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Shogun Kunitoki

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Shogun Kunitoki has been in existence since the late 1990s, but it wasn’t until around 2003 that they discovered their own voice. In its earliest incarnation Shogun Kunitoki featured four to six Commodore 64 computers that were used to create all sounds. Their austere approach to chiptune music gained them some notoriety, most notably a spot at Helsinki’s Avanto festival — and also attracted the attention of Fonal Records. However, after a few years the band was becoming frustrated by the restrictions of 8-bit computers, and when an electrical fault destroyed most of their equipment, things started moving. The C64s had to be replaced with something, and this lead to a period of fermentation during which Shogun Kunitoki moved away from computer-based music, and was eventually reborn as a real band with live instrumentation and a new, organic sound.

Shogun Kunitoki’s debut album, Tasankokaiku, released by Fonal in early 2006, stands as a culmination of the group’s long search for their own musical language. Tasankokaiku consists of seven instrumental compositions that retain touches of the more angular feel of their earlier, sequenced songs, but are fleshed out using a looser, semi-improvised approach made possible by the use of live keyboards. The result has been described by reviewers as fresh and unique but strangely familiar at the same time, a timeless kaleidoscope of sounds culled from five decades of electronic music, psychedelia and minimalism.

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