I C H I m u s i c i a n , a r t i s t , i n v e n t o r
"It`s the kind of idiosyncrasy that cult fan-bases are built on, and you can`t help but feel it could`t have come from anywhere but the land of the rising sun" Venue Magazine
ICHI, from Nagoya in Japan takes the notion of a one-man band to new limits, combining his handmade instrument inventions with steel-drum, ping-pong balls, tape-loops, xylophone, double bass and trumpet, all in the space of one short set. Somehow there's an ancient, ritualistic feel to his performances. He's like the misplaced leader of a tribe and perhaps he will be - it's this kind of energy and innovation which inspires a cult following. To see ICHI live is to witness something so playful and unusual you get the feeling that you're experiencing something entirely new. It`s fun, it`s danceable, it`s exciting. His 2nd album Memo, recorded onto analogue 4-track tape recorder and released in Japan, combines the raucous energy of street music in west Africa, the pastoral reflectiveness of goat-herders, and the humour of monty python, and is driven with energy, quirkiness, and his playful manipulation of the mundane.
Having toured extensively as a solo artist in Japan, the UK and Europe, playing at many festivals including Greenman Festival, No Direction Home and Glastonbury Festival (where he received a standing ovation), ICHI has been steadily building a strong and loyal fan-base, and it is unsurprising many notable characters have shown an interest in him, both as recording artist and live performer. He is championed by Tom Robinson, Lauren Lavern, Deerhoof (who invited him to play at their event The Wordless Music Series) and both London`s Bandstand Busking and Paris` the Cargo Sessions (who have filmed a series of videos of him). In Japan he has shared the stage with Shugo Tokumaru, Tennis Coats and Asa-Chang & Junrayamong many others, and has had an animation made based on his character for NHK (BBC equivalent), as well as recently making TV appearances on NHK.
Live in Nagoya
ICHI performing WAN at RAFT, Tokyo, Japan
ICHI has released his music on Japanese Indy label Coup and has two self-releases under his ambient side-project named Flyhoop. These are analogue site-specific live recordings with a changing roster of collaborators, and when performed live it is to a backdrop of his cine film. He is also a long-standing member of the much celebrated Nagoya newwave band Nohshintoh.
Noshintoh (ICHI`S newwave band)
As well as a musician ICHI is a practicing and exhibiting artist and film-maker, and is usually seen with a cine camera in his hand, or his hands rooting through Bristol skips for materials for his musical and sculptural inventions, or his hands in the earth. Last summer he made a human sized interactive earth xylophone at Bristol`s Forage Festival organized by Qu Junktions. This May he exhibited for his 5th time in Japan with a sculptural tower of found objects and a hand-sculpted society of bizarre men from off cuts of shoe rubber. This June he has been exhibiting with fellow musicians-come-artists such as Francois Marry (Francois and the Atlas Mountains - Domino), Alessi`s Ark (Bella Union), Kate Stables (This is The Kit - Brasslands) and Rachael Dadd (Broken Sound), for the show `D.I.Y Is All You Need` at Utrophia in South London.