Karakuri Babble is a daily column by
the editors of i360.com, usually on
topics tangentially related to anime and cosplay.
In the past
we have endorsed many things; in the future we shall support many
probably it's just that i have no taste.
A while back, I handed Jeff a hard drive and asked him to fill it with media. He did.
This included a bunch of Jpop. You know, normal otaku stuff. Nana Mizuki, a bunch of girl bands, lots of anime openings. I listened to a bunch of it, and it's kind of my style of music, but it just wasn't satisfying for some reason.
I'm not sure why. It just feels like something's missing. It is, for want of a better word, somehow boring. And I listen to almost nothing but Touhou music. Pause for a moment, Gentle Reader, and wonder at this. I certainly did.
But Touhou music's a world in itself, nowadays, and at its best it's as complex as any of the genres it takes its cues from. Today I was listening to a track by seventh-heaven MAXION:
Stunning. It moves so quickly, introducing and dropping instruments, changing tempo, shifting between near-whispers and robust declamations. The fact that half of it's in Russian only adds to the sense of complete, overwhelming force. I really love that about music -- the sense that I'm running to catch up. I don't know whether that's just my lack of sophistication, that I can't perceive the simple tricks they're using, but my enjoyment is a real thing all the same.
And so I'm not finding myself able to listen to a lot of the non-doujin music. I enjoy the brilliant green, as I mentioned the other day. I like the pillows, BUMP OF CHICKEN, and a host of other rock bands, but the electronic girl pop that's a staple of the Japanese scene just hasn't been doing much for me lately. I think that kind of music, since it relies less heavily on live performance, owes it to itself to be more dense, more layered. Production is everything.
There's a moment that Glenn MCDONALD describes perfectly, that sums up the feeling that I'm not finding in Jpop:
I forgive this album all its subjective faults, however, for two moments that only narrowly slipped off the end of my year-end best-song list. One is literally a moment, a single percussive noise at about 1:58 of the lithe, quasi-disco strut "When I Grow Up". The song has dropped into near a cappella, Shirley muttering "Blood and blisters / On my fingers, / Chaos rules when we're apart", and then suddenly there are two sharp noises that on a simpler record would probably just have been kick/snare combinations, but Garbage layer so many instruments into these pulses that no matter how high I turn up my stereo at the crucial moment, there always seems to be a little more detail in them that I can't quite discern. Gates to alternate universes have been less ornate.
Of course, I went down the rabbit hole a long time ago. Maybe I just lost my ability to appreciate other music. Maybe I forgot all the cues. As XKCD said, "we only have one scale, and we resize all our experiences to fit."
words from chris, 2012-05-03 04:08:49, los angeles