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Yasuaki Shimizu / Music For Commercials

Yasuaki Shimizu, Music For Commercials, Crammed DIscs, Test Pressing, Review

With the recent (well last year) reissue of Yasuaki Shimizu’s ‘Kakashi’ and ‘Mariah’ (he was in that band too) causing quite a stir for the mans music its seems a fitting time to see a reissue of this piece. ‘Music For Commercials’ is exactly what it says on the tin. A series of short form pieces of music named primarily after the brands they were written for – namely Seiko, Sharp, Honda, Bridgestone etc…

The album originally came out on Crammed Discs (whose back catalogue is quite ridiculous) and is one of the most sought after in their ‘Made To Measure’ series so we are told. It’s the sound of synths at that perfect 80s time so full of amazing noises and inspiration both for producers and pure music heads. The sounds run from semi-ambient to weirdo electronics and orchestral pieces and some of it is truly beautiful. See the first track here for proof…

As the man himself says, “TV commercials in the late ’70s and ’80s didn’t advertise the practical features of products, they were meant to build strategic corporate images. You might even say they took a musical approach in their visual expression, though perhaps that’s an overstatement. Being restricted to a time span of a minute or less made it ideal work for refining my intuitive powers. I made a conscious choice not to remix the tracks for this album. The final version of the original recordings appear here untouched, although I do remember working to link the individual tunes, and on the overall mood.”

So what you have is an incredible period of advertising (see those 80s Grace Jones ad for proof), with creatives running loose with colour and ideas soundtracked by incredible musicians. You can read more on this with Jiro Bevis’ great piece on YMO and related music HERE.

Anyway, this is highly recommended and was released Friday just gone on Crammed on LP / CD in remastered versions. Nice.

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