News and Reviews

New Release! from Zeromoon records, USA. 
This new experimental album "Zuwaigani" consists of field recordings from Japan, Harp, Synth and Spoken Words. You'll get to hear my recording from the summer in Japan in 2015, a Carmac 34 strings lever harp being played by me experimentally,  some poems in made-up language & Japanese & English read by me, other poems by Basho Matsuo "Okuno-Hosomichi" on the last track. Cover design by a calligrapher Juju Kurihara (the master of the Sosekido )  and a graphic designer @is_marigrafica.

"Sonic Kitchen" is out from ADAADAT records. This album consists of tracks which had been unreleased in 2013 with new editing. Many thanks to Bjorn!
Radio Appearance at Sound Projector.

Also a compilation from ADAADAT, TRADE & DISTRIBUTION ALMANAC - Volume Four . 

Disc Reviews:

Sonic Kitchen 

"Another fine package from Kayaka, the Japanese creator whose delightful, distinctive and good-humoured work has endeared itself to use since 2011 and a run of obscure CDRs, some of them featuring her bass clarinet playing but most of them exhibiting her cut-and-paste skills in constructing new music out of old records, samples, and effects. Her new release has found a home on the London-based Adaadat label, one of the primary sources for imaginative weirdness and quirked-out genius in the UK just now. The nine tracks on Sonic Kitchen (ADAADAT ADA0040) were created in Berlin in 2013, and once again Kaya Kamijo produces a dense, foggy quagmire of overlaid sounds, adding as many layers and rhythms as she thinks she can get away with, before the production collapses under the weight of its own varnish. If indeed she was a cook in a “Sonic Kitchen”, she’d be the kind of baker who can produce an iced cake 30 feet high and covered with filigree icing, producing an impossibly tall and spindly balletic sculpture that apparently defies gravity. Or she’d build a replica of the Brooklyn bridge out of Porterhouse steaks, that you can only eat using a lawnmower. Either way I’d like to think she would serve something more imaginative and appetising than the split hot-dog sausage that appears on the cover.
All of these tunes proceed with the easy-going, walking-pace rhythm that I describe as a “clonking” beat – the opposite of high-speed Techno music or the like, and certainly Kayaka exhibits zero interest in a slick dancefloor production when she prefers calling attention to the mechanics of how each song is assembled. This strategy allows the listener a degree of instant familiarity and comfort, before we’re led gently into the realms of the surreal and the bizarre, as each new unlikely musical element is ushered in, doing battle with spoken-word samples or excerpts from movies. We’re required to follow at least three or more lines of continuous information – a good exercise for the noggin. This time around, one key note or recurring theme appears to be a nostalgia for the past, expressed as old 78 RPM records, including cabaret songs, classical music, and dance music, all cleverly repurposed so as to instantly transcend cliché.
Lesser talents attempting to do similar things with transmuting the history of music into new forms often come a cropper; for one, they use too many samples, perhaps in an effort to convince us of their encyclopedic knowledge, or simply because they have no idea when to stop. For another, they fall prey to the crime of irony, and can’t help sneering ever so slightly at the corny old music our forebears used to enjoy. Kayaka stands innocent of both charges; her sparing use of source material is guided by good taste and an unfailing instinct that tells her precisely when “enough is enough”; and there is genuine affection for the old music she dusts down from the shelves, and she gives it new life in the context of her wonderful concoctions. Enjoy these ‘Pickled Tangos’ and ‘Hungarian Rhapsodists’ today! " - Ed Pinsent - the Sound Projector
"The lead track on Sonic Kitchen (Adaadat), “Dream”, is a minimal mix of looping organ, glitch percussion and electronic pulse. Beat-centric pop music, it seems pretty straightforward. Then it gears up, and other elements, including atmospheric keyboard abstractions, and long saxophone and piano solo samples, are dropped in according to effective if as-yet inscrutable logic.
When “Dream” ends and a jaunty vintage dance sample introduces “Pickled Tango”, the co-ordinates seem pretty obvious: electronica and sampling; play made with stark contrasts; see also: Solex and/or Mr Scruff. But hang on, that piercing whine of feedback is unexpected, and persistent. Soon the tango stops and its just that fluctuating feedback with some recorded footfall mixed in, and some muffled crackling sounds that could be shavings from the Bohman Brothers’ “hard-wired flea market“.
KAYAKA is Kaya Kamijo, a Tokyo-born, Berlin- and London-based composer and multi-instrumentalist. Her bio say’s she was “self educated, apart from piano lessons and brass band practices when she was a child”, and that her live sets are “mostly” improvised. That fits.
Perhaps the rhapsodic piano on this track is KAYAKA? The title “Hungarian Rhapsodist” suggests otherwise. But the other, less placeable, foley-style sounds are surely original. The juxtaposition of the lyrical and the makeshift is nicely done. Nothing here is crass-sounding or laid on too thick. It’s kitschy, but lucid. Franz Liszt yes; Brahms and Liszt, certainly not.
There’s more lyrical piano on “tropic of cancer”, trinkle-tinkling through the mechanical rhythmics of actual-sounding machinery. The lovely “Who Knows Amelia” repeats the trick with looping percussion and a plaintive Arabic vocal. By simple surrealist montage strategies, a helpful third layer of sampled talk helpfully suggests, “the music develops cohesion”.
“Piper’s Rats” is a hit of wonky instrumental pop, with a lyric courtesy of a sampled Dagmar Krause singing Kurt Weill’s “Surabaya Johnny”.
This is easy music to unpick and describe; disparate sounds overlaid, neither merging nor colliding, creating something new without disguising any of the ingredients. KAYAKA’s audio olios seem soufflé-light after the fizzing ideation of Øyvind Torvund‘s compositions (last reviewed on Dalston Sound), and they are all the more pleasing for it. "    - by Tim Owen - Dalston Sound
"From Tokyo, but now residing in Berlin and London, is Kaya Kamijo, who plays a whole bunch of instruments, which includes harp, bass, clarinet, drums, bass guitar and 'gadgets' (which I assume to be all things electronic). A long time, in Vital Weekly 866, I heard her music for the first time (even when there are also releases on Zeromoon, Mantile, Asimtria, Amp Recs, Spirals Of Involution and Neigh% Records), which didn't blow me away to be precise. Long pieces with many layers of sound, but not with too much compositional idea behind it seemed. This new release has nine tracks, and last just under thirty minutes, so stuff has been trimmed down quite a bit. It makes the music all the more interesting, I think. It's hard to see all of this in terms of instruments being played, despite what Adaadat lists in that department. If anything I would say that Kayaka samples the hell out of all sorts of sources, lifted from the media environment (old vinyl, TV snippets) and put synthesizers, rhythm machines and field recordings and thus creates some fine plunderphonic results. While nothing lasts on end here, it actually sounds great. Kayaka moves all around the place with, from happy songs like 'Piper's Rats' (maybe also one of the pieces in which she sings) to the feedback intro of 'Pickled Tango' and the moody world 'Who Knows Amelia'. See: all over the place and it's all very entertaining. Mildly fucked up at times, but that's the world of Adaadat I guess. Would be good to see this in concert."   - Vital Weekly


