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The Water Garden

Em Records


LP Black $30
  • First ever vinyl release!
  • Featuring bonus tracks
  • Includes liner notes in English and Japanese


A buoyant masterpiece from the early 90s, “The Water Garden” was created by Okinawa-born Kojun Kokuba under the inspiring image of a “happy Asia” thriving in the sea-based trading networks of the medieval to pre-modern era, with the concept that various types of music, as well as physical goods, were distributed and dispersed across the seas connecting various parts of east and southeast Asia. Fittingly, the music here has definite and distinctive Ryukyu island roots, but is informed by a number of other Asian musical traditions, layering phrases derived from numerous Asian scales, often altered by Kojun, eschewing typical Western chordal harmonic movement. Kojun uses the synths and multitrack recorders of the early 90s to, in his words, “pile up lines” in sweet and not at all overbearing melodic accumulations, with a desire to distribute and disperse a new energy from Okinawa to the rest of Asia and the world. Despite a pleasing and compelling rhythmic lilt and the use of synths and drum machines, this music was not created as a product for the dance floor; Kojun envisioned a type of electronic salon music, a “light music” made with contemporary technology. This is the first LP edition of the self-produced original 1993 CD release and includes bonus tracks and liner notes in English and Japanese.

Preview Tracklist

  • 1 Kaw
  • 2 Parade
  • 3 Lady with Chinese Parasol
  • 4 Gate of Market
  • 5 A Trip to the Bamboo Forest
  • 6 The Water Garden
  • 7 Vessel with Torch
  • 8 Ravine
  • 9 Dancing in the Lotus Garden