Koeosaeme is a superb piece that contains all four songs of extremely unique experimental sound that tried to expand the ambient framework, including "looking through the picture of a person"! Mastering specification by Ryu Yoshizawa.
Lily’s early life runs parallel to an untold story of post-war Japan, that of the marginalised hafu - children of half Japanese / half foreign parents. Likely to be a target, a vessel for the bitterness, from
the humiliation of the American Occupation, to the buried guilt
of Japan’s own atrocities, enacted on their Asian neighbours. Her troubled formative years - an absent father, and losing her mother
in her teens - possibly contributed to the development of the bluesy edge of her vocal style, or maybe it was the smoke from the jazz bar her mother ran.
As with many outsiders of the 60s and early 70s, she turned up in Tokyo’s Shinjuku, a famed spot for many a writer, actor, artist
and musician. It was here her songs first aired, and she was swiftly booked to record her music.
With a groove set in stone with her Bye-Bye Session Band - later including Ryuichi Sakamoto and jazz keyboardist Hiroshi Sato - this selection covers her 70s period, with strong seams of soul, funk, touches of folk- and space-rock, and her signature (in Japan) heartbreaking ballads.
Vibrations from the other side of the globe, in the same period as classic Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Cymande, Sly & The Family Stone, and the rest, all with Lily's voice make this music utterly unique.
Compiled by Howard Williams, whose Japanese music show
Japan Blues has been a mainstay on NTS Radio since 2014. He has released several retrospectives of Japanese music for various record labels, covering traditional folk (Nippon Folk, Japan Blues for The Trilogy Tapes); kayoukyoku & Nihon Indigo (also TTT); 70s female gangster soundtracks (Killing Melody, Ethbo); 50s rockabilly (Nippon Rock’n’Roll, Big Beat); surf guitar and funk rock (Nippon Guitars, Big Beat); soul, funk and disco (Lovin’ Mighty Fire, BGP); and the jazz singer Maki Asakawa for Honest Jons, after co-compiling their Moondog retrospective, Viking of Sixth Avenue.
With liner notes written by Lily’s original producer, Yukiji Teramoto translated by Alan Cummings, and the photography of Jin Tamura.
A seminal figure in the history of 20th century avant-garde, yet sinfully overlooked, Wolf Vostell unleashed ideas - those running wild through his debut LP "Dé-coll/age Musik", which remain a slap to the face, more than half a century after they were set into play. A founding member of Fluxus, an early instigator of Happenings, an innovator of video art, Vostell was equally one of the most radical and irreverent practitioners in sound that the world has ever known.
First released in 1982, "Dé-coll/age Musik" draws from material dating between the late 1950’s and early 80’s - the results of Vostell’s application of décollage, the near perfect inversion of collage. Rather than gathered and assembled sounds - as with Musique Concrète, these are the result of subtractions from a former whole - the death of one, giving life to the next.
Swelling from the past, Vostell’s efforts pull the rug from beneath the common history of structured sound. A singular body with no loyalty, producing shocking results. A grinding confrontation - an intoxicating immersion in sound - as brutal as it is ecstatic - an exercise in joy. "Dé-coll/age Musik" assembles the essence of a creative spirit which is rarely known. Each work as radical and fresh today as the moment it was made.
The roots of Angolan popular music explored in the meticulous guitar studies of Mário Rui Silva 1980s albums.
Whether on mesmerising acoustic ballads or hypnotic groove-led tracks, the music of Angolan guitarist, researcher and intellectual Mário Rui Silva has a beguiling, melancholy quality, woven into the dynamics of his deft guitar playing.
Rhythmically complex yet supremely effortless, the music collected here stems from three albums Mário released in Luanda in the 1980s that reflect his diverse range of influences, from traditional Angolan and West African rhythms to European jazz and classical instrumentation.
It is united by a sense of low-key beauty, whether on the chugging opener ‘Kazum-zum-zum’, the jazz-funk keys of ‘Lembrança Dum Velho’, or the twinkling, late-night poly-rhythms of ‘Kizomba Kya Kisanji’.
Born in Luanda, Angola in 1953, Mário dedicated his life to Angolan popular music. His fifty-year career has seen him live between Angola and Europe, rub shoulders with Cameroonian musicians Francis Bebey and Ewanjé, record the seminal album Angola ’72 with fellow Angolan musician Bonga, and draw influence from Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell.
