GP's music picks

Questions and comments about living in Japan, chit-chat, or whatever else goes in here.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:51 pm

Well, the only track on his My Space page which is on the album at hand is "My Radio" and it admittedly is more poppy than game-ish. The entire album as a whole in construction has a feel that reminds me of old cheesy Famicom tunes. Of course they have way more percussion and voice samples (and technology in general). Maybe it's the long, drawn out synthesizer keys that never stop that give it that feel.

That Ambient Otaku cover is cool!


Which one? There's two. The smaller one is the reprint. It's a fantastic. I listen to it all the time while I'm working.
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Postby moozooh » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:30 pm

Gaijin Punch wrote:Googling around you'll see a lot of comparisons drawn between them (him, actually) and Boards of Canada. I think they're on the same label, but from what little I've heard of BoC, this is leagues and galaxies above and beyond.

Having listened to either for years, I'd say it's more like the other way around. I really think you should give BoC a whirl, I'm sure you'll love it. I have a small preview file here (moozooh.diinoweb. com/files/music/PREVIEW%20-%20Boards%20of%20Canada.ogg), that has short segments of some of their tracks in chronological order. Most tracks from "Geogaddi" (2002), which I personally consider the pinnacle of their career, are leagues more deep and intricate than most modern IDM stuff Warp Records releases (with the exception of Autechre and a couple others). After that, they purposefully decided to "dumb down" and return to the more soft and simple illbient/post-rock stuff like what they did at the beginning. As such, their Campfire Headphase LP has a lot of tracks sounding very similar to the pre-1998 albums, and even more so, to the work of Ulrich Schnauss recommended to you above (quite good musician, btw, I second the recommendation).

Also, have you heard stuff like mテコm or the artists recording at Toytronic? Some of them are pretty nice sounding, too. I recommend getting Toytronic's "Everything is Green" compilation (discogs. com/release/328705), it has a lot of great stuff there that you may like. As for mテコm, their 2000-2002 stuff was fantastic, it was quite disappointing to realize how uninspired the later albums sounded compared to everything they released in that period.

Btw, thanks for Pentatonik. The sound is pretty soothing, I like it.

(Also, let me express my dislike for the no-url-for-new-members rule: I hate it.)

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:31 pm

moozooh wrote:Having listened to either for years, I'd say it's more like the other way around. I really think you should give BoC a whirl, I'm sure you'll love it.


I'm sure there's some BoC out there that I will like. It's not that I particularly dislike it, but I don't find them to be the pioneers they are made out to be. Also remember, I've had a somewhat limited exposure to them. I will check out your site.

Ulrich Schnauss recommended to you above (quite good musician, btw, I second the recommendation).


Agreed, but I've heard very little. In fact, the only thing I own by him is a track he did on Blue Skied An' Clear. He's got nothing on emusic, so I'll have to break down and buy it if I want anything from him.

Also, have you heard stuff like mテコm or the artists recording at Toytronic?


Oh, yeah. I've got a couple of Mum albums but I'm only seeing one show up in Amarok. Console is another one I like kind of Mum-ish.

Btw, thanks for Pentatonik. The sound is pretty soothing, I like it.


Indeed. Casino versus Japan is the closest thing I've found to it. Too bad there wasn't a very big "lush techno" sub-genre.

(Also, let me express my dislike for the no-url-for-new-members rule: I hate it.)


It sucks, but it's the single most important mod here (and trust me, there are plenty). It is the only one that really keeps spammers out. We had 2-3 a day before. Now, about 1 per week.
Last edited by Gaijin Punch on Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby zinger » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:44 pm

I've really never understood what people see in BoC either, a bit too sentimental in a generic way, for me. I'm a big fan of a lot of stuff on Warp though, best label ever. I always find something new and awesome when browsing their site (you can preview all tracks in their entirety of almost all their releases).

Now playing: Chok Rock - Give it up (Big City Loser)

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Postby EOJ » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:05 pm

I hope you guys into the techno/electro-ambient/lush sounds have all heard and thoroughly enjoyed all the albums by Mark Van Hoen aka Locust (not the crappy metal band by the same name!) and Seefeel. In particular, I highly recommend Locust's 1995 'Truth is born of arguments' and Seefeel's 'Quique'.

