Sugai Ken

Blending native folklore, geographical sound design, and personal ambience, Sugai Ken has been an active composer in Japan’s underground scene since the mid-90s. His unhurried and organic compositions, whether self-published or released on beloved labels such as Japan’s EM, offer nimbly molded and reshaped interpretations of sound. Since debuting ToKiShiNe (Freed Records) in 2010, Ken has produced a steady stream of releases, his distinctive process of trimming, treating, and expanding found sounds reaching a new peak with 2016’s 鯰上 —On the Quakefish (Lullabies for Insomniacs).

With UkabazUmorezU, Sugai Ken delivers an intimate, yet vast, labyrinth layered in heavy fog; the artist, wielding a burning lantern, leads the listener through environments of folklore habit, musique concrete, symphonic music, and the “ambience of night in Japan.” In the curious sound world of Sugai Ken, ample space exists for a sound to be everything and nothing at once.

Sample Videos