At the end of July last year, many, both in Japan and among the electronic music community worldwide, were shocked to hear the news that the Kyoto-based electronic music producer from Hiroshima, Rei Harakami, had died of brain hemorrhage at the age of 40. A local music and culture collective pays tribute this weekend.
Harakami had long had a devoted following among Japan’s somewhat underground electronica scene, but in the years before his sudden death he had become more widely known for his collaborations with Japanese jazz icon Akiko Yano as yanokami. He was also in high demand as a remixer. A total of 7 albums of his material, including collections of his remix work, have been released.
His noodly electronic soundscapes are not everyone’s cup of tea, but to afficionados, his music is, like the name of the label with which he was associated, sublime. In a tribute posted just after hearing the news of his death, Dublab remembered one of his sets Unit in Tokyo, of which they wrote,
His set was so beautiful. Each note was pristinely crafted and sounded like rain drops rippling into a black hole.
This Saturday, long running local music and culture collective Shinobi (忍) is hosting a Rei Harakami tribute night at Bar Edge. Harakami appeared at Shinobi events on three occasions and these guys were hit pretty hard by his passing. They promise a night of DJs, visuals and live music. They also hint that they will be dusting off some rare live recordings and video for fans.
More on Rei Harakami
Shinobi #41 Rei Harakami Tribute Night is at Bar Edge on Saturday, January 28 starting at 10pm. Admission is ¥1500 (including one drink).