Kuroyurishimai cover

The duo of Juri and Lisa, aka Kuroyurishimai (Black Lily Sisters), released several albums during the 90s, primarily on the SSE label. Steeped in gothic atmospherics, the music evolved from a vaguely pop-infused debut to progressively more classical in nature. Based primarily on Lisa’s keyboards and Juri’s words and vocals, the two often included other musicians as well, from bass and percussion to violin and additional synthesizers.

When I call their music “gothic” I don’t mean goth as in Sisters of Mercy or any of the electronic crap that’s come to own that adjective. I’m thinking more in terms of actual gothic feeling — this is cathedral music suited for Notre Dame. Perhaps Dead Can Dance aren’t so far off, but Kuroyurishima avoid the coffee shop world music air that often plagued DCD. The piano and vocals in these songs reverberate as if in a church setting, with sublime, gorgeous harmonies.

A little while ago I got a copy from Lisa of the “Special Present CD”, a not-for-sale collection of tracks from 1990-1996 that appeared on various compilations or were unreleased, including “Blue Forest”, which I included on the Land of the Rising Noise Vol 2 CD that I released in 1996. The CD’s a short set of 11 pieces, including a number from hard-to-find compilations from SSE. I’m not sure why it’s not for sale, since it would be nice for more people to hear this.

Kuroyurishimai haven’t worked as a duo for a number of years now, but I know that Lisa at least continues to play, with occasional live shows in Tokyo though no releases recently. I’ll try to find out what her plans may be, and what Juri’s currently up to. Visit Sibylla for more information including their discography.

Listen to “Under the Moon”


~ by masonoise on May 5, 2008.

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