'To Ki Me Ki'

A 9 track pop album (35m 40s) — released November 24th 2023 on Wewantsounds

1978 was a key year for Japanese Music. Yellow Magic Orchestra was about to release their ground-breaking debut album. All musicians involved had also released key solo albums that year (Sakamoto with "Thousand Knives", Takahashi with "Saravah" and Hosono with "Paraiso") and Akiko Yano (who would soon join the YMO on tour for their first international tour) was no exception and came with "To Ki Me Ki". Having started her career with bang recording "Japanese Girl" in 1976 with Little Feat, Akiko had quickly established herself as a leading force on the Japanese music scene.

"To Ki Me Ki" comes hot on the heels of her 2nd studio album, 1977's "Iroha Ni Konpeitou" (with its unforgettable dolphin cover), retaining its cool blend of sophisticated Japanese pop and New York funk sound. Recorded in New York at Power Station and Sound Ideas and at Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, the album features a glittering array of US session musicians including Rick Marotta and Steve Jordan on drums, Will Lee and Frank Blair on bass (Blair will go on to record with Marvin Gaye and Robert Palmer) plus Fania legend Nicky Marrero on percussion. Two key additions come in the form of synth programmers Hideki Matsutake who had worked with Isao Tomita and who would soon be YMO's unofficial fourth member and Roger Powell, a Robert Moog protege who was playing with Todd Rundgren's Utopia group at the time.

Together Akiko and her musicians concocted a superb mix of diverse styles ranging from funk ("Two on the Stage" and "To Ki Me Ki"), Latin "Uo Sao" featuring Marrero's distinctive percussion in addition to slower songs such as "Kodomo Tachi" and "Andante Cantabile," all showcasing Akiko's beautiful piano playing, unique singing and unparalleled knack for composing catchy songs.

A superb album briming with great melodies and inventive instrumentation, "To Ki Me Ki" is a key works in Akiko's discography just before she embarked in the YMO adventure and recorded her landmark album "Tadaima" in a radical shift of sound. Wewantsounds is therefore glad to bring this essential album to the international audience, another jewel in the Akiko Yano body of work

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