Friday, October 25, 2013

Hideaki Tokunaga: Girl & radio

When it comes to J-pop, I'd say that my preference lies mainly with the many female idols of the "Silver Age" and the producers that help define their careers. However, there are a handful of strong male contenders that I feel get overlooked when people look back on a decade of fantastic music. Hideaki Tokunaga is definitely a perfect example of this and his raspy voice with a more ballad approach, set him apart from many of the singers at the time. This has allowed him a lot of staying power and in fact he is the first male artist in Japan to have at least one album chart #1 on the Oricon four decades in a row (80s-10's)! 

I was only familiar with a handful of Tokunaga's songs that I were featured of compilations and such but thanks to a russian blog I stumbled upon J-Music, I was allowed access to nearly his entire catalog. 

Featured in this post are his first records  which I have re-tagged in Japanese but if you would like, I urge you to check out the source links. I only plan to post his albums from the 80s but if you are interested in more, this site definitely has it. Enjoy!

Girl (1986)

1. レイニー ブルー
2. リアリストとロマンチスト
3. 夏のプリズム
4. 冬の動物園
5. ガール
6. 僕の憂鬱
7. 未完成
8. Air Port 20:13
9. レター
10. 最後の学園祭
11. 奇跡のようなめぐり逢い

Video Link to Air Port 20:13

radio (1986)

1. 9月のストレンジャー

2. 夏のラジオ
3. 僕のハートに君はSTAY
4. ライディーン
5. 夢に抱かれて
6. 抱きしめたい
7. ペンダント
8. 感じるままに
9. 振られるなんて
10. 心の中はバラード
11. 愛の中から

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Haruomi Hosono: Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo (Night on the Galactic Railroad)

Over the course of my small years in blogging, I've avoided posting a lot of cool finds since they aren't my original files. However, with the internet and file sharing getting more restrictive and many losing their passion to share, I've felt an urge to post some albums that many wouldn't otherwise hear. My site isn't large and I don't have the chance to post as much as I'd like but hopefully I can keep the spirit alive of all the individuals who have provided me with so much joy over the years.

Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo is the soundtrack to the meta-anime film Night on the Galactic Railroad (銀河鉄道の夜) by the amazing Haruomi Honsono. The film itself is based off the novel of the same name by renowned Japanese writer, Kenji Miyazawa. Miyazawa was interested in the obscure latin based language Esperanto and this can be seen in his novel, the film and Honsono's tracklisting. 

The film is beautifully animated, slowly paced, thought provoking and the music compliments this perfectly. While the film was slightly controversial due to director Gisaburo Sugii's decision to interpret the story with anthropomorphic cats, I still feel that Miyazawa's message of "what is true happiness?" resonates. It may not be for everyone but I recommend you give it a chance if your a fan of Honsono or want to try something new. Sugii also recently released a spiritual successor to his film adapting another of Miyazawa's novels, Guskō Budori no Denki (グスコーブドリの伝記), last year with the same art style and cats! Enjoy!

1. La Ceftitolo
2. Temo el la Mondo de la Fantazia Kvara Dimensio
3. Fantazio Kaj Realo
4. En Tago Serena
5. La Kanto de la Rondiro de la Steloj
6. Fantazio de Giovanni
7. La Stelfesto de Centauro
8. La Masto de 'Tenkirin'
9. La Gojo
10. La Norda Kruco
11. La Pliocena Marbordo
12. La Historio en Fantazio
13. La Harpo de la Paradizo
14. La Travida Malgojo de Giovanni
15. La Pleja Felico
16. Temo de la Adiauo
17. Kuro
18. 45 Minutoj
19. Rekviemo
20. Temo Finala- Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo

Here is the soundtrack in its entirety

Here is the film in its entirety

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Various Artists: スタまにシリーズ BLUE SEED

Great compilation album of various songs written for the anime series BLUE SEED and its OVA counterpart. Definite highlights are the songs from TAKADA BAND, a in house band of sorts that worked with the series' score composer Kenji Kawai and from actress Megumi Hayashibara, who voiced the main character of the series Momiji. Enjoy!

Special note, the track "Blame or Blade", is sung by voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi, most notably known as the voice of Sailor Moon!

Tracks 1,3,4,6,8, 13-14 by TAKADA BAND
Tracks 2,9 by Megumi Hayashibara
Track 7 by Megumi Hayashibara & Sakura Yamazaki
Track 10 by Kotono Mitsuishi
Track 11 by Sakiko Tamagawa
Track 12 by Kazuhiko Inoue & Yuji Ueda
Track 15 by Akio Otsuka & Ari Orikasa

2. 私だけの夢へ
3. CARNIVAL・BABEL~カルナバル・バベル~
5. Touch and Go!!
7. 星を飛び越えて
10. Blame or Blade
11. Cry for the Moon
12. Risky Game
13. Eternal Truth
15. 二人の夜明け

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Huong Thanh & Nguyên Lê: Fragile Beauty

This is an album I picked up at the library in town and I was quite surprised at what I heard. Huong Thanh is one of the most prominent Vietnamese vocalists and started singing with her family at an early age in Vietnam. However, it was when her family moved to France when she was a teenager that Thanh started to discover and develop who she was an artist outside of her traditional training. Jazz had a huge influence on Thanh and she began a career fusing it with her traditional background. 

Musician and composer Nguyên Lê, coming from a similar background, helped Thanh develop this sound as a producer and with her third release, the two came together to create this album. While the album has a more New Age/World Music feeling, it's the jazzy accents that are added to each song that give the entire album a rich and unique sound. I highly recommend everyone to give this album a listen! Enjoy!

Fragile Beauty (2007)

1. Drifting On The Water
2. Weaving & Awaiting
3. Faithfulness
4. Plantation Song*
5. The Five Calls Of The Night
6. Fragile Beauty
7. Rowing The Sampan
8. The Pavillon Of Crystallized Azure
9. At Dusk, From The West Balcony
10. Go Cong Blues
11. The Swallow's Bridge*
12. Tales Of The Mountain