Exposé Online banner

Quikion — Ramadan
(Poseidon PRF-018, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Ramadan Cover artLatest evidence of what a strange and wonderful world we live in: a Japanese group called Quikion based on accordion, concertina, bouzouki, psaltery, toy instruments – oh, and a bit of acoustic guitar. More than half the tracks are original, with the others based on traditional music from Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, and England, as well as Kurt Weill’s “Ballade von der Höllen-Lili.” The female vocals seem to be mostly in Japanese, regardless of the melodic sources. The mood ranges from bouncy and energetic to quiet and reflective, and the humor, in spite of the occasional use of a squeaky toy as a percussion instrument, is not overwhelmingly silly. Most of the arrangements center around accordion or concertina and acoustic guitar or bouzouki; the other instruments carry or share the melodies. I can picture this music being played in a café on a thriving international space station, where cultures mix and blend indiscriminately and the listeners don’t especially care what languages the singers use. It’s refreshing to see how inventive musicians can be even given only a palette of acoustic instruments. And they produce what’s become one of my favorite versions of the English folksong “The Cuckoo,” though singing it in Japanese certainly changes its flavor. While its origin may be outside the “world music” establishment, this band should appeal to fans of Balkan and Middle Eastern music as well as European folk.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Quikion

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kenso - Kenso's Guide to Making Progressive Rock Music – Well, in all my years or reviewing things, this is really a first. The 2DVD set is part performances, part music theory lectures, part insights, and part interviews; this is basically the members of...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues