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Kishi Bashi will release a new album ‘Omoiyari’ via Joyful Noise Recordings (Deerhoof, Why?, Tim Kinsella) on May 31, 2019. The fourth album from Athens, Georgia native K Ishibashi, it follows acclaimed previous releases ‘151a’, ‘Lighgt’ and 2016’s ‘Sonderlust’. The release of ‘Omoiyari’ will be accompanied by soon-to-be-announced UK live shows from Kishi, with a companion documentary film of the same title also due for release in 2020.
Imagine being forced from your home. Imagine being sent to a prison camp with no trial, and no promise of release. Imagine all this happened simply because of the language you speak, the colour of your skin, or the roots of your family tree. For over 120,000 Japanese-Americans this became a terrifying reality during World War II, when - in the wake of the Pearl Harbour attack - President Roosevelt established the War Relocation Authority to deprive all citizens of Japanese descent of their possessions and land, taking them into enforced custody in internment camps sited across California, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Kansas for the duration of the conflict.
It is this deeply unsettling reality that Kishi Bashi now reckons with across his upcoming album, ‘Omoiyari’. Taking its title from a Japanese word whose meaning equates to cultivating a sense of empathy and compassion towards others, the record intersects with an equally disturbing present tense for Ishibashi, whose Japanese parents originally came to the USA as first generation immigrants in the wake of WWII. “I was shocked when I saw white supremacy really starting to show its teeth again recently in America,” says Kishi. “As a minority I felt very insecure for the first time in my adult life in this country. I think that was the real trigger for this project.”