"Silvestre (OSTROGA OTR-025) was made in Galicia during 2012, and may reflect something of Kayaka’s experiences travelling / dwelling in that part of Spain, not that you would know as the odd music we hear is not especially “Spanish” in tone and more resembles a psychedelic version of gamelan crossed with other exotic world music, what with its quarter-tones, irregular rhythms, and assorted non-Western idioms. A one-woman production, I expect it’s been realised with her intuitive and mysterious approaches to playing her electronic devices, creating percussion loops out of unlikely sources, and blowing her clarinet – which she does with the colour-sense of a Henri Matisse cut-out and the free brushstrokes of a Franz Kline. What a unique sound she wrings from that woodwind stick – if only she’d lived at a time when Rudy Van Gelder could’ve captured that sound at Englewood Cliffs along with a crisp rhythm section. But there may be some field recordings and found music too; it’s hard to be sure, due to the hazy mix and dreamy tone of the album. Yes, it’s a pleasant dream too. Each track stands alone as a piece in its own right, creating a unique mood or tone-poem, evoking beautiful landscapes and nature-visions, quite often populated with colourful beasts such as the “brushcodile”, the “salamandra del portal”, or the charmingly eccentric “cows on a river”. If those cows aren’t standing on the surface of said river of their own volition, I’d be deeply disappointed. Gentle, understated, but Silvestre is daringly innovative in places and emerges as uniquely her own work. For more of her bass clarinet work, may we recommend Bass Clarinet Songs if you can find a copy." - by Ed Pinsent - the Sound Projector

Estol Voice

"Estol Voice / Untitled Mix (OSTROGA OTR-022) is a split album where Kayaka turns in six unusual cuts on her half, Estol Voice, apparently layering field recordings of childrens’ songs, chants, dialogues and clapping games on top of her self-made sounds to build elliptical, unpredictable compositions. These clonkoid rhythms she lets loose like crippled turtles in a marsh leave enormous gaps, meander down unexpected pathways, and are characterised by a slightly abrasive and peculiar “grindy” sound arising from her primitive electronics and more of those wonderfully idiosyncratic clarinet blarts. I like the rough-hewn “thrown-together” qualities of these tape assemblages, even if they are a tad less satisfying than the mysterious dream worlds of Silvestre; there is an unfinished quality which adds charm, as much as the lo-fi recording quality and the generally surreal atmosphere she concocts so elegantly. Unlike SilvestreEstol Voice is much of a piece and effectively uses the same basic approach spread across six songs, with the exception of one cut which features a ploinky electric piano backdrop which, in this context, is about as unexpected as a purple spider dropping down the chimney on a single strand of platinum web. " - by Ed Pinsent - Sound Projector

