Wet Pinkey is the inaugural project of New York City-based husband and wife duo Masashi and Chinatsu Ohtsu. Their first album can only be described as deranged Indie J-Rock, rounded out with head-nodding guitar and a few jokes for good measure. It reflects the couple’s varied interests and influences, from Iggy Pop to Janis Joplin, from visual art to hair design to James Brown to Deerhoof to their young son, Shigi. Mostly, it is meant to be fun.
Their band formed in 2010 over an unforgettable beat and a Japanese dish of sautéed potatoes and beef (“Niku Jaga”). The music brings together their separate long histories in music and performance: Chinatsu fronted a ‘70s cover group and a rock band in her birthplace, Japan, and Masashi released “A Soundtrack to an Imaginary Film” with bass guitarist Hiroyuki Shido and percussionist Will Ryan. The ten tracks on that album have been described as “city-urban ambient music,” and were released on Buddhafunk Records in 2010.
Musical influences are called out affectionately in the album: “Pop” is about Chinatsu’s high school teacher, who first played for her the ‘70s classics (Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and more). In a small town in the mountains above Osaka, Japan, a little girl dreamed of rock music and the big city. After 13 years in the U.S., and new influences including poetry slams in California and New York City street culture, Wet Pinkey represents a return to the music she loves and a lighthearted album with rock at its core. She says, “Wet Pinkey just happened. I hope people have fun listening to it.” She wrote and performed all the lyrics on the new album.
Masashi plays acoustic, electric, and bass guitar on the new album, and mixed, arranged and produced the album. Born in Japan and raised in New York, his education at Parsons School of Design and a successful career in photography and visual arts always lived alongside a love of music: everything from Son House to Bach to Miles Davis to Iggy Pop. With this album, he has a chance to express his playful side and his love of rock music: “This was a fun project that happened organically. It’s nice to work on something that is all about having fun -- I really enjoyed the process from start to finish,” says Masashi.
A Soundtrack to an Imaginary Film
Buddhafunk presents “A Soundtrack to an Imaginary Film;” a part of an on-going multi-media work in progress. Completed in 2007 the original intention was for the music to be part of a multi-media installation. After sitting on the work for several years the music was mastered for CD to complete one aspect of the project.
The album was recorded in New York City and is described by Masashi Ohtsu as “City urban ambient music.” Some of the tracks were recorded with no preconceived idea while other tracks had a loose structure; nothing was recorded in a traditional “recording studio” environment. The artists involved in the recording process are Hiroyuki Shido on bass, Will Ryan on percussion, noisemakers, dulcimer, and reed trumpet. Masashi Ohtsu on electric guitar, synthesizers, drum programming, and electric bass. The project was arranged, edited, mixed, and produced by Masashi Ohtsu for buddhafunk in New York City and mastered by Paul Geluso of Riverglass Mastering.
Currently, the visual aspect of the project is in production. As each video is complete, the video is released online via YouTube and Vimeo for public viewing. The project has a life of its own and is constantly changing. The final goal of the project is to create “An Imaginary Film.”