It seems that Masami Tsuchiya heard the music of Japan before the band discovered his. ‘I was very touched by Japan’s music from the very first album,’ he told Bamboo magazine, ‘and I told everyone about them – what great musicians they were. The word got around and Japan got to know about it’. Tsuchiya was a founder member of Ippu-Do, an outfit with an openness to European influences. Some sessions for their 1980 LP Real even took place at Hansa studios in Berlin, originating titles such as ‘German Road’, ‘Heidelburg Symphony’ and ‘Neu! (Changing the History)’ – tracks that boast a new wave sound with synthesisers, sequencers and vocoder vox accompanying driving guitar, bass and drums.
Continue reading “The Art of Parties – Methods of Dance – live”
‘standing on the edge of a world where you can’t find the centre’
The history of the La Biennale di Venezia dates as far back as 1895 when the first International Art Exhibition was organised. During the 20th century this celebration of the creative arts expanded with the Venice Film Festival in 1932 being the first such festival in history and dedicated programmes launched for music, theatre, dance and architecture. Over time more and more nations have chosen to participate in the art exhibition by staging their own events in national ‘pavilions’. Some are rented spaces across Venice but there are also 29 permanent pavilions in the Giardini area adjacent to the central exhibition building.
Continue reading “Dumb Type – 2022”
‘life is the art of encounters’
When Sadistic Mika Band broke up, Yukihiro Takahashi had a very clear vision of the musical direction he wanted to take as he launched a solo career that would span the coming decades. ‘I wanted to do something completely new,’ he confided in a radio interview in 2020 on the occasion of the re-release of his debut album Saravah! ‘I wanted to combine elements from new and old music from abroad as well as from Japan and create something unique.’
Continue reading “Le Pollen – Demain”
‘Credit where credit’s due. Yuka brought the first Chinese records home which filled my head with unknown sounds, and it was only a matter of weeks before they were circulated around the band and we were all hooked,’ writes Mick Karn in his book Japan & Self Existence of then girlfriend, Yuka Fujii. ‘I couldn’t get enough of them. It was always exciting to get home and listen to what I’d bought on the strength of the sleeve design alone. The best were the instrumental tracks, for it was the unusual instrumentation that left us wondering at how the absence of guitars, drum kit, synthesisers and anything else familiar, somehow still produced commercially driven music.
Continue reading “Visions of China”
In 1989 a new building was opened for the Tochoji Zen Temple in Yotsuya, Tokyo. Initially established in 1594, the modern development was commissioned under the design of Takashi Serizawa to commemorate the Temple’s 400th anniversary. By now situated just minutes away from the Tokyo Metro amidst the bustle of modern Japanese urban life and commerce, the new complex skilfully combined modern design with a traditional aesthetic. Uniquely, Serizawa incorporated a basement auditorium within the layout and devised a plan for temple activities to be expanded to include cultural projects, particularly in the arena of contemporary art. Soon afterwards this basement venue was officially named ‘P3 art and environment’.
Continue reading “Redemption”