Bird whistles, flutes, percussion
March 14, 2017 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass.
This long out-of-print 1983 album by the Japanese percussionist and composer has finally seen the light of day with a reissue on We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want To Records and Palto Flats Records.
Andy Beta at Pitchfork has a thorough review that helps provide context.

Lunar Cruise, her collaboration with Masahiko Sato, will be reissued later this year.
Takada is partly know to Japanese obscuritanists her work with Mkwaju Ensemble, whose Ki-Motion remains a rarity and whose Mkwaju was Miyazaki-soundtrack-composer Joe Hisaishi’s first album of original work.
posted by Going To Maine (14 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
This is good.
posted by flabdablet at 6:59 PM on March 14, 2017

I've never heard of this musician -- I can't even say I've heard of this genre before -- but as someone with friends in the "let's collect rare vinyl that's never been reissued on CD and trade them online until we get sued" community, I'm glad when something sees the light of day.

But mainly, I wanted to say that the existence of a record label called We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want To Records reminds me immediately of The Three Guys Who'll Publish Anything from Maniac Mansion.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:58 PM on March 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

A YouTube rip of this has been my primary work music for a year now so I'm thrilled to own it legally.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:00 PM on March 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

HOLY SHIT thank you
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:08 PM on March 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

bless u for this
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 8:23 PM on March 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like this album. It's ethereal and subtly dreamlike. I discovered it last year through a YouTube recommendation while I was listening to Deru's "1979," which doesn't exactly have a similar sound, but goes well with the Takada album somehow.
posted by byanyothername at 8:41 PM on March 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you, Going to Maine. THANK YOU, We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want to Records (Sex Rap Volume 1, without shame).
posted by psylosyren at 9:00 PM on March 14, 2017

This record has cycled back into my life so much recently that it must be because of this reissue. This is a great record, but the Steve Reich-ian elements wear me down a bit and cause me to get up and move the needle. Nthing the Mkwaju Ensemble records to the nth degree. Ki-motion maybe the most of the two. So great and hope she reaches a larger audience.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:01 PM on March 14, 2017

Very nice. I quite enjoyed that. Slightly disappointed that there isn't a digital version for sale as well.
posted by evilDoug at 9:10 PM on March 14, 2017

I can’t even say I’ve heard of this genre before

I think the genre is essentially avant-garde classical / minimalism - I would think of So Percussion as similar - maybe the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Clogs, or Alarm Will Sound if you want to get a bit outside of the percussive? It actually seems like there are a lot of little avant-garde classical groups, but it’s not exactly something in high demand.

My impression is that Takada is partly getting noticed because of her pick-up by the new-agey fringe in modern electronic, especially those members who are into, well, Japanese sounds. Notably, both the rootstrata and listentothis blogs posted the album aaaaages ago (if you’re looking for a digital copy…), and those seem to be blogs that music critics note. The former is/was run by one member (both?) of Visible Cloaks, whose recent album has made critics happy. I don’t like it. (Links to their mixes of Japanese ‘80s music have been linked on MetaFilter before - those are all pretty dang good.) My impression as an outsider to that scene is that people are really just rediscovering that whole period of Japanese music and folk are going a little wild about it.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:32 PM on March 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Beautiful. Just beautiful.
posted by seawallrunner at 12:21 AM on March 15, 2017

An interview with Chee Shimizu at Resident Advisor. Shimizu is one of the people who has driven awareness of Takada.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:07 AM on March 15, 2017

Geeta Dayal interviews Midori Takada in The Guardian: “Everything on this earth has a sound.”
posted by Going To Maine at 12:50 PM on March 24, 2017

How YouTube autoplay gave a lost Japanese classic new life - Dazed Digital credits YouTube's secret algorithm for boosting attention to this lost classic, not word of mouth/blog, but there's more on Takada, including some interview snippets, so it's not total bunk.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 PM on April 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

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