The Japanese folk musician Shugo Tokumaru has been a long-time favourite around these parts. Tokumaru was one of the first independent artists from far away I discovered via music blogs 10 years ago and I’ve kept tabs on him since.
Tokumaru’s style is bright and pleasing, quirky and almost cartoony, exuberant and despite the language barrier, always seems to strive for something positive. His last album was 2013’s In Focus, a bright folk collage.
There’s been a growing viral-friendly complexity to the arrangements in his compositions. For this new track ‘Vektor’ a collaboration with art collective Maywa Denki, there are a lot of instruments used, some you’ve definitely never seen before: guitar, hurdy-gurdy, On-Geng Ⅲ, Marimca, Piamecha, Guitar-la slim, Fujibass, Na-Tate-Goto, Voice vibrator, Pachi-Moku, percussion, Steelpan, Trumpet, Water, Megaphone and drums.
The video makes those instruments the star of the show.
Tokumaru has form in good music videos. Like this one for ‘Katachi’: