Saturday, 29 September 2007

Kaneko Jutok - Endless Ruins
(Japan, 2001)

1. Endless Ruins
2. Milky Light
3. Staring at Blood
4. The Everlasting Labyrinth
5. Buried Memories
6. Longing For the Ray

Friday, 28 September 2007

Mainliner - Psychedelic Polyhedron
(Japan, 2004)

1. Show the Cloven Hoof (Part 1-6: Clot, Totem, Pueblo, Mass, Gara, Dervish)
2. Cardinal Virtues
3. Solid Static

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Iannis Xenakis - Persepolis + Remixes

"Titled Persepolis, in honor of the location in which it was to be performed, Xenakis composed a fifty-six minute, eight-track tape piece of musique concrète for the occasion. According to his former student James Harley's The Music of Iannis Xenakis (Routledge), Persepolis was broadcast out of 59 loudspeakers strategically placed amongst the audience, while lasers and spotlights created luminous patterns, evoking the Zoroastrian belief that light is eternal life. During the performance, bonfires burned in the distance, while children carried lit torches up hillsides surrounding the event, adding to the surreal, ritualistic nature of the performance. A noisy, apocalyptic-sounding piece distinguished by rising waves of intensity, Persepolis' debut must have been quite an experience for those lucky enough to be in attendance." (extract from the CD booklet)

The original recording of Persepolis (disk 1) was mixed in Paris INA-GRM and engineered in studio 116A by Daniel Teruggi, under the consultation of Iannis Xenakis. Disk 2 contains remixes of Persepolis fashioned by a host of international avant-garde musicians.

Disk 1

1. Iannis Xenakis - Persepolis

Disk 2
part 1 part 2

1. Otomo Yoshihide - Persepolis
2. Ryoji Ikeda - Per Se
3. Zbigniew Karkowski - Doing By Not Doing
4. Antimatter - Persepolis
5. Construction Kit - Glitché
6. Francisco Lopez - Untitled 113 for Iannis Xenakis
7. Laminar - Whore
8. Merzbow - Persepolis
9. Ulf Langheinrich - Persepolis
Asakawa Maki - Cat Nap
(Japan, 1982)

1. Kurai me wo shita joyuu
2. Wasureta yo
3. Kokoro kakushite
4. Mukashi
1. Shinkyoku B
2. Yuugure no manaka
3. Machine
4. Ima nara

again, my dear appreciation for Robert's efforts in transcribing the Kanji track titles to be found here.
Asakawa Maki - One EP
(Japan, 1980)

1. Gogo
2. Ano otoko ga piano wo hiita
3. Tokai ni ame ga furu koro
4. For M
5. Pig Nose to tegami
The Blood Brothers - Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck
(USA, 2005)

1. Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck
2. Ladies and Gentlemen
3. Metronomes
4. Crimes (alt. version)
5. Peacock Skeleton with Crooked Feathers (alt. version)
6. Anthrax (originally by Gang of Four, remixed by The Blood Brothers)
7. Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck (recorded live at the Reading Festival 2005)

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Toru Takemitsu - Choral Works

(Toru & Asaka Takemitsu, © Schott Japan)

01. Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
02. Chiisana Sora (Small Sky)
03. Utau dake (I Just Sing)
04. Chiisana Heya de (In a Small Room)
05. Koi no Kakuenbo (The Game of Love)
06. Mienai Kodomo (Unseen Child)
07. Ashita wa Hare kana Kumori kana (Will Tomorrow, I Wonder, Be Cloudy or Clear?)
08. Shima e (To the Island)
09. Shinda Otoko no Nokoshita Mono wa (All That the Man Left Behind When He Died)
10. Maru to Sankaku no Uta (A Song of Circles and Triangles)
11. Sayonara (Goodbye)
12. Tsubasa (Wings)

