Tujiko Noriko
From Tokyo To Naiagara (2024 Edition)
Includes Instant Download
KeplarRev17LP / Includes Download Code
Edition of 500 copies w/ black poly-lined inners, DL feat. 8 tracks
Incl. VAT plus shipping / Orders from outside the EU are exempt from VAT
1Narita Made 5:06
2Zipper 6:57
3Rocket Hanabi 7:11
4Mugen Kyuukou 6:05
5Tokyo 5:12
6Robot Hero 8:28

Keplar presents the first-ever vinyl edition of the 2003 album »From Tokyo to Naiagara« by Tujiko Noriko. This reissue with new artwork by Joji Koyama is an abridged version of the album as Tomlab label owner Tom Steinle and producer Aki Onda had originally intended to publish it alongside the original CD version. Written by the France-based Tujiko while she still lived in Japan, »From Tokyo to Naiagara« followed up on her two seminal Mego albums and marked a turning point in both the artist’s career and personal life: While she was preparing to leave Japan behind, she succinctly connected the dots between her experiments in pop music and her interest for more abstract sounds. Tujiko worked primarily with a Yamaha synthesizer and an MPC sampler while also incorporating contributions by other musicians such as Onda, Riow Arai and Sakana Hosomi into the pieces. Sometimes approaching an IDM and clicks’n’cuts-style production or working with trip-hop and hip-hop beats while using conventional song structures in the most unconventional of ways, the album showcases her multifaceted influences and skills as a singer and musician to full effect.

Tujiko fondly remembers the time when she made the album. »I had a lot of time for myself back then and I didn’t even feel like I was very busy,« she says today. She describes producing it in close collaboration with Onda, who would relocate to New York City shortly after, as »quite Tokyo and very local.« They explored parts of the city that they hadn’t yet been to for a photography project (finding, among other things, a coin laundry called Naiagara—a transliteration of Niagara). This left its mark on a record that mixes melancholia with joy. The driving opener »Narita Made,« named after one of Tokyo’s airports, already makes this clear: Tujiko’s wistful vocals and lyrics like »I miss you terribly« emphasises the sense of bittersweetness that forms the common thread for a sonically diverse and stylistically open-ended album—this music is looking back while moving forward. It is probably no surprise that its reissue too evokes tender memories of Onda and Steinle in Tujiko, while also reminding her of what lies ahead. »I have so much more to do and not enough time for that,« she muses, before quickly adding: »But I also feel less alone having that album again.«

Influenced in equal parts by the experience of strolling through previously unknown Tokyoite back alleys and thinking about the paths not (yet) taken, »From Tokyo to Naiagara« is precisely that: the perfect travel companion for a journey that leads its listeners from past to future.