compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at"

Last updated 02.12.30

(*) means I don't own this album and haven't listened to it.

(@) means I don't own this album but have listened to it.

thanks to RG and David McKenzie for the loan of albums!


official site


U.S. releases through

Thrill Jockey


Nobukazu Takemura


(@) 02.7.23 Childisc TKCA-72391

This slightly over 80 minute album contains some lighter experimental instrumentals with some slightly but not radically exerimental songs with words by Aki Tsuyuko and always sung using a computer speech synthesizer. While they begin well within human singing range some later ones are very fast and seem to be 12 tone serial... Which reminded me that when Zappa got his computer based gear he did all sorts of high speed pieces of avant garde music that humans couldn't easily perform... and as a similarity quite a few serial compositions. (He didn't use singing vocal synthesis) So I guess one gets some feeling that this is a sort of playful of imaginary take on some sort of A.I. learning and playing with music. Some things don't always work. For starters there is a high speed ticking or glitching on the very first track. Its not my CD player since track 2 lacks it, but it is kind of nerve wracking as its not really the beat and sounds like a problem playing the CD, so I'm not at ease for starters. Also I guess a bit of computer singing goes a long way. While Takemura saves things by not doing it every track and does do different things with the voices, its the kind of thing that might very well wear out its welcome. To me it seems that Takemura's technique is to experiment with software and hardware with some ability to come up with its own generated music, then he selects the material he likes and augments it. So the result tends to be what I'd kind of expect, a lot of usually interesting bits and pieces, some random, some intentional all knitted together and superimposed. So to me he gets "it" on mood and it seems to go somewhere from note to note, but often as a whole a lot of it is more a sonic wander around than a story or a musical statement of some kind.

Spring 2003 release slated on Thrill Jockey

The album when given a promo or perhaps sold as special limited packaging in Japan comes with a 10th premium CD-ROM. On it are clay animated videos just shy of 9 minutes of mpeg video that Takemura made himself. It is cute and looks almost like kids made it, which is probably not a good thing though is fun to watch for what it is.



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