Other recommended individual albums/eps include:

Slowdive - 5EP (two of my fave electro-ambient tracks ever on this one. Also check out the remix EP)
Transient Waves - Sonic Narcotic (I LOVE this one. It's brilliant)
Invisible Soundtracks vol 1 (obscure compilation disc on Leaf records, but probably the best compilation of electro-ambient ever made)
Silvania - Juniperfin (here's the "lush techno" you're looking for - check out all their albums, and their Aero, Suprematiz, and Avalovara EPs)
Hammock - Kenotic (recent independent release, but noteworthy)
Lovesliescrushing - bloweyelashwish (ethereal low-fi classic from 1994)
Malory - Outerbeats (great recent album from this german group)
Yellow 6 - Yellow 6 EP (on Catherine Whiskey records)
AMP - astralmoonbeamprojections (very unique and innovative album from 1997)

I have a lot of related stuff on vinyl, but I'd have to dig through that again. Off the top of my head, I have some LPs by Third Eye Foundation and Bowery Electric that are really great.

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Postby zinger » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:12 pm

Hmm, I didn't know Tetsu Inoue was on Tzadik these days. I did some browsing and came across Fragment of Dots: http://tzadik.com/volume.php?VolumeID=323

It's shipping sometime next week, can't wait to hear more from it.

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Postby CIT Seven Force » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:53 pm

zinger wrote:Hmm, I didn't know Tetsu Inoue was on Tzadik these days.


Well, I don't think he is. That was release was many years ago. :conf:

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Postby zinger » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:45 pm

Oops lol, got the release dates mixed up. It was "World Receiver" that was released in 2006 and not this one. :? It's still interesting to see him on Tzadik, the record sounds great from the audio samples I've heard.

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Postby CIT Seven Force » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:04 pm

Yeah, I like his stuff too. I think Tzadik doesn't actually sign people though, it's more like Zorn works with them on an album basis. At least that's what I gathered from a friend who released an album through his label.

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Postby zinger » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:33 pm

Yeah, that sounds probable.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:31 am

World Receiver is a reprint. It was originally done in 1996 if I'm not mistaken.

*Checks*

Yes, 1996. Good album. Was really hard to find (like Ambiant Otaku) and thus, reprinted. His latest album is Inland, and it was released by FAX. I think it's excellent, and definitely the best thing he's done since Organic Cloud (although Yolo is definitely not bad). It's quite lethargic though. It's closer to drone Ambiant then his space stuff found in his earlier works.

Fragment Dots is nothing like his Ambient stuff. It's basically experimental only. Just a bunch of random sounds. Clicks, cuts, etc. Sounds way more like Mille Plateau than FAX.
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Postby EOJ » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:18 am

Check out Club 8's new album, you can hear the whole thing here:

http://www.labrador.se/index_lab108.php3

Boy do I love Club 8. Been looking forward to this new LP for ages!

Also, anyone heard Susumu Yokota? Specifically he has a new "best of" compilation record for sale at my fave online music shop (tonevendor):

http://www.tonevendor.com/item/27858

Seems like a good place to start. I hear he's a well-known ambient artist with some 30 records to his credit (from 1993 to the present).

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Postby zinger » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:40 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:Fragment Dots is nothing like his Ambient stuff. It's basically experimental only. Just a bunch of random sounds. Clicks, cuts, etc. Sounds way more like Mille Plateau than FAX.
Yes I know. I've heard both albums.

A friend of mine just recommended Susumu Yokota, I have to check it out.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:06 am

EOJ wrote:Check out Club 8's new album, you can hear the whole thing here:

http://www.labrador.se/index_lab108.php3


I downloaded it a couple of months ago! It's very good. I like it better than their other stuff, even.

