Samuel Cockedey has produced a number of absolutely breathtaking time-lapse videos of Tokyo and other places in Japan. Android Dreams, which was published last year, sets evening and nighttime shots of central Tokyo against the soundtrack to Blade Runner. The end result is fantastic.
Archive for the ‘Music’ Category
Fact is a Tokyo-area band described as “post-hardcore” that has been recording since the late 1990s. In addition to their hard-driving sound, blending sung and screamed lyrics (typically on the subjects of alienation and lost love), all backed by intense drum rhythms, Fact is also notable for doing nearly all of their lyrics in English.
This version of Rise is a remix by electronic and house musician Steve Aoki of one of the tracks from Fact’s self-titled 2009 album. The Noh masks are a recurring theme through many of the group’s other videos, and are frequently used by the band members to hide their faces in their videos.
This song could almost be called a Steve Aoki piece featuring Fact, as the only link between this version and the original is the single repeated lyric that appears in both. The Fact version below is extremely different, though also quite good, and is more representative of the band’s style.
To promote the new iPhone / iPad app Fresh Push Play, breakbeat duo Hifana spend a day wandering around Tokyo searching for sounds to record, then turning it into a performance aboard a nighttime party boat in Tokyo Harbor.
This week’s music selection comes from jazz singer Mayumi Kojima’s 2003 album, Ai no Poltergeist. Although I first encountered her work right around the time of her 1995 debut, her instrumental and vocal styling (not to mention the retro cover art on the CD) tricked me into thinking she had recorded it back in the 60s.
Unlike her earlier albums, which showed a strong influence from European jazz and Berthold Brecht cabarets, Ai no Poltergeist has a more of a Latin feel, yet still sounds as though it’s coming from several decades ago. This is 恋はサイケデリック (Koi wa saikederikku, Love is Psychedelic).
As a bonus, here’s a video of her first single, 結婚相談所 (Kekkon soudansho, or Matrimonial Agency)
Hifana is (as best as I can tell) a Tokyo-based hip-hop duo consisting of DJs KeizoMachine (Keizo Fukuda) and Juicy (Jun Miyata). They released their first album as a duo in 2000, after doing extensive collaboration work with Yamatsuka Eye (the front man for The Boredoms, and the subject of my last entry). They have since released a sizable body of work both on their own and partnered with other artists, in which they frequently combine classical and folk instruments with sampled effects.
In this piece, titled Wamono (released on their Channel H album in 2005) they incorporate Okinawan folk instruments with some cool beats to create a high energy sound, paired here with a video about a pair of fishermen venturing out into a typhoon.
Experimental rock band Boredoms (also known as V∞redoms), lead by vocalist and visual artist Yamantaka Eye (who also goes by the names Yamataka Eye, Yamatsuka Eye, 山塚アイ, and eYe, among others) perform their high-intensity percussion piece Boadrum at the Forum London in November of 2010.
Boadrum isn’t so much a single piece as a performance concept, with the drummers and other percussionists each triggering various ambient effects through their motion and playing, with Yamantaka himself adding his own vocals.
Below, they perform Boadrum 111 (so named because of the 111 drummers gathered together for the performance, as well as the fact that the performance took place on November 11, 2011) at Byron Bay, Australia.
Today’s music of the day is Spiritual State, an instrumental ambient jazz-hip hop piece by composer and DJ Nujabes from the posthumous 2011 album of the same name. Fellow DJ Uyama Hiroto (composer of recent Final Fantasy scores) provides additional work on this piece.
Nujabes (real name Jun Seba) gained recognition in the international hip hop community for his unique blending of rhythm tracks with atmospheric jazz into serenely meditative creations, and he spent a good deal of time in the US collaborating with American artists. Sadly, in 2010 he died in a car accident in Shibuya Ward in Tokyo at the age of 36. He left behind a number of unpublished tracks at his Hydeout Productions studio, and after being finished by his friends and fellow artists they were released as this album.