Bass Clarinet Songs

"Kayaka sent us her Bass Clarinet Songs (SOI 065) in June 2012 and while she sent it from an address in Spain (she used to live in London), the item is released on a tiny Russian label called Spirals of Invention. “This album is simply dedicated to my bass clarinet and last period I stayed in North London in 2012,” she writes. On seven gorgeous and innovative cuts, her woodwind instrument is overdubbed, processed with echo, and overlaid with cluttering and clattering sounds effects – everything from trains arriving and departing, to a whirlwind in the kitchen cupboards, a neighing horse on ‘Lancelot’, and a typewriter on ‘Three Goats’. Truly moving and beautiful music, at times as alien and unsettling as the best electronic tones you could wish for, and through her understated juxtapositions she arrives at a form of sonic surrealism. She plays with the unfettered joy of a child with a large paintbox colouring everything that moves in red and purple shapes, and the world around her becomes magically transformed when she blows her instrument. Kayaka’s sheer love of life is what impresses us most strongly on these instant compositions, and her determined primitive creative strengths make a mockery of more refined musicians with their swanky improvising and composing ways. What a total delight!" - by Ed Pinsent - Sound Projector

Operation Deep Freeze
"Kayaka  is the London-based electronic destructo merchant Kaya Kamijo. We last heard from her in June with One Man’s Hands, and now here be Operation Deep Freeze (MANTILE RECORDS #021), a CDR set which may or may not have been produced as a tour-only item. Actually she’s not so much a destructive creator as one who has a very unusual and personal sense of how to assemble and de-assemble her building blocks of sound, resulting in a deliciously ramshackle feel – one ill-fitting brick heaped on top of another, yet creating rollicking rumblers of disorganised noise-music which roll across fields of grass as smoothly as a broken one-man ploughshare team. Of note here: the title track, with its sampled voices and fractured beat-box haphazardness, competing against tasty synth doodles and guitar stabs; ‘Feeding Centipede at a Pond of Blood’, a jumble of idiot-savant proportions which confirms the creator’s ingenious bricolage method with its mixture of TNB-styled rubbly noise, diseased heavy metal guitar, and science-fiction space drones; ‘Like as Two Palms’, with its sickening use of reverb to add extra buffet to a pair of metallic boxing glove beats; and ‘Vulcanized Ghaut’, which comes across like a pitched battle between warring percussion groups (dub, calypso, rock, pop) inside a fetid swamp of sex-craved Theremins in heat. A surreal and very imaginative dollop of exciting home-made computer cut-ups." - by Ed Pinsent - Sound Projector

One Man's Hand
"Kayaka‘s One Man’s Hands (PIGHOLE MUSIC PHO21) is another home-made release, sent direct by Kaya Kamijo in North London who also appended a hand-written note and track list. 15 cuts of rough electronic music, mostly built around crazy mutations and filterings of programmed beats with random synth doodles thrown into the spinning candy-floss wheels, all recorded direct onto cassette tapes. Not essential music, but it is quite experimental in certain interesting ways; I sense the creator is onto something with this very free-wheeling approach. It feels quite hands-on and has a primitive vibe which appeals. I see our noisy friend Horacio Pollard has some connections to the label, and it looks like most of the catalogue is available for download too" - by Ed Pinsent - Sound Projector

"I was also left with a splitting headache and (hopefully) temporary tinnitus that manifested itself this morning and hasn’t quite gone away yet. Coincidentally, Today’s New Band, Kayaka, sounds like the inside of my head, yet better. Kayaka makes noise, unapologetically and insistently, but noise that, in terms of construction at least, is vaguely reminiscent of that other band who will be gigging old material soon, My Bloody Valentine. 
Muggy Hair is tinny, mechanical and driven by a beast of a beat. Gusty Gadget Lucky Joe is a bouncing bomb in a room full of drums and tinfoil, but it’s important to note that Kayaka aren’t just making noise because they’ve found new buttons to press on their computer – there’s structure and a waft of melody under all that brain-spazzing screeching. If nothing else, Kayaka’s songs will shake you out of any Monday morning lethargy. And remind you of the dubious joys of that post-gig feeling."  - by Joe Sparrow - A New Band A Day