- INDESTRUCTIBLE FORCE OF NATURE
In the inimitable style of the Japanese tradition of abbreviation, they call him "Enken". Having celebrated his sixtieth birthday in 2007, for nearly forty years, Enken has been rocking Japan. Never staying still long enough to be pigeon-holed or packaged, he remains a beacon of non-conformism in a society notorious for its regimentation.
WHO IS ENKEN?
istening to Western music via the Armed Forces "Far East Network" Radio, he was inspired initially by the like of Bob Dylan. But after The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, he put a mike on his guitar, got in among the amps and his brand of feedback-inspired rock was born. In the liner notes to his debut single he wrote, "My songs are the musical expression of an unendurable scream within. I don't sing for anyone else. I sing for me alone."
The Seventies was an angry time in Japan and his music appealed to the society-wide sense of ennui. He became a hit musician. But no sooner did Punk emerge than he was re-energized and began an experiment to fuse genres from folk, through punk to traditional Japanese balladry. The resulting "Tokyo Wasshoi" is a classic of the Japanese rock canon. He started the Eighties with his 9th album and a new group of musicians and ended the decade acting in and composing for a SF movie. Ever searching to refine and define his own sound, he developed his notion of "Musical Purity" in which music exists for its own sake alone, eschewing societal influence.
The Nineties saw him draw younger musicians to him and introduced his sound to a whole new generation. In 1996, he composed the music for the cult youth movie "Iden & Tity", a hymn to the essence of non-conformism.
ENKEN vs THE BUDOKAN
Like a showdown between iconic Japanese monsters, this record of one night at the Budokan has Enken reach into his very soul to proclaim his uniqueness to the world.
A massive mountain of 200 amplifiers. A tiny shambolic apartment set. Dying suzuki grass.
"I sing alone, adrift in the universe. This is how you really communicate with yourself"
An empty auditorium. 14 songs. 100% originality.