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Shūko No Omit - 秘密の回顧録 / Secret Memoir CD

Shūko No Omit - 秘密の回顧録 / Secret Memoir CD

Ramble Records

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Shuko No Omit, the name of the band, featuring Yonju Miyaoka on guitar and Vocals, his older brother Taiju Sugimori on bass and chorus,and his cousin Yuya Yamazaki on drums and chorus, is a mix of Japanese and english. Yonju told me he came across the word omit while reading an old English dictionary. Shuko (終古) is old Japanese. A word no longer used. One lost to time.

The characters 終 + 古mean end and old, but, he says, when put together, they mean something like “eternity, timelessness, from ancient to forever”
The の “No” character in the middle means of. Like omit of Forever.

My Japanese is almost non existent, so Yonju goes on to tell me in his broken english that someone asked him what the name meant after seeing them play one night. He answered: I make this name means simply I'm lonely... His words also: We play oppressed sound of the soul. I want to make the sound that has been omitted for a long time. Forever. Like a mistake. Mistake is omitted frequently.

As far as names as descriptors go, Shuko No Omit is pretty good. There is decay and damage in this music. And pain and sadness and the dangerous but essential fascination required as you stumble through that damage to the unknown whatever that lies ahead.
The music feels like it is on the edge. There is desperation that you hear from the opening moments. Most of the looseness comes from Yonju. The Rhythm is slow and steady. Yonju says there are many mistakes. The parts of it that people generally want to omit. It sounds to me like a raging fire. Blazing up one minute and smoldering the next.

This is not social music but something deeply personal. Yonju wants to be heard. It's music to be lost in. The melody is strong, and Yonju understands the power of breaking it. In fact I think he does it as good as anyone.

Since the music on this record was recorded, Yonju has had his ups and downs. He lives with schizophrenia and I have seen him filled with despair. He once told me he would never make music again. Over a year of the time I have known him, he was not making anything at all. But a lot has changed. Yonju is now married. As well as making music with his wife in their project called Sayozoku, He has formed a band called Bunsuirei. The songs are quiet, thoughtful, and unforgettable.
He has also been collaborating with many legendary figures of the Japanese underground as well as starting his own record label called Ekkogusa Tall Grass Records. When I first met him he was living in Tokyo and regularly taking part in Maher Shalal Hash Baz performances, he is now living in Osaka and regularly collaborating with the likes of Chie Mukai, Makoto Kawashima, and Harutaka Mochizuki as well as a range of lesser known but equally inspired musicians and artists. He seems to be working all the time. Music, painting and drawing every day.

This record is the sound of a band that only performed a small handful of shows.
But the band harnessed a great power, and this is a document pieced together from 3 of them.

Here it is, as it should be, mistakes and all. - Patrick O'Brien