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LISTEN: Stream ICHI's New Album, Maru
Laurie Tuffrey , March 14th, 2016 11:08

Almost certainly the only album featuring a tapumpet and sung partly in mosquito you'll hear this week

Later this week Lost Map will be putting out Maru, the third album from the experimental singer-songwriter ICHI. The record, whose title means "circle" in Japanese, is the first since the musician, performance artist and instrument maker moved from Nagoya to Bristol, where he lives with his wife, the musician Rachael Dadd (who has previously released on the Scottish imprint, with Rozi Plain, and both make an appearance on Maru). While he points to The Clash, Ramones and the French Caribbean singer Henri Salvador as influences, his album is a far cry sonically, a patchwork of samples, recordings of objects pressed into musical service and his own instrument inventions. These include the hatbox pedal drum, the skip xylophone and the tapumpet, and there's also the stilt bass, a natural extension of psychobilly bands' bass players climbing up their double basses, and the powerfully efficient kalilaphone, which "can be played as a harp, a horn, a kalimba and a lute", ICHI says. The latter features on 'Ton Nan Sha Pei', which translates from Chinese as "east south west north", while '99' is based on the Japanese times tables and 'Go Gagambo' even moves into mosquitoese, with vocals in the style of the insect narrating the plight of the titular bug, "unfortunate enough to be mistaken as a big mosquito, resulting in probable death by angry clapping hands". In addition, listen out for Kate Stables of This Is The Kit fronting up 'Kinkan', a symphony for the kumquat.

Give the album a play above before it's released on limited-edition cut cover CD and download on Friday, March 18, and below there's a short documentary the label have made about the album's construction. ICHI will be continuing a tour of the UK and Japan tomorrow night at The Sandbar in Manchester; head to Lost Map's website for a full rundown of his dates.