Friday, 21 September 2007

Toru Takemitsu - Piano Music

"This selection of [Toru Takemitsu's] piano music, extending over 43 years, offers an inclusive overview of his stylistic development from Romance (1949), the nineteen-year-old composer's earliest surviving piano work, to the hypnotic Rain Tree Sketch II (1992), Takemitsu's last work for solo piano. The music ranges widely in style from Pause ininterrompue (1952-59), which shows the influence of Debussy, Scriabin and Messiaen, and the aleatoric Piano Distance (1961), to the nocturnal and meditative For Away (1973) inspired by Indonesian gamelan music." (extract from CD booklet)

01. Romance (1949)
02. Lento in due movimenti, I. Adagio (1950)
03. Lento in due movimenti, II. Lento misteriosamente
04. Pause ininterrompue, I. Slowly, sadly and as if to converse with (1952, 1959)
05. Pause ininterrompue, II. Quietly and with cruel reverberation
06. Pause ininterrompue, III. A song of love
07. Piano Distance (1961)
08. For Away (1973)
09. Les yeux clos (1979)
10. Les yeux clos II (1988)
11. Rain Tree Sketch (1982)
12. Rain Tree Sketch II (1992)
13. Piano Pieces for Children, No. 1 Breeze (1978)
14. Piano Pieces for Children, No. 2 Clouds
15. Litany (recomposition of Lento in due movimenti), I. Adagio (1989)
16. Litany (recomposition of Lento in due movimenti), II. Lento misterioso

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Johann Sebastian Bach - Coffee Cantata (BWV 211)

01. Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht und höret, was itz und geschicht
02. Hat man nicht mit seinen Kindern hunderttausend Hudelei!
03. Du böses Kind, du loses Mädchen
04. Ei! wie schmeckt der Coffee süße, lieblicher als tausend Küsse
05. Wenn du mir nicht den Coffee lässt, so sollst du auf kein Hochzeitfest
06. Mädchen, die von harten Sinnen, sind nicht leichte zu gewinnen.
07. Nun folge, was dein Vater spricht
08. Heute noch, Lieber Vater, tut es doch!
09. Nun geht und sucht der alte Schlendrian
10. Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht

You know, i've been ritually consuming at least one can of green tea per day for a couple of months now, and i do delight in it (except in every first infusion of Gyokuro which is horribly nauseating). But apparently, i'm devoid of any strength to try and cry off from drinking a nice cup of coffee every now and then. Similar to the concept of a place's genius loci, the consumption of coffee seems to have a special air about it (genius potionis?) that i just miserably fail to abstain from. "Noir comme le diable, chaud comme l'enfer, pur comme un ange, doux comme l'amour."
Gloom - Noise Attack Devastating Tokyo City
(Japan, 2001)

1. Answer=Chaos
2. Fair Spoken
3. Idiotic Puppet
4. Achronistic
5. Morbid Education
6. Escape from Reality
7. State Abuse
8. Uranium Bullet for Peace
9. TV Slave
10. Answer=Chaos

Also, find (& enjoy) highly esteemed Jordan Blilie's mirthful band's s/t "Head Wound City" here.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Asakawa Maki - Black
(Japan, 1991)

again, thanks to two kind souls, i can now present you the album's romanized track titles:

A1. Yuushuu 2
A2. Yuu-utsu na hitoriaruki
A3. Shounen 2
A4. Flash Dark
A5. Kon-ya wa juyuu ni nemurasete kure
A6. Black ni good luck (title track)
A7. Mata, ne
B2. untitled
Asakawa Maki - Blue Spirit Blues
(Japan, 1972)

1. Blue Spirit Blues
2. Shipwreck Blues
3. Strange Fruit
4. Ano Musume Ga Kureta Burūsu
5. Hustlin' Dan
6. Page One (Pēji Wan)
7. Hi To Moshi Koro
8. Machi
9. Daisajin

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Jean Sibelius - The Tempest (Op. 109)

Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Monica Groop (Mezzo Soprano - Ariel)
Raili Viljakainen (Soprano - Juno)
Jorma Hynninen (Baritone - Caliban)
Sauli Tiilikainen (Baritone - Trinculo)
Jorma Silvasti (Tenor - Stephano)

part 1 / part 2

Friday, 7 September 2007

Carmen Maki - Adam & Eve
(Japan, 1969)

alas, no tracklist. gomen.

thanks to the kind person who left the tracklist in the comments. download link has been updated with fixed track titles.

