on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2019 9 Mrz

Japanese Jewels (10) – „Let The Happiness In“

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 17 Comments




I‘m in a dreamland. It is Japan, many years away from now. Satoshi Asiwaka sets the mood, with his composition „Still Space“, and it sounds exactly like that, „exactly“, I know, is a funny word here.

When I was a child, my father, a traveling man in industry, sent postcards from time to time, and I will never forget the big, big stamps on his cards from Japan – great hills with snow, women with strange eyes and long black hair.

Oh, what is that, Hideku Matsutake‘s „Nemireru Yoru“, for a moment, I think of my old and long gone „Spielzeugeisenbahn“. If that would have been the music for  my big green train crossing the big green field, I surely would have stopped time moving, I would have shouted „freeze“ to the world in a tender way.

When I was a bit older, I had a book called „Getting There“, and one of the first exercises was to fall up to the stars. It was a trance exercise – if you find the book, just follow the instructions, and use Joe Hisaishi’s „Islander“ as a way to activate a different you. In these synthetic arpeggios, the relaxed drum figures sound like real drum figures.

If it is very quiet in a room, and you do your Ikebana or your favourite solitary game (es gibt so viele Patiencen!), this can be the record of your choice. Oh, Yoshiaki Ochi‘s „Ear Dreamin‘“ has a real touch of Japan, slow enough for Western perception modes. It‘s no joke when, in the middle of the radio night, and in the middle of my hour on KANKYO ONGAKU, I will play a song from David Sylvian‘s „Beehive“, a distant brother to these moods of environmental music.

Oh, big surprise, a new favourite piece rolls along with waves of water, „Variation iii“, by Masashi Kitamura. The ascetic dark drumming, the space between the beats, and it stops way before its time, the shame of shiny fragments.

The constant loss of shiny fragments.

Now I have to stop writing and lose myself in the music of the double album. All the tracks seem to shy away from smartass knowing. They are just t h e r e, like the smell of my beloved plant (what was its name?), in the garden of my second childhood. I’m away now, on a day, where a tiny drip of blood found its way out of a tiny part of my body.


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  1. Jan:

    Just out of curiosity: What is in the book, Michael?

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Jan R, is this you?

    Anyway. Extensive liner notes and artist bios, including an essay by Spencer Doran, extensive meaning a text about every track.

    A small, well-done coffee table book, around 40 pages long.

    I was surprised by the ways the music attracted me. Of course we hear the hardware synths and electronics from that era, but the music has its own peculiar charm, not a rip-off from the likes of Satie, Eno, and Co. Deep and lovely, reluctant a n d immersive.

  3. Uli Koch:

    I got lost for hours in the serene diversity of amazing and often impressing simple ambient pieces. This is an excellent compilation and contains pieces of all the important musicians producing ambient music these days. And I found it worth checking many of the musicians again and found a lot of japanese jewels beside this double album of highest atmospheric density. Finally KANKYO ONGAKU shows that the japanese approach to ambient music ist different to the western way and should not been taken only as a literally translation. Silence.

  4. Michael Engelbrecht:

    You took the words right out of my mouth, Uli.
    But, other than you, I‘ve always been an outsider to Japanese music. So great to file this under DISCOVERY and LIVING MUSIC.

    And so the Theme Hour of my night show on April 16 nearly puts itself together:
    It will start and end with MUSIC FOR NINE POSTCARDS, in the center a Sylvian song, and before and after that only music from the compilation that has been published from Light In The Attic Records.

    I‘m so proud not be trapped by what they said when I was young and green: one day you will find your way to Brahms and Mozart. Instead I found my way to Yosiaki Ochi and Joe Isaishi. 😌🍷

  5. Uli Koch:

    Especially the last sentences i have to agree totally. Even when stuck in the trap as a son of classically trained music teacher for no particular reason the trap didn’t catch me. Guess the closing mechanism has become a bit too rusty 😉😂
    And in some way you are right, Micha, i feel most times more related to all this japanese stuff and Mozart kept being a kind of musical glycerine 🍷

  6. Rosato:

    I have difficulties to pick up the right meaning of *glycerine* within this context. Is it Frostschutz or Süßstoff or raw material for Dynamit ?

  7. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Asks the man without the ambient gene, as he once called himself – lost in Prokofiev (achte Klaviersonate), never lost in space 😇 (kein Apolloprogramm für Rosato)

    (Materialien zum fröhlichen Diskurs)

  8. Brian Whistler:

    I have always had an ambiguous feeling about most ambient music, being focused most of my life on harmony. But there were things from the beginning that seduced me anyway. Lately I’ve been coming back to more of this kind of music, but I am admittedly a knowledge is limited, especIlly when it comes to the performers on the leading edge. This looks to be a nice way to check some things out.

    Any recommendations for a soundtrack for flights to icy places?

  9. Jan:

    Danke, Michael. (Yes, it’s me.)

    Brian, try Asmus Tietchens: Eisgang.

  10. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Brian, try Eno:

    The Shutov Assembly

    (works in every surrounding with a window, or a sky)

  11. Uli Koch:

    Try the ice music of Terje Isungset. This could prepare you best for a glacial experience.

  12. Uli Koch:

    @Rosato: glycerine is sweet and sticky 😖😖😖

  13. Michael Engelbrecht:

    As far as I know, Brian only travels to Oslo, the south of Norway, regarded as the Northern Riviera. Thus, Paolo Conte is a great choice, too, and he has ancient jazz vibes in his genes.

  14. Lajla:

    Jeff Tweedy WARM or WARMER
    Or 30 Minutes Hardanger Fiddle Music

  15. Lajla:

    Brian, before I travel to a foreign country I bring myself into mood with music from that country I am going to. I went twice to North Norway,I personally like Grieg, especially the Solveig song, and of course Sibelius, though from Finlandia.

  16. Jake Cole:

    Above all, Kankyō Ongaku presents music in architectural and civil engineering terms, suggesting that compositions can take on structural forms and even offer a means of understanding and navigating urban growth.

    As cities grow ever denser and climate change necessitates a critical rethinking of environmental impact and the possibility of reintegrating human spaces with nature, art can likewise change to reflect this new state of being.

    By showcasing an artistic fusion of the tranquil with the bustling, the primal with the technologically advanced, the compilation shows how much work has already been done to find ways of summarizing and celebrating the potential of this new reality.

  17. Rosato:

    fabelhafte edition
    die streamer bieten nur 10 tracks an
    die CD-Ausgabe enthält 23
    ausgabe in buchform
    alles in allem jeden cent wert

    die CDs sind in engen kammern harten papiers eingelegt
    ripping empfohlen zur schonung der scheiben

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