back in stock as of
april 12th, 2013
first in stock on
march 9th, 2012
|em (japan) #em 1098 cd|
matsuo ohno “i saw the outer limits • play on animals (choju gigaku)” compact disc and three inch compact disc set
- part-0 • universal is born (3:15)
- part-1 • a brief tour of the solar system and interplanetary space (5:56)
- part-2 • a slightly longer tour of the galaxy and interstellar space (6:10)
- part-3 • extragalactic and intergalactic space (4:59)
- part-4 • pulsation (6:23)
- part-5 • n-dimension (6:00)
- part-6 • mandala (6:13)
- part-(infinity) • extracosmos gazing beyond the horizon (3:22)
- sekaino kunikara kon'nichiwa
- sakura sakura (japanese traditional song)
- funiculi and funicula [italy]
- volga boatman [russia]
- oh my darling and clementine [united states]
- yagi bushi [japan]
|february 2012 release ; well, would you look at that ...|
a few years ago, i (finally) found a copy of ohno’s impossibly rare 1978 “space and maryjuane trip is same” lp ... i paid way too much money for it (esp. considering it’s actually on cd via rca victor japan under the title “the world of electro-acoustic sound and music - 2: i saw the outer limits / the war in space”) but i needed it, “for my archive” ... it showed up in a mailer that was completely bent in half (taco’ed) ; after some amount of repair, it was playable, but with a loud thump on every rotation ; i was totally heart-broken ...
that the very same record (although i’m somewhat disappointed that ohno’s changing sensibilities had this material re-branded “i saw the outer limits” as, let’s face it, it’s nowhere near as immediately awesome as “space and maryjuane trip is same”) is being reissued here by the ever prescient koki emura c/o her em label is a real treat as it’s my favorite of his work, evoking a cosmic landscape of alien form via a constant procession of woozy, burbling synths & tape echo that has an amazingly wide dynamic range ...
cd version comes with the “play on animals (choju gigaku)” 7” single pressed on a 3”cd (complete with a tiny replica of the gatefold sleeve) tucked inside, along with a 20-page booklet (in japanese & english) ; highly recommended !!!
catalogue# : em1098cd
artist : matsuo ohno
title : i saw the outer limits
media : cd
+ incl. a bonus mini-cd reissue of a rare "play on animals (choju gigaku)" [em1094cd]
+ foldout thick paper sleeve
about bonus disc:
+ a miniature reproduction of "play on animals (choju gigaku)", which has been reissued on 7" (rated as one of 2011's top releases by byron coley of the wire)+ pressed on a mini-cd (8cm) and packed in a triple foldout sleeve, same style as a original 1970 issue, and is inserted in the em1098cd sleeve.
|"i am not interested in sounds that already exist." thus spoke the esteemed "onkyo designer" matsuo ohno, early in his expansive, influential career. this reissue of his stellar 1978 lp "i saw the outer limits" presents him at the peak of his powers, combining his mastery of classic analog tape music techniques (honed to perfection whilst providing sound design for "astro boy" and numerous other films and tv programs) with then-state-of-the-art analog synthesizers. this is a true under-recognized classic, a masterfully recorded, massive-sounding poetic construction of unearthly sound, an undulating, breathing behemoth, with ohno's galaxy moving beyond "sounds that already exist" in search of new sonic spaces.|
matsuo ohno was born in kanda, in central tokyo, in 1930. the relentless bombing onslaught of the war years, the near-apocalyptic conditions, were defining, formative forces. as a youth he was interested in surrealism and philosophy, and was uninfluenced by music and musicians - an exception being the electronic works of karlheinz stockhausen, especially his "gesang der jnglinge" ("song of the youths"), which inspired him further in his quest to create "unearthly sounds." other early influences were the film director fumio kamei and the dramatist michio kato; rather than viewing himself as a musician, and never studying under any masters, ohno has forged his own path as the original "onkyo sound" artist, defining himself as an "onkyo designer" in the 1960s.
his innate independent streak manifested itself early on, when, chafing under creative restrictions and unhappy with the low esteem in which his efforts were viewed by his hierarchical "betters", ohno left a prestigious post at nhk, japan's national broadcaster. but of course his skills were in high demand and he was extremely busy as a freelance sound designer for a wide range of films, television shows and radio programs, developing his ear and his technical savvy. in 1963 he began his most famed efforts, providing sound design for the legendary japanese animation series "astro boy," with takehisa kosugi as his assistant.
the 1978 lp "i saw the outer limits," reissued here, was the first full-length non-soundtrack release by matsuo ohno. the record was a huge step for him, being non-programmatic music, designed to stand alone, free of visual imagery. ohno himself has stated that he was uninterested in notions of message, expression and representation. ohno had nothing to do with the title and subtitle of this album. shinji hinoki, a producer at toho records, approached ohno with the offer of releasing an album; hinoki perhaps envisioned something to cash in on the popularity of the synth-driven elements of pink floyd what he got was something much more abstract and otherwordly. hinoki supplied both title and subtitle, including the latter's variant spelling of "marijuana," a ploy to evade japanese censors.
on these recordings, made at sogosha in tokyo, his private studio, ohno used the ems synthi aks, which at that time in japan carried a price close to that of a family car, the newly released roland system 100 (three of these, in fact), and a custom-made synth. he combined these synthesizers with his virtuosic control of analog tape recording techniques, resulting in a magnificent lp. the original vinyl release was, however, somewhat marred by 50 hz hum generated during the mastering process at toho studios. this em vinyl reissue of "i saw the outer limits" restores the masterpiece to its primal, clear, massive glory.
people and are you ready for this? a slice of lost history unearthed for your enjoyment and delight. a first-ever reissue, on seven-inch vinyl and of choju gigaku (play on animals), an ultra-rare 33rpm seven-inch flexi-disc by esteemed sound designer matsuo ohno and the legend behind the soundtracks for anime classics “astro boy” (1963-66), “submarine cassiopeia” (1964) and “space battleship yamato” (1974-75).
the original flexi-disc was released as a souvenir during the famed world expo '70 in osaka (think stockhausen and xenakis), but was available for only a brief time and soon disappeared and an object of rumor and mystery for collectors.
as befitting expo 70's remit as a meeting of world cultures and ohno chose six well-loved japanese and international songs - and rendered them entirely in animal and bird sounds and using analog tape recordings. choju gigaku contains equal measures of musicality, magic, madness and mayhem and with domestic and barnyard animals combining their natural and pitchshifted voices with the calls and cries of a multitude of birds. eschewing musical instruments, ohno utlized japan's first variable-speed tape recorder to create these melodies and adding delay and reverb to the warm analog mix.
the five songs of choju gigaku are “sekaino kunikara kon'nichiwa”, the theme song for expo '70 originally sung by haruo minami, the japanese traditional songs “sakura sakura” and “yagi bushi”, an italian song “funiculi, funicula”, the russian “volga boatman” and an american classic “oh my darling and clementine”.
recording in sogosha studios (his production company) in aoyama and ohno was ably assisted by avant-garde composer/musician takehisa kosugi (taj mahal travellers and merce cunningham and many others), who was an integral part of the recording process.