Also, anyone heard Susumu Yokota? Specifically he has a new "best of" compilation record for sale at my fave online music shop (tonevendor):
http://www.tonevendor.com/item/27858]


Yes, get Sakura. It's fantastic. Note that he is more famous (at least in Japan) for his minimal techno. His albums cover a very wide range of sounds, so don't just grab any old one. You might hate it. For ambient, Sakura is fantastic though. If you hate it, give up - you suck!
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Postby EOJ » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:10 am

I listened to some samples of Susumu Yokota on Amazon.com (mainly stuff from 'Grinning Cat') and it's quite good. There is little chance I wouldn't like his ambient stuff.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:12 pm

Yeah, Grinning Cat is the other 'must have'. I like Sakura better, but you can't go wrong with either.
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Postby EOJ » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:41 am

Check out Sambassadeur:

http://www.labrador.se/index_lab106.php3

You can hear their new album 'migration' there in its entirety.
Best thing I've heard from Sweden since Club 8.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:13 pm

Well, this thread made it to page 2. How lame.

Anyways, I see that I've not mentioned Kiln yet (site down atm). These guys are absolutely amazing. I dug around and found them on emusic. They've been around for quite some time, putting out pretty well received albums. They don't foll under the typical ambient categorization, or any one of that matter. Many of the sounds they use are acoustic in origin. The one thing that's true though as that they meticulously tweak to find that "perfect sound" to use with piece. This is a band that truly demands an amazing sound system (or headphones) to truly appreciate it. It really is like nothing you've heard if you can appreciate the technical side to the music.

Image

I would have to say that Dusker is my favorite album by them, but they haven't really done a bad one. Ampday is one that I bought recently, and sounds more like a jam session... definitely more rock than their other albums. I would say if you're going to get a couple, get Dusker and Sunbox. They really are works of art.

More to come later.
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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:10 pm

GP, I remember long ago you were raving about the soundtrack for the PSX Ghost in the Shell game; grabbed a copy before I left Japan and it's really quite excellent. Good, old-skool Ken Ishii-esque techno. But how in hells did you come across the vinyl edition?

So a friend turned me on to this Japanese (I think?) electronic/ambient/chiptune band called She. The genre seems to change with each album they put out, all of which are freely downloadable from their website (http://www.shemusic.org/ Frontpage promoting the new album, afterwards it kicks you to their MySpace). In fact, they seem to be entirely web-based, and as far as I can tell there's no option whatsoever for buying anything from them, which is a little sad. Most chiptune stuff I've heard is cute but it's hardly the thing I'd listen to seriously; She's Pioneer album seems to strike the right balance between novelty and real music that goes beyond just the niche game enthusiast area. Also, Days is the sort of music I'd want from an ambient album (though I'm a little uncertain on all these various electronica subgroups, so don't crucify me if it's nothing like ambient)--a bit of actual music to hold the piece together, rather than it all sounding like someone just left their microphone on for an hour in an interesting soundscape. Not sure about the new album yet--just noticed it was released when I went to grab the url, and I haven't given it a listen yet.

So yeah, not sure if anyone else will find this as neat as I did, but to be fair electronic music is a very deep pool of possibilities and I'm just starting to wade in at the shallow end.

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Postby zinger » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:30 am

I think She is Swedish but living in Japan actually. But I'm not sure. Never liked it much.

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I've been listening to Drunken Forest by Death Ambient (a trio consisting of Ikue Mori, Fred Frith and Kato Hideki) a lot for the past few weeks. Shifts from abstract sound landscapes or noise to some beautifully composed passages in a very cool and subtle way. Well, you'd have to listen to it. Definetly recommended!

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:29 am

GSL: Bought it in Wave back in 1999 or so. That was a record store that used to be on top of Loft in Shibuya. Some good memories in there. We used to wake up and go clubbing at about 5AM (cheaper), then go record shopping around 11AM when that was done.

zinger: Any way we can sample on line?
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Postby zinger » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:14 am


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Postby innerpattern » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:13 am

Jan Jelinek / Loop-finding-jazz-records
One of my favorite albums, you can sample in itunes

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Postby zinger » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:39 pm

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Cold white noise, harsh clicks and cuts meets thick, warm oceans of sound in Alva Noto's sleepy, ambient-ish Xerrox Vol.1. Minimalistic and experimental, but still has strong addictive qualities - I can't stop playing this record! Definetly more accessible than Unitxt, which never really clicked (lol) with me. Recommended.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:00 am

Cool, it's on emusic. Will likely download. Do you rate his other album on the same label, Transform?
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