Neenee: N1

The debut album by Neenee is by no means the first recording by any of the group’s members who are already popular for their work with other bands. This new project has been created by Yamato from Orange Range (vocals), Takashi from Mongol 800 (guitar) and Tetsushi (DJ) from Ryukyudisko. The fourth member of Neenee is Seiji (bass, manager) who had the idea to get them together to mix and combine their strengths. As a result they are calling themselves “a rocking electronic dance band”.


All the members are based in Okinawa but there isn’t a great deal of anything that could be called Ryukyu roots music on N1. Despite this they were included on the Music from Okinawa 2014 CD compilation which was given away at the recent Womex (World Music Expo) in Galicia, Spain. In fact, I was one of the judges who recommended their inclusion. Their sound may be without sanshin and with no obvious references to Okinawa but they have an island spirit, and, at their best, some of the most exciting music.

The first track ‘Now is the Time’ (included on the Womex CD) sets a very high standard with its acoustic guitar intro leading into a vocal which is then driven along by a thumping electronic beat. It’s the outstanding track on N1 and nothing else on the album quite matches it. Several other tracks come close though and there are good blends of electronic and guitar rock styles on both ‘God Hand’ and ‘Chocolate and Milk’.



All of the song lyrics were written by Yamato and all the music by Tetsushi, and there are two instrumentals in addition to the nine songs. The influence of Ryukyudisko is the one that looms largest and the electronics generally take precedence over the guitars on most tracks – not surprising given that all the music is by Tetsushi. The combined efforts of all involved have produced an album which may be great for the dance floor but is equally good to listen to at home.

N1 is released by Meisai Records




Explore posts in the same categories: Okinawan Albums

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