LAG records follow last years reissue of Koharu Kisaragi and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Neo-plant’ with ‘Kisshō Tennyo’, the 1984 LP by Joe Hisaishi. If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli you might know his work soundtracking pretty much most of their renowned movies – Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and more recently (and one of my favourites) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
The first track ‘Legend Of Tennyo’ is all slow arps and emotive chords and sets a tone for the album to come – esoteric music from the East made by a master of his trade. ‘Kanou Sayoko’ is synths and live drums with ‘Toono Ryou’ being very much YMO in mode. All a bit ‘Rydeen’ if you know what I mean with some great fills and breaks.
From ‘Flight Of Tennyo’ onwards the album gets very interesting, the track itself being an odd arp jam that’s only a minute and half in length and is followed by one of the rolling bass-line tracks in ‘Toono Akira’. ‘Enchantress’ is pretty flipping amazing. An arp’d organ gets repeated over and over with this one sounding pretty flipping cosmic as it gets spaced out further and further until a warm pad brings it home.
‘Blood Feud’ is the stand out killer for me. It sounds like ‘Riot In Lagos basically but different. Sort of dubby wonky Japanese business with killer riffs that would be amazing on a 12″. Saying that ‘Sayoko And Ryou’ is a beauty on a mellow tip… Repeated voice pad and sweet melodies and even the plastic sax can’t ruin the party for me. ‘Premonition’ is an off-kilter soundtrack piece with ‘Reincarnation’ bringing home the album with a piano-led piece. It’s a very pretty thing.
So in short if you’re a fan of Japanese exotica, wonky synths, soundtracks and more then this one is probably for you. For those in the know about anime it also comes with new artwork by Luna Monogatari. It’s out now on LAG Records.