18 Dec 2012


Monkey Majik. They've been around for 12 years and have been one of my favourite bands for a similar length of time. The group are based in Japan, enjoying success in the industry over there with lyrics bouncing back and forth between Japanese and English; they're formed of the Plant brothers from Canada, Maynard and Blaise, plus two Japanese members on rhythm, DICK and tax. I introduce them now as they've just released a collection album "ENGLISH BEST" this month, packed with their hit tunes over the years, each re-recorded in English only, therefore making it more approachable for music fans worldwide. And a fan you should be, because their sound is wicked.

For the first 5 years, they were one of the standout indie musicians coming out of Japan, for which they were rewarded with a mainstream record deal to release their first major album "thank you" in 2006. And now, five original LPs later, they're still making music together, drifting in and out of rock, jazz and folk elements to produce a genuinely cool, chill-out pop sound.

The guys live and work in Sendai, north-east Japan, where of course that disastrous earthquake and tsunami hit in March 2011, which destroyed their homes, studio and neighbourhood. It's clear that it was a pivotal point in their careers as artists, the event's detrimental effects shaking them to the core. They spent months volunteering to clear the rubble and to this day, the band are ambassadors for change and rebuilding in the area, giving their music more value and meaning than ever before. I've never met them but they seem like such wonderful guys and their songs are a joy to listen to. This new album is the best way to recommend them to you.

Monkey Majik "ENGLISH BEST" (2012)

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