Sakana Hosomi started Maju in 1997 with several artists who shared his vision. Since 2003, the group has taken the form of a duo of Hosomi and Masaki Narita.
Hosomi, a Hokkaido native, grew up in a rustic town surrounded by virgin forests and fields, an environment he says deeply influenced his musical orientation. Reaching his teens, he formed an interest in music, listening to the progressive rock of the seventies, especially drawn to groups such as Soft Machine, Henry Cow, and Tangerine Dream.
Having studied piano from a young age, he continued his education in a music academy, and commenced his career in 1984 as a professional keyboardist. Artists he has since collaborated with now count over 100.
Hosomi’s involvement with the legendary Elephant Kashimashi extended to recording sessions, arranging their songs for many years and being hired to play as part of their live performances. It was a significant contribution but never as an official member.
Hosomi has at the same time continued to pursue his own modes of expression, with a vision to develop the progressive rock idea of “music to stimulate imagery.” Meanwhile, working with a variety of digital musical instruments and computer led him to new methods of working, which led to the formation of Maju, the Japanese word for cocoon.
Hosomi continues to actively collaborate with various artists, notably with Akino Arai and Tujiko Noriko. Most recently, he joined Arai’s band for her European tour to Paris and Berlin. On the electronic music front, Hosomi participated in Christophe Charles’s Laptop Orchestra. Recently, Hosomi remixed tracks of KiLA for an all-remixes CD of the Irish band’s music, released in Japan. Hosomi has also taken on a number of music production projects for television commercials.
Masaki Narita made his solo recording debut in 1999 as Nullgra with an eponymous mini-album from Tokyo’s Brickwall Records. In this vinyl release, he paints innocent, peaceful world in which his signature dense, driving sound figures prominently. He has also actively performed live as Nullgraelectric, a name under which he is currently working on the next recording project.
Narita recently took on the sound track and sound effects for “Otoko-wa Sore-o Gaman Dekinai (Men Can’t Take It),” a film directed by Mitsuo Shindo of famed Contemporary Production.
Narita is also active in J-pop scene, with notable engagements including recording sessions with Chara, a charismatic songstress who dramatically changed the perception of female singers in Japan.
Recently, he participated in the recording of singer Hitomitoi, produced by percussionist Asa-chang of Asa-chang & Junray.
Besides synthesizer programming, Narita has played drums in a number of recording sessions. His work also includes music production for television commercials and Web sites.
Recordings as Maju:
Maju-1 (1999 Extreme, Australia)
Maju-2 (2000 Extreme, Australia)
Maju-3 (2001 Extreme, Australia)
Maju-4 (2006 Extreme, Australia)
[Recent recordings participated in by members of Maju]
(with Akino Arai)
Furu Platinum (2000 Victor, Japan)
Koseki Radio (2001 Victor, Japan)
Eden (2004 Victor, Japan)
RGB (2005 Victor, Japan)
Sora no Uta (2006 Victor, Japan)
(with Aki Onda)
Precious Moments (2001 Softl Music, Germany)
(with Tujiko Noriko)
From Tokyo To Naiagara (2003 Tomlab, Germany)
Blurred In My Mirror (2005 Room40, Australia)
Formed Verse (1999 Mille Plateaux, Germany)
Subconsciousness (2000 Mille Plateaux, Germany)
Nullgra (Brickwall Records 1999, Japan)
(with Pillow Talk 4)
[The Best Of] Pillow Talk 4 (Vybe Music 1998, Japan)
Pillow Talk Modulation (Vybe Music 2005, Japan)
Something Blue (Starchild Production 2005, Japan)