These days its hard to describe any music as “unique” but Aragehonji certainly fit that bill.
Aragehonji isn’t really new to the scene, having formed back in 2007, but recently the eight-member group has been gathering attention online via magazine website Japaaan thanks to their interesting fusion of Japanese traditional folk music and funk. It’s as unlikely a combination as chocolate and matcha and yet every bit as satisfying.
Here is the music video for their first single “Hanatsuoto” off their album Detarame Kagura, which was released on 7 September.
The first half of the song will probably get a mixed reaction among listeners depending on if they have ever been to a Japanese festival or not. It is a modern take with heavier bass lines and a little more power behind it, but the roots of Japanese folk music are firmly in place. As a result it should have no problem transporting anyone back to fond memories of a summer festival in Japan.
However, if you have no such memories, the sound may be a little alien but hopefully intriguing. But even if it is hard to get into, the instrumental break in the latter half brings more of the funk in, and yet it’s all done so smoothly the song has an unmistakable dream-like atmosphere.
If you’re a fan of traditional Japanese culture or just looking for something new to feed your ears, you can hear more from Aragehonzi on the Glocal Records SoundCloud page or see some of their live performances on their YouTube page, both of which are linked below.