Over the 23 years since Loren Connors’ Airs was first published, it has drawn a thick circle of fans. Gently recorded to cassette tape in 1999, (with wonderfully subtle multi-tracking), Airs is comprised of a series of brief electronic guitar poems. Intimately composed with the patience and purposeful hesitation we have reverently come to expect from Connors. Lyrical melodies recur in different forms throughout the LP, as shifting figures in a dream. Shadowy and sunken, the tone evokes an overcast seascape. The album feels singular; woven along as one flowing piece.
Airs is perhaps the most approachable and beautiful in all of Connors’ catalog, seducing strangers and familiars just the same. Forlorn wonderment; a human quality that makes this such an enchanting record. It is the humble simplicity and the directness of the guitar inflection that conveys such truth. The stark grace of Connors’ playing resonates here for all to embrace.
A legendary yet long lost crown jewel from the early 80s
Japanese Electronic and Jazz Rock scene.
MARIAH used to be a Japanese outfit in the field of art pop, long way back in the very late 70s and early 80s with 6 albums up
their score from 1979 to 1983. The album at hand is the sixth and for the time being last album in this row, released as a double
vinyl back in 1983. Prices for original copies, that are at least in very good condition, are hard to find and go up to 250 Euro/USD.
The brandnew reissue on Everland, unlike the original and the first vinyl reissue from 2015, comes housed in a thick and artfully
designed gatefold sleeve with OBI, which finally does justice to the progressive spirit of the music you can find here.
The musical basement is a fusion of dreamy synthesizer pop and haunting new wave music, that could be found all around
the globe back in 1983. In the vein of TEARS FOR FEARS or more adventurous DAVID BOWIE stuff, with a touch of KRAFTWERK or
even BRIAN ENO here and there, but all this gets spiced up with an atmosphere of Japanese traditionalism, with a few bits and
pieces from the old music from this Far East island, which sounds so magic us Westeners. The progressive, wacky art pop of this
project was led by the popular Japanese composer and musician Yasuaki Shimizu, a relentlessly exploratory saxophonist who
even dared to rework Johann Sebastian Bach’s cello suites for saxophone.
As brilliant as this man is, the music on „Utakata No Hibi“ turns out to be. And the master himself approved and much
appreciated the brandnew remastering of this album by assisting a highly professional team of sound engineers who dusted off
the ancient tape reels. For certain the record sounds and feels 80s through and through, electronic to the very rhythmical bone
of each song sugar coated with catchy melodies that resemble Japanese classic and Enka music, which is a kind of folksy pop
music. The listener gets directly drawn into a feverish dream of steaming Far Eastern cities and their darkest and most depraved
corners where you find everything cheap in sleazy bars and unlighted backyards and alleys. The next moment he strolls through
a beautiful Japanese park surrounded by a sea of blossoms. This change in mood and style you will experience in the sparsely
instrumented tune „Shisen“, which indeed comes closest to classic Japanese folk tunes without any too catchy and pop oriented
melodies. But we certainly find these harmonies allover the album. Some tunes even feel like ancient BEACH BOYS compositions
and Brian Wilson creations played by a then contemporary electronic pop act and sung in Japanese.
An amazingly colorful album with songs that are based on solid substance rather than cheap pop structures. This is music for
the bold listeners and music lovers and this awesome reissue should quickly find it’s way into the record collections of 80s synth
and art pop aficionadoes.
Yasuaki Shimizu did what he wanted with MARIAH, pushed the borders of popular music further than anybody would have
thought. Listen to a track like „Shonen“ with a repetitive rhythm pattern that hypnotizes you and somehow silky melodylines by
saxophone and synth piano upon which a female voice sings in a very spiritual way. Praising pop or whatever this can be called,
it is sheer magic put in music. I wonder if this would have made it into the charts back then, but you never know. It is a piece of
musical art that shall be listened to.
この人の作品の新たな入門盤といっても過言ではないでしょう。今年度最高クラスの一枚！国産ミニマル/アンビエント金字塔的傑作『鏡の向こう側』でもお馴染み、もはや説明不要、初期の久石譲プロデュース仕事でも知られるMkwaju Ensembleにも参加、近年のニューエイジ・リバイバルを通じて吉村弘や芦川聡らと並ぶ不動の人気を獲得した作曲家、打楽器奏者である高田みどり(1951-)。自身の『鏡の向こう側』を掘り起こし、世界的人気作品へと押し上げた縁深いレーベルである〈WRWTFWW Records〉より、実に23年ぶりとなる最新ソロ・アルバムをリリース。
本作は、スイスの〈ジュネーブ民族学博物館〉に所蔵されている楽器を使用し、ジンバブエのショナ族の伝統的なムビラ音楽を代表する伝統的な作品である「Nhemamusasa」を演奏したライブ録音のアルバム。高田氏の作品は、『百億年の交響詩』や『Tree Of Life』といった比較的アヴァンギャルドな色彩の強い作品が目立ちますが、本作は、『鏡の向こう側』の2020年代ヴァージョンといった風情のコンテンポラリー/ミニマルの凄まじい傑作！自身のアフリカ音楽とミニマリズムへの探究心と多文化的ヴィジョンの集大成ともいうべきマスターピースに仕上がっています。こりゃ絶対持っとけ！