 21s) — released August 2nd 2023 on Mais Um

Following the critical acclaim for 'Tonkori in the Moonlight', Mais Um's 2022 compilation of OKI's early work that was chosen as one of the best 10 folk albums of 2022 by The Guardian and one of the top 30 reissues of the year by The Quietus - comes 'OKI - Live at Café Oto' recorded during his 2022 autumn tour.

Second single 'Hekuri Sarari' starts with a beautiful call from OKI's wife Rumiko/Rekpo before moving into a tonkori, drums and bass work-out where the groove seems to oscillate back and forth. Rercorded in front of a sold-out audience 'Live at Café Oto' also features ancient vocal chants, intense mouth-harp acapellas, meditative solo tonkori pieces and psychedelic dub-heavy work-outs.

Featuring OKI on tonkori and vocals backed by his wife Rumiko/Rekpo (vocals, tonkori), son Manaw (drums, tonkori) + long-time collaborator from Oki's Dub Ainu band, Takashi Nakajo (bass), these tracks have both a stunning simplicity and pulasting force to them that continues where 'Tonkori in the Moonlight' left off, yet with only 2 tracks from that album featuring here, this set feels like a new OKI album.

Mixed and mastered by OKI himself this live recording captures the vitality of the Ainu folk repertoire OKI draws from and shows the complete mastery that he, and his family, have of their music.

To support this release OKI returns to the UK for 4 dates this August: 23.08 Con Club, Lewes / 25.08 Shambala festival (2x sets) / 26.08 St Mary's Music Hall, London E17 / 27.08 Norwich Arts Centre

Born on the Japanese island of Hokkaido in 1957, OKI is one of Japan's most respected heritage artists and the world's leading player of the tonkori - a 5-string harp performed by the indigenous Japanese Ainu people. OKI mixes traditional Ainu folk songs with international influences as varied as dub, Irish folk, throat singing, African drumming and music from Central Asia.

A top ten folk album of 2022 ★★★★ - The Guardian

clash “With OKI, we see some of the last players of the indigenous Japanese Ainu five-stringed harp the tonkori, where the family act together to celebrate their common cultural identity” - Clash Magazine

Bandcamp OKI has become an ambassador for Ainu culture in much the same way as his father, introducing long-forgotten sounds to new audiences - Bandcamp

The Wire “The tonkori is (OKI’s) anchor and he comes at it with both a grounding in its history but also a rootless neophyte innocence” - The Wire

Songlines“OKI is as much an activist as musician, using his tonkori as a weapon with which to decolonise Ainu culture and inspire a new generation” - Songlines

“Mixed up folk music... a whole lot of fun - MOJO

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