Tag / electroacoustic

There’s something about fall that makes me play Hiroshi Yoshimura’s music much more often. On prior albums like Green, A・I・R (Air In Resort), and Soundscape 1: Surround, Hiroshi perfectly seized on exactly what “environmental music” could be and how it could differ from BGM (background music). No longer mere ambient music, it was decidedly rich, melodic experimentation […]

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/ November 7, 2017 / Comments Off on New Child: Rehabilual (1990)

New Child: Rehabilual (1990)

Maybe Harry Hosuono was onto something? Mishio Ogawa, the “Trance” part of the Love, Peace, & Trance equation…and also ex-lead singer for Japanese experimental New Wave act Chakra…seemed like an odd choice to be one of the three vocalists for his eclectic and forward-thinking quasi-ambient techno group of the same name. However, judging by the […]

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One name stuck out to me when listening to Japanese label Shi Zen’s wonderful Windham Hill-like compilation Shizen Collection ’87, it was Masayuki Sakamoto’s contribution “Psy’chy”. Even with other, like-minded Japanese New Age artists like Sojiro, Kiminori Atsuta, and the parent label’s creator Kitaro, there was always a high amount of cheesy aplomb in the […]

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/ June 13, 2017 / Comments Off on Morgan Fisher: Look At Life (1984)

Morgan Fisher: Look At Life (1984)

I’m truly thankful I live in a world where circumstances led Londoner Morgan Fisher to visit Japan, fall in love with country, and proceed to sell nearly all of his life’s work to make his living there. Some would say it was a foolhardy move but it’s a move that proved essential to his reinvention […]

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/ June 2, 2017 / Comments Off on José “Zeca” Afonso: Galinhas Do Mato (1985)

José “Zeca” Afonso: Galinhas Do Mato (1985)

I always hate to say never, but I’ll wager that you’ll never find another giant of fado music quite like José “Zeca” Afonso. A massive influence in the cultural milieu that transformed Portugal from a closed-off fascist state into one striving to understand its colonialist role and work towards rectifying it through freedom of thought […]

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/ May 3, 2017 / Comments Off on Koji Ueno: Music For Silent Movies (1985)

Koji Ueno: Music For Silent Movies (1985)

Music For Silent Movies, it’s all there in the title. Koji Ueno, one half of Japanese duo Guernica (the other half being Jun Togawa from Yapoos), takes their subversive take on the era of “The Greatest Generation” to its logical evolution/conclusion by creating a soundtrack to the lesser known sounds of that period. Thoughts of musique concrete, serialism, […]

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/ May 1, 2017 / Comments Off on Alap Jetzer: Eternity’s Sunrise (1986)

Alap Jetzer: Eternity’s Sunrise (1986)

Sun-lit, rainbow music for respite after rainy days. That’s how I would describe Alap Jetzer’s largely acoustic renditions of Hindu guru Sri Chinmoy’s compositions. Attracted to the same devotional spiritual path that struck other musicians like Pete Townshend, Carlos Santana, Narada Michael Walden, and Roberta Flack, so was this young Swiss instrument maker and multi-instrumentalist […]

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/ April 17, 2017 / Comments Off on Yas Kaz: Shinran/Path To Purity (1987)

Yas Kaz: Shinran/Path To Purity (1987)

Originally recorded to soundtrack Rentarō Mikuni’s Jury Prize-winning Cannes film festival “Shinran: Path to Purity”, Yas Kaz’s own Shinran/Path To Purity does well to exist on its own, outside the cinema. Taking cues from the original story of Shinran, the Buddhist monk who promoted a very egalitarian method to spirituality/salvation, so does Yas Kaz transform his knowledge of Japanese […]

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/ April 14, 2017 / Comments Off on Geinoh Yamashirogumi: Ecophony Gaia (1990)

Geinoh Yamashirogumi: Ecophony Gaia (1990)

Deep, deep, earth music from Tsutomu Ōhashi and the Geinoh Yamashirogumi crew. A macrosymphony composed for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in Osaka, Japan, 1990, Ecophony Gaia, was supposed to be the stunning, aural centerpiece for a light and water performance system echoing the sentiment of the venue: “Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind.”

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/ April 10, 2017 / Comments Off on Hiroki Okano: 1987-1990 (1991)

Hiroki Okano: 1987-1990 (1991)

Hiroki Okano’s debut 1987-1990 is startling in more ways than one. A trailblazing stew of new form Japanese ambient and new age minimal music isn’t something you normally see coming out of Germany’s Innovative Communication label. Also surprising, is that for such a fully formed debut, what we’re hearing is actually a collection of works spanning three years […]

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