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AJATE – Abrada (180GLP01)


“A joyous and mind-blowing combination of Afrofunk rhythms and traditional Japanese instrumentation, “Abrada” is kaleidoscopic party music.” – Andrew Jervis, Bandcamp

“Fela Kuti-esque funk with a Nippon twist. From the drum-circle hypno-chanting of ‘Butakasa’ to the slow-rolling, Onyeabor-hued ‘Okamin’ Abrada is a joyful ride that merges afrofunk with traditional Ohayashi music.” – Gabriela Helfet, The Vinyl Factory

“Crazy crazy record here! Trad Japanese folk music meets juju afro-funk with a heavy live sound and killer percussion. Did we mention there are ten members and the bamboo xylophone makes an appearance? The drums are off the chain here and the fast paced string instruments help bring the whole thing into the fold. Add some more spaced out, mellow parts and beautiful hypnotic vocals and you have the best mutant commune rock album you’ve never heard. For fans of Toshiaki Yokota’s Primitive Community et al.” –

Available on vinyl LP and digital formats.


AJATE is a Japanese band who plays a unique blend of afro-groove dance music mixed with Japanese traditional festival music called “Ohayashi”. Formed in 2011 by the band-leader John Imaeda, Ajate consists of 10 Japanese musicians.

Another unique feature of the band is the use of hand-made bamboo instruments as well as traditional Japanese percussion. The “Jahte” is a bamboo-made xylophone or balafon with a piezo pick-up mic attached to each key, connected to a pre-amplifier to obtain a loud sound and to add some touch of dirty distortion to its warm and natural acoustic sonority. The “Piechiku” is also a bamboo-made string instrument inspired by the west-African “Ngoni” or Moroccan “Guembri” instruments. The Piechiku uses strings of the Japanese traditional “Shamisen”. This instrument is also played through a pre-amplifier and John sometimes adds some wah-wah effect to it. All these bamboo instruments are designed, made and named by John Imaeda himself.

Now, add to this unique sound some well-crafted Japanese female and male singing and you get a killer mix of Afro-Funk flavored grooves with traditional Japanese music.

The current lineup of Ajate was established in 2014. Since then, Ajate has played in various concerts, clubs, bars, and music festivals in Japan, including the “Sukiyaki Meets The World”, one of the biggest World-music festivals in Japan. If you travel to Japan, don’t miss their show!

Abrada is the second album from Ajate. Recorded in Tokyo at the end of 2016, this vinyl LP release is the first output of the 180g label. 180g is a Japan specialized label service run by Greg Gouty, who met John Imaeda in Tokyo in April 2017 during an epic Ajate concert at an underground club in the Shibuya district of the Japanese capital. The label aims at releasing highly unique and quality music from Japan, showcasing the vast talent of the Japanese underground scene, never heard outside of the country. Some music you will not be able to hear anywhere else!

Distribution: Disk Union (Japan), Kudos Records (ROTW)