IKEBANA is made up of 2 wonderfully talented female artists, maki and en. Their unique music is infused with a strong sense of Shoegaze and subtle ambient tones and drones, but in a very stripped-down form. Phases of minimal guitar waves drift over layers of quivering bass sounds, like a wavering light in darkness. Deeply reverbed female vocal mutters echo in and out to create a calm universe between a dream-like unconsciousness and reality.
Unlike the current heavy and dense style of psychedelic/drone that's been making a welcomed resurgence of late, IKEBANA's music is about minimalism, about beauty in space, and about calmness, just like the art of flower arrangement of IKEBANA itself.
Japanese outfit IKEBANA consists of two very gifted female artists, maki and en. maki was once part of the legendary Japanese shoegaze band INCENCE. maki chooses to live a modest lifestyle, she doesn't own any digital equipment nor does she use the internet. While she has converted to using a mobile phone, it's an old-fashioned one. Her musical influences navigate around the solitary period of the 80's, a time when bands like Melt-Banana, Zeni Geva and Guitar Wolf came into prominence in Japan before making their mark on the rest of the world.
IKEBANA's evolution came about after maki recorded her music onto a cassette MTR. One day, moOog Yamamoto (of Buffalo Daughter who were signed to Beastie Boys' Grand Royal) came upon her music after listening to the cassette. He immediately fell in love with it. From there, maki, Moog and their friend DJ Codomo decided to come together to form a band, and they named it "IKEBANA". After some time, Moog and DJ Codomo left the band, and en took their place in joining IKEBANA.
In 2012, Yo La Tengo's James McNew named IKEBANA's self-released album as one of his best albums. Moving forward, IKEBANA will also be involved in a remix project, which will feature some well-known names like James McNew (Yo La Tengo), Buffalo Daughter, flau label boss aus, Danny Norbury, Matthewdavid (boss of Leaving Records) and El Fog aka Masayoshi Fujita.
In additional to making music, maki also makes hand-made clothing (second-hand clothing with her own collages) with the clothing label FLANGER. Artists like Cornelius, Buffalo Daughter and Kiiiiiii are avid fans of the clothing label.
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.