Kan Mikami

June 25, 2016


On this third album of his, Kan Mikami sounds as if performing different characters of a comic book. Especially the fourth, title track, makes a clear reference to the front cover, an avant-theatrical piece with sound collage, spoken word and song. Everywhere is an intensity of emotionality, but not always as much ripped off in heart from inside. The styles of the songs can be very different (bluesier on track 1, mellow-kitschier on track 2, weirder on track 3,and so on). The 4th track surprises in a rather jazz style, with an emotionally controlled, different, jazz voice, a brilliant interpretation. The heavier emotional sixth track has sax arrangements, and goes weirder with sax and emotional outbursts near the end. The 7th track sings again more controlled and softer, has another surprise of progressive rock parts with organ, fuzz guitars,..and the last track shows once more another character expressed in Kan Mikami’s typical slightly improvised song style. Another brilliant album with its own kind of deranged normalities.


Accompanying band was the Yamashita Yosuke trio.



Nippon Columbia   Kan Mikami : best album (JAP,197?,re.1994)***°°

Airplay: Tr.1, 5 min

(potential airplay Tr.2, 3 min, Tr.3, 5 min, Tr.5, 5 min) 


This is a recommended album for the several heartfelt acid folk songs on the first half of the compilation. Track 1 is a beautiful folkpopsong based upon traditional with new rhythms and some orchestration. Also second folk track has folk references. Third track is emotional singersongwriting with acoustic guitar. Track 5 suddenly has an outburst of emotional energy in a very calm song. The second half is less surprising, but still ok.



Toshiba-EMI  Kan Mikami : Hiraku Yume Nado Arujanashi (JAP,1972)***°°

(Tr.2, 3 min, Tr.4, 3 min, Tr.5, 4 min) 

Airplay given : Tr.6, 3 min 

Tr.8, 4 min 7 -114


With a raw bluesy emotional voice and strong emotional acoustic rock songs Kan Mikami makes a distinctive difference with most other singers.  A powerful and original release. Highly recommended.


Descriptions : Noise :

"A folk singer who plays extreme music like later punk rock. The antithesis to the sophisticated and soft folk music. 'Hiraku Yume nado Arujyanashi' (I Have Never Had a Dream that Opens), 1972 Includes the cover of female singer Keiko Fuji's hit song "Keiko no Yume wa Yoru Hiraku (Keiko's Dream Opens in the Night)" in the "Enka (grudge song)" style." ; Recordheaven : "Kan Mikami – an underground radical protest folk singer/shouter and actor who was involved in the Tenjo Sajiki and Tokyo Kid Brothers troupes, and by extension, with J.A. Caesar. His first album, ‘Mikami Kan No Sekai’ (‘The World of Kan Mikami’) [1971] apparently contained a kind of folk rock with intense presence and dark, harrowing, ‘real’ lyrical subject matter. I’m not sure if there were any albums between this and the next one I’m aware of, ‘BANG!’ [1974]. It features Yosuke Yamashita’s group and other jazz musicians as his backing, and is reputedly a weirder, more progressive affair, mainly for the title track. This has been described as “a bewildering psychedelic collage of free jazz blasts, musique concrete, tapes and Mikami’s unique voice, silky and caressing one moment, soaring and screaming in agony the next”. Mikami apparently didn’t do much again until the late 80’s, collaborating with Keiji Haino of Fushitsusha for the group Vajra." 


See also Vajra

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