It was the teaching of Angolan legend and Ngola Ritmos co-founder Liceu Vieira Dias that Mário gained a technical, political and spiritual understanding of Angolan musical culture. In the hands of Liceu, the traditional Angolan semba and kazukuta rhythms of the 1940s and ‘50s helped create an emancipatory sense of national pride and collective agency that awakened its listeners to the racism and tyranny of colonial rule, underpinning the country’s push for independence in the process.
What might sound like the intonations of Brazilian influence are what Mário attributes to the “African rhythms taken by the slaves [which] gave rise to other musical cultures” around the globe. Instead, this music emerged from a collective instinct to assert a cosmopolitan Angolan identity free from the patronising falsehoods of Lusotropicalism.
“There was a need within me to contribute in doing new things,” Mário describes. “In the sense of solidifying the music of Angola that was the result of the meeting of two cultures, and wanting to value the Angolan part whenever possible.”
A selection from Mário’s three 1980s albums, Sung’Ali (1982), Tunapenda Afrika (1985) and Koizas dum Outru Tempu (1988) have been compiled here as a 2xLP release by Time Capsule’s Sam Jacob and Kay Suzuki. Together, they provide a snapshot of one man’s journey to the core of his nation’s music, charged with the search for a culture uprooted by colonialism.
Black Sarabande expands upon pianist-composer Robert Haigh’s beguiling debut for Unseen Worlds with a collection of intimate and evocative piano-led compositions. Haigh was born and raised in the ‘pit village’ of Worsbrough in South Yorkshire, England. His father, as most of his friends’ fathers, was a miner, who worked at the local colliery. Etched into Haigh’s work are formative memories of the early morning sounds of coal wagons being shunted on the tracks, distant trains passing, and walking rural paths skirting the barren industrial landscape
The album opens with the title track — a spacious, plaintive piano motif develops through a series of discordant variations before resolving. On ‘Stranger On The Lake,’ sweeping textures and found sounds lay the foundation for a two chord piano phrase evoking a sense of elegy. ‘Wire Horses’ is an atmospheric audio painting of open spaces and distant lights. ’Air Madeleine’ uses variations in tempo and dynamics to craft the most seductively melodic track on the album. ‘Arc Of Crows’ improvises on a single major seventh chord, splintering droplets of notes as ghostly wisps of melodic sound slowly glide into view. ‘Ghosts Of Blacker Dyke’ is a melancholic evocation of Haigh’s roots in England’s industrial north — intermingling dissonant sounds of industry within a set of languid piano variations. ‘Progressive Music’ is constructed around a series of lightly dissonant arpeggiated piano chords which modulate through major and minor key changes before resolving at a wistful and enigmatic refrain. In ‘The Secret Life of Air’, a nocturnal, low piano line slowly weaves its way through the close-miked ambience of the room, nearly halting as each note is allowed to form and reverberate into a blur with the next. The ambitious ‘Painted Serpent’ calmly begins with drone-like pads and builds with the introduction of counterpoint piano lines and an orchestral collage of sound underpinned by a deliberate bass motif. ’Broken Symmetry’ and ‘Lady Lazarus’ highlight Haigh’s gift for blurring the line between dissonance and harmony - opaque piano portraits of moonlight and shadows glancingly evoke the impressionistic palettes of Harold Budd, Debussy and Satie.
“How to begin? No beginning... never ending reverberation,” Antoine Beuger writes in the accompanying notes to Leo Svirsky’s River Without Banks. Dedicated to his first piano teacher Irena Orlov, River Without Banks is a mesmerizing, emotional collection of pieces that are simultaneously complex and fluid. The title River Without Banks comes from a chapter of musicologist Genrikh “Henry” Orlov’s profound work Tree of Music. In said chapter, Orlov traces the history of sacred music from the Western and Eastern tradition and how the forms (of the chant, raga etc.) sought to eliminate the division between the physical and the spiritual--the bank and the river.
Arranged for two pianos with accompaniment from strings, trumpet, and electronics, this is Svirsky’s first piece to approach the history of the piano and the possibilities of the recording studio, and his deepest dive yet into exploring the instability of listening and its transformation of musical semantics and affect. Like Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project, Svirsky overlays romantic musical gestures to create a lush unfamiliarity. No sooner than each track begins the next moment unfurls beneath it, cascading time and blurring perception of past and present.
Akin to a multidimensional Rzewski thematic interpretation, Svirsky’s music defies genre-classification or classical ideology while its virtuosity clearly stems from somewhere from within disciplined traditions. Continuously revisiting, revising, and renewing its emotional core, River Without Banks is less an album of songs than songs of a singular, unlocatable album. Performed by the composer with assistance from Britton Powell, Max Eilbacher, Leila Bordreuil, Tim Byrnes, and recorded by Al Carlson.