February 23, 2024

Review: Wedding Church + Japanese Friends – Orchestra in Heaven

Ashers extend the German-Japanese brass friendship with an album that is intoxicating in places.

It’s good that Markus and Misha Asher of Notwist and the musicians from Japan associated with them are doing a common cause(s), most recently under the Spirit Fest banner and as collectors of lost, obscure or great music (on the ALIEN Japan Parade sampler for example).


Here comes the cumulative joy of friends: the Weilheim-Munich musicians work with Tenniscoats, Eddie Marcon, the Zayaendo Brass Band, Metamurakandadan?, Kama Aina, and a few others on a continent-drifting church sound, which we still have. Never heard of. It could be a sad piano piece with a groovy drone (“Peace Garden”), or a piece of free-spirited or whimsical folk with vocals, or an almost hissing sound that could come from a dirt hole in the USA, at some point in the USA… 1950s recording on tape (“Higasa Amagasa”).

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With 24 tracks spread across two albums, this church work is truly rich as well. We discover the band’s sound as it was cultivated in Japan, with “Miracle Happy” and “Koyasan” Homta Ta moves around the world and this reminds us of the German-American feedback generated by voluntary self-restraint. Perhaps there will be a split in the European Parliament in the spirit of German-American-Japanese friendship soon? I would really like that.