Penny Ikinger Japan Recording – “Gin No Suzu” and “Ride On Cowboy”: are available here.
by Walter Price
Austria’s Penny Ikinger has been known for her vast array of rock n’ roll landscapes. Rooted in classic rock, punk, bluesy folk all the while pushing the boundaries of the here and now. And on the heels of a fresh new album, Ikinger has released a double A-side, “Gin No Suzu” / “Ride On Cowboy”. Or simply the Penny Ikinger Japan Recording.
Recorded in Tokyo, Japan, the two tracks were composed with legendary Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman/The Angie Pepper Band) and features Louise Inage (bass), Masami Kawaguchi (guitar), and Keiichi Sakai (drums) from the, little known to me, Japanese psychedelic scenes.
It’s clear that this shared cultural exchange has paid off. Producing, so far, two raw and edging on shadowy rock tracks that would feel right at home on any Tarantino soundtrack. The thing that Ikinger has always been a master of is using re-conceptualizations as she maintains that undeniable voice.
A voice that is as sultry as it is airy, haunting, and potent that has always drawn me in. Seemingly hanging on the edge. These qualities are at her best with these two new singles. Timeless, and intricate.
I asked Ikinger about the ‘Japan recordings’ and she sent over a detailed response, saying, “My new CD single features two songs: ‘Gin No Suzu’ and ‘Ride On Cowboy’. These songs were co-written by myself and Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), recorded at Studio Life in Tokyo, mixed at Hothouse, Melbourne and mastered at K-Klangträger in Hamburg, Germany.
“This has been a long time coming! It was a real pleasure to record these tracks with Masami Kawaguchi on guitar, Louise Inage on bass, Keiichi Sakai on drums and Deniz Tek on guitar. This project was generously supported by the Australian-Japan Foundation.
“‘Gin No Suzu’ is Japanese. It means ‘The Silver Bell’ in English. Gin No Suzu is a meeting place in a Tokyo train station and was the place where Deniz and I arranged to meet Masami, Louise, and Keiichi before we went off on our Japanese tour as my band. Masami Kawaguchi also played as the support act in his own band ’New Rock Syndicate’ for this tour. Deniz and I wrote this song in a rather small hotel room in Tokyo. The lyrics actually have nothing to do with a silver bell but we liked the idea of naming the song after the meeting place of our auspicious musical union with the Japanese musicians. I guess you call that ‘artistic license’.
“The next track, ‘Ride On, Cowboy’ was written by Deniz and myself in a shed in Kiama, NSW, Australia. Kiama was the birthplace of the great Australian writer Charmian Clift, who was George Johnston’s wife. I got the original idea for this song from a photograph of Hank Williams in a cowboy hat. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places! Deniz and I wrote many songs for my forthcoming album that weekend. It was a fertile songwriting partnership. We wrote songs about cowboys and the Wild West, songs about searching for something that eludes you and being on the run. There was a really great sound in that shed and this is where the sound led us.
“The artwork for the CD single was done by Lo in Paris, France. The front cover photo was taken by Lucia Rossi (Melbourne, Australia).”
PENNY IKINGER JAPAN RECORDING
Gin No Suzu – Ride On Cowboy Sampler (song snippets)
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