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The diary entries of a little girl in her 30s! ~ Part 2 - Page 409  

post #6121 of 21760
Thread Starter 

The music I've been posting in the anime thread has inspired me to write a little something about Japanese noise rock from the 80s and 90s. So here. Kinda TL;DR, but hey.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

The Kansai Scene. A truly magical time in Japanese underground music, from the mid 80s until the mid 90s. Boredoms and eYe led the way of course, but one should never forget to honor the other members of the blessed trinity: the aforementioned Seiichi Yamamoto  (Boredoms, Omoide Hatoba, Rovo, etc.) and the legendary Yoshimi P-Wee (OOIOO, Free Kitten, Saicobaba, etc.).

 

The headquarters for the movement was Osaka. The mutations that spawned from its public bathrooms and street corners mixed the exuberance and confrontational attitude of punk, the playful side of Japanese street culture, and brazenness of Osaka, and the trappings of Dadaism. Take a group like UFO or DIE. They'd travel around the city and put on performances in bathroom stalls, subway stations, public parks. Their instruments were themselves and whatever else they could get their hands on nearby. I recall an interview with eYe wherein the author describes him putting on a show while standing in a bathtub filled to the brim with toy instruments and trinketry. 

 

Really, this sums it all up better than I ever could:

 

 

The mutation of Boredoms was constant, and really it was an encapsulated reflection of the entire scene's development. Super Roots, their collection of odds and ends published on successive CD releases, chronicled it all. They went from Three Stooges to Iggy and the Stooges, cut-up pastiche to marathon rock-runners. Then Super Roots 6 came, and for a brief time they transcended everything earthly to become the official band of dreamworld, channeling This Heat and all that motorik-rhythmic krautrock goodness that came to this planet from the edges of the cosmos. All filtered through the glitchridden lenses of Fennesz. It all solidified through their Mekongs tribute album (Super Roots 7) and culminated with Super AE, an artifact which stands as my favorite Boredoms album and maybe my favorite album of the 90s. Period.

 

Everything got more 'psychedelic' after that. Terribly overused as the word 'psychedelic' is, it's convenient, but in this case it doesn't really fit the bill. As I've said elsewhere, psychedelia has to tap into a very specific mindset and isn't the synonym for "weird" people often make it out to be. What Boredoms did after Super AE didn't tap into that mindset, but rather surpassed it. There is no substance or experience of said substance that can be invoked here beyond the stuff of pure joy. Vision Creation Newsun is like some celebration of just being alive, of being able to detect vibrations and hear sound. It's all that excitement of the Kansai Scene, only collapsed inward for a brief moment and rarified, before exploding outward again in release.

 

Boredoms left this world for the sun, and lo the Kansai Scene was done.

 

The numerous offshoots, that big extended family that centered around the main band, branched off in different directions. OOIOO embraced the psychedelic fervor even more tightly, and Yoshimi ended up authoring some of the most beautiful eastern-influenced ballads of the last few decades:

 

 

Along with Saicobaba's On the Roof of Kedar Lodge, OOIOO's Gold & Green is just one of those timeless albums that manages to "get there" more than just about anything else of its ilk.

 

As for Seiichi Yamamoto, he had left the Boredoms mothership, though eYe still used samples of his guitar work as integral parts of his compositions. He released a very touching album under the heading of Omoide Hatoba entitled Osaka Ra. To me it seems like the album Boredoms would have released had they continued with their earlier sound, as an older band. It was a love letter to Osaka and the whole scene, with samples taken off the streets. It invoked the spirit of UFO or DIE but with all the care of a symphony hall performance.

 

eYe had always been very conscious about the experience behind music, in particular the relationship between performers and audience members. This goes all the way back to his Hanatarash days when he'd throw barrels at people and plowed through the back wall of a club using a questionably procured piece of construction equipment. It's this relationship that speaks for the whole scene largely and cuts right to the heart of it all. More recently, eYe has been exploring this through his art exhibits and performances as a DJ. 

 

Really DJ culture seems to go hand-in-hand with what Boredoms had always been about. When he finally returned to Earth after a post Newsun hiatus, what I can only imagine to be a sojourn around the universe, eYe began to enact his "cosmic turntable" theory. He jettisoned everything but a core group of four drummers. On top of their rhythmic tribal assault, he added samples and loops of Seiichi Yamamoto's achingly beautiful guitar work. The audience was to encircle the performers, directing their awareness toward a common central point. All of their movements---the side-to-side "scratching" that resulted from their dance---along with the positive energy from their enjoyment as spectators was to be focused inward. Direction.

