Public art has a long history in Japan, from the giant bronze Buddhas in Kamakura and Nara, to the gigantic avant-garde sculptures of Taro Okamoto, to blink-and-you’ll-miss-them train station installations such as The Eye of Shinjuku. All of these works take true advantage of their environment, working to emphasize the beauty of the natural world that surrounds the work of art. The late 70s to the early 90s were a period of massive economic expansion in Japan, cementing its position as the world’s second largest economy. This lead to massive investments into hubs of commerce and interpersonal interaction such as department stores, parks, and museums, all of which were constructed with every aspect of the aesthetic experience considered. Unlike malls in the US and Europe that were content with piping in pop music (Or even worse, generic Muzak), In Japan, specially commissioned music was considered an integral part of the shopping, museum-going, and leisure experience. Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita are the architects of Inoyama Land, a project that has spanned 4 decades. After the release of their Haruomi Hosono-produced 1983 LP Danzindan-Pojidon, the duo became involved in creating music for the budding “Environmental Music” business. Their work exhibits a nostalgic, emotional resonance - familiar and calming, while still unique and surprising. The music here is culled from ultra-limited CD releases and DIY CD-Rs, and includes music composted for the Kankaku (Sense) Museum in Miyagi, an exhibit on slime molds at the Museum of Nature & Science in Ueno Park, their score for a Japanese re-staging of Richard Foreman’s experimental theatre work Egyptology, in addition to the stage production Collecting Net. You may recognize some of their work from the recent Kankyo Ongaku compilation, and this collection further illuminates music that is barely known even in its country of origin. Pressed on two crystal clear LPs and featuring liner notes and a new interview inside the gatefold. Highly recommended.
- double clear vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve with liner notes and interview
- limited edition
- music label: Empire of Signs 2019
reviewed by OL' CLAES OLDENBURGER BEATS 09/2019