Lee from the TUSK Team went for a coffee with Jim O’Rourke and Kohei Gomi/Pain Jerk in Tokyo in 2012. Ever since then, we’ve been trying to persuade Jim to come to TUSK and perform live but he has always politely declined, explaining he is at a stage in his life where he doesn’t have any desire to leave Japan or his partner Eiko. At the same time, this always remarkably prolific musician and producer’s work rate has gone into overdrive even by his own standards, his already vast discography growing at an ever-faster rate. And he’s certainly ploughing hard at his current furrow – as well as the countless collaborations, arrangements, production and mastering roles he’s continually working on, his own spate of solo recordings, featuring such TUSK favourites as John Duncan, Eiko and many others ventures further still into blissfully displacing territory.
It’s reasonable to describe Jim O’Rourke as the most influential musician and producer to emerge for the US underground in recent decades. Earlier works as half of Gastr Del Sol, an occasional Sonic Youth member and collaborations with everyone from Faust to Evan Parker to Tony Conrad right upto his current ongoing series of genius releases alongside Keiji Haino and Oren Ambarchi show this is someone several decades into a unique music journey and with no sign of reaching its destination yet.
Washing up in Japan after half a life of touring, Jim O’Rourke immediately became a prominent producer and collaborator in the Japanese musical leftfield. Meeting him also introduced us to Eiko, who he’s produced several exquisite albums with. And of course we brought Eiko and band to TUSK in 2016 for a stunning exploration of Japanese chamber pop.
Well, circumstances – for us all – have changed a lot lately and this new format of TUSK means we can now include Jim in our bill direct from his and Eiko’s house in the Japanese countryside. We’re honoured that the duo is almost completely unknown and has only appeared live on a couple of occasions. And wow it’s Jim O’Rourke and Eiko Ishibashi – it’s going to be something very very special.