 

Direction. For Boredoms, things seem to be heading in a direction that is a little hard to pin down right now. Hindsight will make things clearer once time has moved the pages away from our noses a bit, but for now it seems like a certain organic, living dance music is where eYe is headed. At least, in the realm of recorded media. Super Roots10 with its various remixes and interpretations is a very conscious tip of the hat to the notion of a recording's limitations. I maintained before that Boredoms have reached a stage---both literally and figuratively---where they can no longer be contained within the confines of recorded media. This is true of many bands, but here it goes further. The infamous BoaDrum concerts with seventy to eighty drummers all performing simultaneously is proof enough. When asked about the contents of a new record, eYe indicated that he was at a loss for what to put on one. Really all we can hope for are approximations, bits and pieces of a much richer whole.

 

And really, that has always been the case when it comes to the Kansai Scene. We've always been outsiders in one sense or another, always getting bits and pieces. The same legends and anecdotes have been handed down, and they've all come together to form a larger, beautiful mythos.

 

The history of contemporary music, particularly the 'underground' and various counter culture scenes, has always fascinated me. Japanese rock from the 60s onward has been a research subject of mine over the years, and really there's just so much under-the-radar stuff to celebrate.

post #6122 of 21760
Thread Starter 

Very pretty pets everyone is posting. Thanks for sharing!

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post

Would team diary be up for a weekly/monthly, themebased, joint mixtape/compilation?

 

We could all chip in with a song or two, based on themes or genres, once a week or once a month or so, and make our sort of mixtape? I've been looking for some web service for creating such mixtapes, but I haven't found any. There has to be though. It's 2013 and the idea of an internet without the possibility of creating small playlists of music to share among friends and to collaborate on seems kind of silly.

 

What say thee?

 

That sounds fun.

 

I've always seen this thread as a means of sharing / promoting music. I'm planning on doing a more regular (maybe weekly?) music recommendation post too.

 

More music discussion is always good, so I'd add that we need to do a post about what we submit to the mix. Like, something about the artist or why you like it or whatever floats yer boat.

post #6123 of 21760

One of those days where the household starts the day with no plans, then carefully lays out a full day's worth of plans, and then gives up on them all because neither of us had bothered to look out a window to see whether it's worthwhile to go outside.

 

The locals are not used to snow at all and the big, puffy snowflakes are going to lead to some, well, really interesting driving behavior, even though the ground isn't frozen so there won't be any snow or ice accumulation. May as well stay home and drink hot drinks.

post #6124 of 21760
You know, all of the noise music sharing and discussion reminds me of the Warhammer 40,000 (WH40k) universe. Specifically the grimdark evil faction Chaos, and even more specifically Slaanesh (a hyper hedonistic faction of Chaos).

It reminded me of one of the Space Marines chapters of how they fallen for the power of Chaos through, among other ways, music. Not satisfied with what ever remnant of music we humans have achieved, they started to go for more strident and chaotic forms, up to creating their own instruments that managed to summon up eldritch entities from beyond space. Maybe all the noise artists are Slaaneshi cultists and they actually are summoning unspeakable horrors that torments and pleasure humans before their souls are consumed and subjected to escalating pleasurable torture.

This is my new description for noise genre and all related things.
post #6125 of 21760
dp
post #6126 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post


Simplest plan is best plan, I agree. Nonetheless, I'm still trying it out, at least for my benefit.

Well, they made it look very good and so on, but it's not too intuitive to use. For example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post


Well, here's something: http://8tracks.com/fuurachan/mix-taped

WARNING: LOWER YOUR PC VOLUME LEVEL.

I pressed on the "skip song" button by mistake when I actually thought I was going to scroll on the timeline (their timeline doesn't seem to be clickable) to re-listen a passage, and now I can't even seem to reload the playlist, since it seems to want to continue from where I left off, even though I refresh the page. It would probably start from the beginning if I cleaned my cache, sure, but I shouldn't have to go to that length just to re-listen a passage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Very pretty pets everyone is posting. Thanks for sharing!

 

 


 

That sounds fun.

 

I've always seen this thread as a means of sharing / promoting music. I'm planning on doing a more regular (maybe weekly?) music recommendation post too.

 

More music discussion is always good, so I'd add that we need to do a post about what we submit to the mix. Like, something about the artist or why you like it or whatever floats yer boat.

I agree on the discussion part. It would make it much more personal and it could also lead to interesting discussions (especially when the subjective opinions start coming out instead of a copypaste from wikipedia).

