A brief, ephemeral gem of a song. Originally sung by R&B group Nolan and the Diablos, Nyro's cover feels absolutely elemental and the backing vocalists gently sing over the hills of flowing wheat and mourn alongside Laura.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
- Behind The Mask - Yellow Magic Orchestra
- CARNIVAL - Taeko Ohnuki
- Shinzo No Tobira - Mariah
- Heidenröslein - Miharu Koshi
- Rose Garden - Akiko Yano
- Pavement Midday - Rajie
- Now And Then - The Beatniks
- Kaze No Tani no Nausicaa
An 8 track sampler of synthpop (or techno-kayo) from the 1980's. Expect lots of production from YMO members like Sakamoto and Hosono (except Shinzo No Tobira) and some kitschy francophilia from Miharu Koshi.
My standout tracks include the utterly unique feudal-meets-future new-wave of Mariah's "Shinzo No Tobira, and Akiko Yano's "Rose Garden" that just plops itself everywhere.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
One of the major problems I have with K-pop is the myopia of their sound. Whats released in 2010 sounds like an effort from 2006 and whats released in 2013 sounds like it made its way from 2010.
But lately SMTOWN (One of Korea's leading entertainment companies) has finally tapped into the vein of the now. SHINee's "View" is what I believe to be K-pop's herald into a contemporary sound and SMTOWN is continuing to make strides with f(x)'s "4 Walls".
4 Walls is a tightly wound, yet spacious gem that layers on the light synths and believe it or not, actually contains some future-garage/house elements. Its brilliantly produced by LDN Noise, an outsourced UK duo, and places the song in the realm of the experimental in Kpop standards. The song comes together with the ethereal and deft vocal navigation of f(x) (Victoria, Krystal, Luna, Amber).
With tracks like "View" and "4 Walls" K-pop is finally understanding qualitative risks in sound and the execution and product is sublime
Also have a listen to f(x)'s "Rude Love", a cathartic piano house track also produced by LDN Noise.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
- Year: 1977
- Genre/Style: Psychedelic Japanese folk
- Standout Tracks: Alhambra No Aoi Bin, Aoi Glass-Dama, Tsuuro
My mother has a habit of telling me about my grandmother’s signature perfume back in her day. Tabu a sensual, overpowering and realm-creating perfume which is rightfully titled for how olfactorily inappropriate it can be at times (Jean Carles, the creator was tasked with creating “un parfum de puta”). This parfum de puta fills every crevice with musky tendrils and turns a room into a smoke-filled club accentuated with laid back mid-tempo tunes.
Yoshiko Sai’s “Taije No Yume” (which translates to Dream of a Fetus) works similarly in this context. A garden of perfumed sound which (like a club) operate in the time between moonlight and the balmy light of dawn. Emphasis on perfumed as Yoshiko’s band employs rich eastern folk instrumentation to evoke atmospheric gardens of sensuality. Yoshiko’s voice positively croooons over the tracks like exhaled pollen carried on a breeze; musky but light. I came across this quote which sums this all up quite nicely –
“The secrets inside her mind are like flowers in a garden at nighttime, filling the darkness with perfume.”- Fumiko EnchiTrack #2 “Alhambra No Aoi Bin” which makes its presence short at 2:09, is blissfully laced with crystalline harps and tender strings. Track #7 “Aoi Glass-Dama” has a magnificent peak midway where the strings rise into the air (in a Joe Hisaishi on the Nausicaa soundtrack fashion) and merges with some absolutely virulent synths that bubble into sounds from a embryonic fetal soundscape (Dream of a Fetus anyone?). Last on my standout list is track #8 “Tsuuro” the moonlit after-the-crowd-at-the-club-leaves track that treads into lazy samba territory, as its peppered with light percussion and piano stirrings.
Aside from working on her singer/songwriter projects, Yoshiko Sai creates her own amazing artwork which doubles as her album art!
Taiji No Yume