01. Adamu To Ibu (Adam & Eve)
02. Yokubou (Desire)
03. Tane (Seeds)
04. Perusona (Persona)
05. Uso To Honto (Lie and Truth)
06. Onna To Otoko (A Woman and A Man)
07. Kodomo (A Child)
08. Yubi (Fingers)
09. Honnou (Instinct)
10. Ayamachi (Sin)

Sunday, 2 September 2007

If you haven't paid attention already, i'd like to urge you towards A.'s post of Okkyung Lee's "Nihm" over at querbeet, as it is one of the most pleasant records that i've hearkened in the last couple of weeks, and you definitely shouldn't miss this wonderful triptych of sound experiments, free jazz and plangent cello tunes. Also check out this review and Okkyung's hilarious blog. Thank you.

eta: here's the actual link

Yuki Kajiura - Noir OST I & II

"Pour faire un film, il vous faut obligatoirement une fille et un pistolet."


Next to "Serial Experiments Lain", "Noir" is easily my favourite animated series, without regard to year or country of production (fair enough, i was never really fond of American animation, and after the first chapters of Ice Age and Shrek which indeed were reasonably enjoyable, the myriad of computer-animated productions of the last years exacerbated me to some extent).
Now, "Noir" is no action series, as, let's say, Shyamalan's "The Village" is no horror movie. In the end, they both deal with aspects of more philosophical and emotional natures. I'm not sure if "Noir" happened to mislead the expectations of many people, but the promotion of "The Village" surely did as i've just recently experienced once again (i hope the person i lent the DVD to will appreciate the film for what it actually is and not dismiss it in a paroxysm of malcontentedness because of what it was suggested to be and ultimately wasn't).

When i first saw "Noir" on German television - i think it was a scene from episode 19 - i was definitely repulsed, mostly due to that "weird purple-haired girl wearing a green cloak and throwing knives" and that "disturbing techno music featuring latin chant". About two years and a personal metamorphosis later, i had obviously acquired enough tolerance to give the series another chance, et voilà, everything about it, now, is very much endearing and mind-blowing and devastating and dithyrambic to me. Since i came to cherish this series, i've always liked the indwelling antagonism of the gunfights and the quietness of Mireille and Kirika's relationship, and also how the producers, in general, worked unconventionally in a lot of ways. The focus on physiognomy, especially the eyes of the characters, to me, succeeds in adding realism to the series, but also makes it more difficult to follow around, at least for a mainstream audience. I can very well imagine that people were discouraged by the lack of verbal communication and expressiveness and scenes which appeared stretched, but ultimately incited me to envisage what the character was thinking in that particular moment. Another element adding to that natural and transcendent feel is that the viewer just like Kirika and Mireille only gets crumbs of the ultimate truth revealed per episode. It's as if you're directly accompanying them on their "pilgrimage to the past" and are just as clueless in the beginning as the two of them.

An additional factor which manages to satisfy even those that criticize everything i appreciate about "Noir" is its eclectic soundtrack by Yuki Kajiura who also composed the music to "Noir"'s spiritual successors "Madlax" and "El Cazador de la Bruja". Apart from its European feel evident in songs like "Corsican Corridor", "Romance" and "In Memory of You" (the series takes place in Paris most of the time), the soundtrack comprises more classical and minimalistic works such as "Zero Hour", the "Kirei na Kanjou" piano instrumental and the heavy string piece "Sorrow" as well as the afore-mentioned techno behemoth "Salva Nos". My favourites include "Canta per me", "Black is Black", the lovely ending theme "Kirei na Kanjou" (by Akino Arai) and the funnily dissonant opening theme "Copperia no hitsugi" (by ALI Project).

(A little side-note: the English dub is far superior than the German one. I mean choosing someone named Black (okay, Calene-Black) to voice one of the main characters is predestined to be suitable and in my humble opinion, her embodiment of Mireille is nearly perfect.)