Train Wreck Mix

Nightingale Tokyo: The Sound Of Nightingale: Experimental Japan

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49 mins
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Tune in to a selection of experimental sounds curated by Tokyo’s finest noise bar Nightingale: from Keiji Haino to Hanatarash and more.

In this show we bring you Japanese experimental artists who have a style of their own, and that don’t follow an extension of western music. They differ from those in Europe or the U.S. who explore Eastern ideas and art, by their approach to sound, and their different religious outlook. Japan is full of unique national characters, even compared to other Asian countries. They tend to think systematically; in another words, you might say, one has “a body made out of a perfect machine with no brain.” You often see Japanese pedestrians waiting at a traffic light even though there is no car is coming. For this show, I purposely didn’t choose any artists who are influenced by western music. The artists I picked are specifically experimental musicians who maybe don’t even know how to play any music instruments, or maybe never listened to any western music before. However, they know how to use sounds to express “the Japan of today.” Images passing through my mind to this music are: nuclear power plants, Kyoto gardens, Shinkansen / bullet train, and animism etc.\
Masaru Hatanaka, Nightingale Tokyo.\
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1. 1969 – Hanatarash (RRRecords, 1992)\
A noise band by later Boredoms frontman Yamataka Eye. It has an aggressive sound similar to the German band D.A.F. There is no musicality found in the sound, and it’s guaranteed to get a stronger impulse than mediocre punk rock. The ultimate animism music.\
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2. 08/02/03.2/2 – BusRatch (Monotype, 2003)\
An experimental DJ project of duo Takahiro Yamamoto and Katsura Mouri. A variety of items are played on the turntable, including prepared records, cymbals, metal objects, and mouse pads. Far from the usual sounds that are often made for expressing one’s feelings, their improvised music is very well constructed.\
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3. Untitled – Pan Sonic / Keiji Haino (Blast First Petite, 2009)\
Haino’s singing while playing guitar gently leads you to a Weltanschauung of Japanese classical music such as Noh, or Gagaku (Japanese ancient imperial court music).\
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4. Reaction – Masayuki Takayanagi (ALM-Uranoia, 1987)\
Minimalism is all over the world – just look at the iPod’s minimalist design by Apple. This is the kind of design that the Japanese maybe never come up with. A garden in Kyoto is also minimalist design, yet It has no trace of its original form after the seasons changes, and it still stays minimalism to everybody’s eye… This is what I was thinking when I picked up this song.\
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5. Untitled – Omni (Presqu’île Records, 2009)\
Selected reason: same as above. A unit project by Kato Hideki, Toshimaru Nakamura and Tetuzi Akiyama. They have an intimate friendship with Otomo.\
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6. Unstable Contact – Toshiya Tsunoda (Naturestrip, 2004)\
His compositions are created using field recordings as material in his art making. His realistic attitude truly gives out “freshness”.\
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7. b – *0 (meme, 1999)\
Rather than just enjoying music, this one is all about enjoying a carefully thought-out composition by frequency – perhaps something shared by the architect Iannis Xenakis, or Ryoji ikeda. This track also reminds me of a Shinkansen – a fine machine run by a perfect control.\
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8. Kyodai-Seibu-Kodo 3 – I.S.O. (Zero Gravity, 1998)\
Recorded live at Kyodai-seibu-kodo in Kyoto, Japan in 1998. Otomo doesn’t play live much, so all albums made by this unit are a must-have. In the ancient animistic religions, Kami (Japanese deity) were understood as simply the divine forces of nature. They were believed to exist everywhere, such as in mountains, oceans, the sun, etc. and they can nurture, silence and love when respected. Or they can cause destruction and disharmony when disregarded, which worshippers were afraid of and so frequently offered holy gifts. This sort of feeling remains in the scene of the sound that Otomo makes.\
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9. AM – 2 (edition.nord, 2012)\
This is the work I made when I entered dOCUMENTA(13). During this production time, Fukushima nuclear power plant collapsed in the result of explosion from heavy earthquake and tsunami. The fear of radioactive contamination had made an oppressive atmosphere. This field recording was held at such a place.

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