Dear Customer and friend of the Far Side,
You might have noticed we didn’t send our newsletter out last month. Apologies for that, and reasons why are at the end of this message.
We’ll start off in Japan with four albums of ‘New Wave Traditional Music’ from the last four decades- charting this movement of contemporary compositions performed on koto and other traditional instruments in a often minimalist style. Available separately or together as a package.
Going back to the 1980s, we’ve always enjoyed the Obon festival from Kansai, Kawachi Ondo and it’s various incarnations. Here’s a couple of entertaining Kawachi Ondo meets dub and reggae albums with videos to watch.
From Amami island in the deep south of Japan is a brilliant album by Takao Morishima, who plays the local harp called a tategoto and sings with a rasping, bluesy voice. Again, check out the video.
Respect Records is a Japanese label we have worked with for many years, including recording and licensing many titles for them. This year they celebrate their 20 Year Anniversary, and have a compilation out for which I’ve written some liner notes for.
One of the artists Respect has released is Soul Flower Union and Mononoke Summit, whose Takashi Nakagawa has a new solo album out. Here’s the album trailer.
From the rest of Asia are two female singers; a nice, evocative album of 60s Indonesian kroncong by Mariati (have a listen here) and 70s Thai morlam/lukthung from Hongthong Dao-Udon that comes with English notes. You can have a listen to this one too.
There were no Far Side Radio shows either during October, the last show being from end of September with new releases. If you missed it you can listen via the Far Side web site or on Mixcloud below.
I’ll be starting the live shows on Resonance 104.4fm from 12 noon from next week Wednesday on FM in London or streaming via resonancefm.com
Now for the reasons for our relative inactivity over the last couple of months.
Far Side Music has for the last six years or so, been run from our family home. My Dad and I pooled resources together to covert the upstairs with a loft extension (where the office is) and create separate living areas upstairs for myself and family (3 young children) and downstairs for my ageing yet fit father. It has worked brilliantly, just about managing to balance work, family life and looking after my Dad.
However, the last few months my Dad’s health deteriorated and after having numerous tests, he was eventually diagnosed with cancer. After initially looking after him on my own, we got a lot of help from the local hospice, district nurses and carers. However, my time has been spent virtually 24/7 looking after him these last weeks as his health deteriorated rapidly. Early Wednesday morning he finally succumbed.
All of this has meant your orders might have been received later than usual, although fortunately I have help with processing orders. What I haven’t been able to delegate is adding new releases and writing the blurb for them, hence the lack of new releases recently, and responding to email enquiries. I’m still going to be busy in the coming weeks but I hope to have a bit more time. Apologies if you have waited for your order or for a response.
We’ll be along with the next edition of this newsletter in about a month’s time.
All the best