International Sad Hits is a series curated by Damon & Naomi, whose enthusiasm for this music begins with their own international tours — always interested in other people’s sad songs, they seek out recommendations wherever they travel.

The four singer-songwriters collected in the debut compilation International Sad Hits Vol. One were originally record store discoveries for Damon & Naomi while touring in Japan, Korea, and Turkey. Since the release of this compilation, the three singers still working have started to tour outside their home countries. Damon & Naomi and Mikami Kan have now also toured Japan together, and Mikami Kan played with Kim Doo Soo when the Korean singer visited Japan for the first time. What started as an archival project developed into a living exchange across linguistic borders.

The single artist releases in the series continue this exchange. Electric guitarist Michio Kurihara is a long-time collaborator with Damon & Naomi, appearing on many of their albums and accompanying them on many tours. He has also recorded extensively and toured widely with the Japanese bands Ghost, and Boris. Sunset Notes is his only solo work, a poetic, instrumental ode to the time of day Kurihara perhaps love most.

Kassin is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer whose work with a range of other artists Damon & Naomi have long admired. Dreaming Slowly is, like Kurihara's Sunset Notes, his first solo work and similarly a concept album - in this case, Kassin's love of dreaming unleashes a wild ride through his musical imagination.

Damon's blog International Sad Hits

*   *   *

International Sad Hits - Vol. One

International Sad Hits, Volume One: Altaic Language Group
Fikret Kizilok (Turkey) / Kim Doo Soo (Korea) / Tomokawa Kazuki (Japan) / Mikami Kan (Japan)

Michio Kurihara - Sunset Notes

“Some of the coolest trance-inducing musicians are living in Japan . . . and Mr. Kurihara [is] the scene’s Jimmy Page.” – New York Times

Kassin - Sonhando Devagar [Dreaming Slowly]

A concept album about dreams, from the Brazilian musician and producer known best in the US and Europe for his albums on Luaka Bop as a member of the “+2′s”


International Sad Hits, Volume Two: The Iberian Peninsula

The second CD in the series was never pressed due to rights problems, but can be enjoyed on YouTube!