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Hypnotic four-way vocals
There are times when you can't just sit around and watch something disappear forever, to acquiesce to its extinction. So it was for these four Japanese women who appointed themselves as guardians of the ancient upopo songs of the Ainu people. Ainu culture has been sidelined for many years in Japan, prompting Marewrew to both defend and promote its language and art, including the aim of getting one million people to sing Ainu songs. The quartet's own performances, while far from the most physical, are truly beguiling, their spiralling, repetitive voices hypnotising as they reprise and renew the songs most important to ancient Ainu traditions and customs. (Not that they're stranded back in a past century, though, as proven by their decidedly groovy performances with past WOMAD guests Oki Dub Ainu Band.) With a name translating as 'butterfly' in the Ainu language, these four women's beautiful voices delicately take flight.
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2012)