Ai Ga Nakucha Ne

A 11 track japan album (37m 9s) — released January 26th 2024 on Wewantsounds

'Ai Ga Nakucha Ne' ('there must be love' in Japanese) is Akiko Yano's 6th studio album and follows 'Tadaima' in 1981. It continues exploring the electro-pop sound of its predecessor, hot on the heels of her touring with Yellow Magic Orchestra between 1979 and 1980. For this album, Akiko decided to try something new; she enrolled English fellow musicians Mick Karn, Steve Jansen and David Sylvian from Japan and booked the Air Studios in London under the supervision of engineer Steve Nye. Over a couple of weeks, the musicians created a fascinating soundscape full of catchy pop tunes, sung in both Japanese and English. Reminiscing about the studio sessions, Steve Jansen notes "Our music's different but we maybe had a similar process of working. It was a great environment because the studio was a great place to work. It was very insular. There were four studios and there were always groups working in there 24/7."

The eleven tracks featured on "Ai Ga Nakucha Ne," mostly composed by Akiko - are a great collection of catchy tunes featuring her distinctive vocals and accompanied by the Japan musicians. As Akiko explains about the creative process, "I didn't think to imitate or to make another Tin Drum. But I had Steve Jansen and Mick Karn, these excellent musicians. They were eager to understand the songs, then they put in everything they had. I knew the material was different from what they usually played in Japan. But it was a great experience working with them.

There are many highlights on the album, from the pop edge of "Aisuru Hito Yo" to the avant groove of "Another Wedding Song", each song is memorable and the album ends with the superb "Good Night" sung by Akiko and David Sylvian.

The original 1982 LP release included a 24 page booklet featuring many photos by Pennie Smith and Japanese photographer Bishin Jumonji. The booklet is reproduced in its entirety here and the album on top of contributions by Mac DeMarco, a longtime fan of the album, Akiko and Steve Jansen making this release of 'Ai Ga Nakucha Ne' a unique testament to Akiko Yano's greatness.

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