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Quikion - Ramadan

Quikion - RamadanQuikion (kee-kee-on) is a Japanese trio offering something quite different and unexpected musically.  Their fourth release, Ramadan, is a joint release by Musea and Poseidon.

The band consists of Totoki Yukiko, Oguma Eiji and Sasaki Emi (two females and one male I believe) but don't start thinking of them as another Ars Nova because their music is more on the lines of acoustic folk.  And no, the music is nothing like Steeleye Span, Eliza Carthy etc.

Quikion's style could be described as 'toy-music', minimalist and experimental (with a small 'e'), with a strong French flavour (as Musea suggest, think along the lines of Pascal Comelade or Klimperei).

Listening to this I feel I should be relaxing in the sunshine in a quiet tree-lined village square with some fresh crusty bread and cheese, imbibing on a bottle of Nuits St Georges.  If only!  The instruments used (for the music, not my déjeuner) include concertina, harmonium, guitar, bouzouki, tampura, accordion, glockenspiel, psaltery, pianica (part piano, part harmonica), percussions and a variety of toys.

The songs include traditional folk tunes from Eastern Europe, England and even Pakistan and feature delightful female vocals, courtesy of Totoki and Sasaki, in their native tongue, which will obviously not be understood by non-Japanese speakers but are nonetheless very soothing to the ear.

It has been many years (too many perhaps) since I used to divide my time between prog gigs and folk clubs but Quikion has re-awoken my interest in folk with Ramadan.  And they managed that without sight of a Morris Dancer or the proverbial finger scarily moving towards an ear.

Jem Jedrzejewski




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