The Rinken Band's 1999 CD, Nifee, was recorded in appreciation of the completion of their bandleader's Ajima Music Studio on Okinawa's Chantan Sunset Beach. Nifee, which means gratitude and appreciation, contains 14 songs that range in style from tender ballads to upbeat dance numbers. The instrumentation on Nifee consists of electric bass, keyboard, Taiko (Okinawan drums), sanbas (castanets), and both acoustic and electric sanshins (traditionally, a sanshin is an Okinawan three-stringed plucked lute with a snakeskin head). Hardly forced, this unique propensity for using both popular Western and traditional Okinawan instruments and musical sensibilities comes across with ease and grace on Nifee. Perhaps this should come as no surprise. Rinken Band has, after all, been perfecting their unique style of music since they got together back in 1977.
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