Track: Former Zun Zun Egui sonic traveller Yama Warashi steps up and out with the space-jazz chant of ‘Dividual Individual’

Yoshino Shigihara, aka Yama Warashi, photographed by Adam Isfendiyar, with make-up by Crystabel Riley

BASED in Bristol for a decade and more, since she, Kushal Gaya, Matthew Jones and Luke Mosse first fell upon the complex high-life meets psych meets Deerhoof grooves sound of Zun Zun Egui, and with that band precipitously in the rear-view mirror, Yoshino Shigihara has, for a while now, needed to ring the changes.

Come 2016, a year on from Zun Zun Egui’s sudden dissolution, and Shigihara had slipped fully into the wonky, folksy, art-pop patterning of her alter-ego, Yama Warashi, releasing two albums: that year’s Moon Egg and then Boiled Moon, two years on.

But the wanderlust had seized her and she decided it was time to up sticks, heading down the M4 towards the capital.

“Moving to London gave me the chance to work with more diverse musicians,” she says. “And I wanted to be here too because of the high creative energy, the diversity of the music and art here and the people who live here.”

A door to immersion in the cultural exchange of the capital came by way of a job at Dalston’s eclectic venue Café Oto, where she became beguiled by the bands on the bills; she joined the global psych choir, with that Broadcast-inspired name, Haha Sounds Collective; made friends with Vanishing Twin.

Ever one to delight in new musics and to digest them en route to reflecting them back through her own prism, the Café Oto job was like oxygen for Yoshino.

Her next chapter begins right here with “Dividual Individual”, the video for which you’ll find just a scroll away; it’s a hugely rainbow-coloured swirl of acid (the LSD kind) jazz, synth clarion calls, organ cool, a chantalong vocal line.

It’s a song about veganism and the difference between individuals, such as humans, animals, fish, insects, that if you cut into, they die; and dividuals, such as plants, bacteria and mushrooms that one cut are able to grow anew.

Warashi has a brace of dates coming up, both in her hometown: this Saturday, November 20th, she’ll be appearing as part of the Bristol Takeover at The Bristol Beacon; and then next year she’s on the line-up for the Astral Festival VII at Strange Brew, appearing on the Sunday, May 1st.

Yama Warashi’s “Dividual Individual” is out today on digital streaming platforms.

Connect with Warashi elsewhere online at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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