 

Should we decide as a democracy the different themes for the mixes, or do you want to make those decisions yourself (this is your thread after all) or do you want someone else to be in charge, maybe one member for one theme, and then next member for next theme and so on? I can see pros and cons with each choice...

post #6127 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post

I pressed on the "skip song" button by mistake when I actually thought I was going to scroll on the timeline (their timeline doesn't seem to be clickable) to re-listen a passage, and now I can't even seem to reload the playlist, since it seems to want to continue from where I left off, even though I refresh the page. It would probably start from the beginning if I cleaned my cache, sure, but I shouldn't have to go to that length just to re-listen a passage.
...

Yeah sent a PM about it.

tl;dr to others, it's basically radio in the old days.
post #6128 of 21760

I suppose I'll join this thread even though I have no idea what it's about~ ^_^.

post #6129 of 21760

Stuck at home so we're eating ramen.

 

post #6130 of 21760

Since everyone seems keen on Coq's music idea why not just use LastFm or Sound Cloud. LastFm has a great playlist feature you can use and if you want to share with the diary club just post a link with your personal monthly or weekly music charts. I used to use it back in the day and it's not a half bad service for discovering new music or sharing your musical tastes with others. Sound Cloud I've never used but it seems everyone I know with an internet connection does so there must be something good about it for it to appeal to so many people.


I've never had a cat or a dog but I have had budgies and fish. I find fish especially relaxing to watch and I'll probably start up my tank again. This time around i'm thinking of getting a smaller tank and trying my hand at growing some real aquatic plants and getting a Siamese Fighting Fish. For some reason that fish appeals to me. Every time I see one I think it's the lone wolf of the fish world.


Edited by DigitalFreak - 2/16/13 at 8:29am
post #6131 of 21760
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VortexBlast View Post

It's been a long time I haven't been to my local Jaben. Turns out they had something extremely interesting and also, very obscure.

It's the Bakoon Products HDA-5210mk3 (Japan model only) and it's scarily powerful.

 

Paired up with my HE-500 and the synergy is unbelievable. At the low current setting, it is sufficient on powering the HE-500 but flick the switch to the high position and suddenly, everything is just a feast of power. The volume knob goes to 10 and it only needs to go to 2-2.5 to fully spread the HE-500's wings. This amp is so powerful that it makes the HE-6 look like it only needs milliwatts of power.

Problem with this amp is that I've been having trouble finding the spec sheets and the price (they told me it's more than $2000).

 

Also during my time at Jaben, I did once reviewed a bit negatively on the Ocharaku Flat-4 saying that it was like spikes of treble. Turns out I used the wrong tips (it was silicone tips that over-emphasised the treble).

I have reauditioned it with foam tips and my god, it is a wonderful IEM, Almost like a baby FitEar 334 but for a much lower price. One criticism though is the weird fit but that's just nitpicking. Sorry MuppetFace, you were right it's excellent.

 

Also reauditioned the FAD Muramasa. Excellent instrument separation but very midrange centric. The sound is also unique in its own way.

 

 

Oh, nice. I'm glad you finally got to try the Muramasa. It's really bass light isn't it? I'm not a bass head per se, but the lack of impact really limits its versatility. Which is a shame for something so expensive. To be honest it's really difficult for me to describe exactly how I feel about its sound. It's resolving and accurate aside from being rolled off, and in some respects it's similar to the FI-BA-SS. Yet it also has a closed-in almost "cupped" quality. It sounds very clear, yet it has a slight metallic timbre. Reminds me of its namesake: a sword. 

 

I'm glad you got to try the Flat4 again with the proper tips. As I suspected, the silicon tips seem to mess with the signature since Ocharaku voiced them with the foam ones. Now you know why I love them so much!

 

Those Bakoons sound really interesting. I've been seeing some blurbs about them on head-fi, and I'd love to find out more about them.  Are they speaker amps? I'm currently in the market for a new integrated or power amp.

post #6132 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post  Cute! Almost looks fake heehee.

 

Thanks, Rocky gives you a virtual lick! Your statement reminded me of taxidermy, and some interesting forms of taxidermy:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixClaw View Post  I'll attach a picture of my dog too :)

 

Awww...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post  Stuck at home so we're eating ramen.

 

From Nong Shim? wink.gif


Edited by tomscy2000 - 2/16/13 at 9:00am
post #6133 of 21760

Whoa cool looking little amp

post #6134 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

Whoa cool looking little amp

 

 

Looks more like a lighter lol.

post #6135 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

Whoa cool looking little amp

 

Oh boy, it's a scratch magnet.

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