E.S.T./Leucocyte (2007)

A Swedish jazz piano trio formed in 1993, E.S.T.(Esbjörn Svensson Trio)'s 12th album (ACT). Contemporary jazz featuring Esbjörn Svensson's aesthetic piano like Keith Jarrett, with heavy use of electronic sounds, electronic effects and noises, in the electroacoustic work style. Produced by the trio's improvisation in an Australian studio and post-production. It mainly consists of two long tracks in the suite form. More close to post-rock/alternative rock such as Sigur Rós and Radiohead, and ambient/glitch techno such as Fennesz, more than jazz. Unfortunately, this is the final album by E.S.T., because Svensson died in a scuba diving accident in 2008.



Paul Mauriat/Paul Mauriat Best 100 -eternal European sounds- (2015/1965-1993)

A best compilation (a set of 5 CDs) of the works composed by Paul Mauriat, a French composer/conductor, who was born in 1925 in Marseille, and produced international hits in the easy listening genre in popular/film music fields in the late 1960s and the early 1970s (Universal Music Japan). It includes 100 tracks selected from Universal Music's master tapes and digitally remastered on SHM-CD. All the hits are the original versions. Sentimental instrumental orchestra pop with heavy use of harpsichord, including catchy melodies and classical/baroque elements. "Nocturne" (1966) is his early original piece. "L'amour est bleu (Love is Blue)" (1967) is a cover of French composer, André Popp's song (#1 hit in the US). "La reine de Saba" (1967) is a cover of a Tunisian singer-songwriter, Michel Laurent's song. "Pénélope (L'éterner retour)" (1970) is a cover of Spanish composer, Augusto Algueró's song. "Toccata" (1973) is a cover of French composer, Gaston Rolland. "El Bimbo" (1974) is a cover of French composer, Claude Morgan's song. Recommended to those who want to listen to the original versions of Paul Mauriat's hits as a whole in high-quality sound.

Paul Mauriat Best 100 -eternal European sounds-

| Music: M |


Janet Jackson/Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)

An American singer, songwriter and actress, who was born as the youngest child of the Jackson family including Michael Jackson, and achieved commercial success as an artist since the late 1980s, escaping from her brother Michael, Janet Jackson's fourth studio album (R#1 on the US album charts. #4 on the UK). A collaboration with the production team, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as on her previous album "Control" (1986), and it became a blockbuster selling 12 million copies worldwide. A maspterpiece of contemporary R&B/New Jack Swing, mainly consisting of dance pop songs with heavy use of sampler (E-mu SP-1200) and drum machine, and ballads with strings. A concept album dealing with social themes such as racism, poverty, and substance abuse. Includes seven top five hit singles, "Miss You Much" (#1 on the US), "Rhythm Nation" (#2), "Escapade" (#1), "Alright" (#4), "Come Back to Me" (#2), "Black Cat" (#1) and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" (#1). "Black Cat" is a song in the heavy metal style. "The Knowledge" is a song in the industrial music style.

Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814

| Music: J |


Herbie Hancock/Mwandishi (1971) *

An American jazz pianist, composer and arranger born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1940, Herbie Hancock's ninth album (Warner Bros.). The first album by the Herbie Hancock Sextet, in the "Mwandishi" years in the early 1970s, who had developed experimental music under strong influence of the early electric Miles Davis ("In A Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew"). The personnel are Herbie Hancock (Fender Rhodes piano), Buster Williams (bass), Billy Hart (drums), Eddie Henderson (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet, alto flute) and Julian Priester (trombones). Spacey avant-garde jazz featuring Herbie Hancock's electric piano, with heavy usage of effects units (reverb, echo and tremolo). The first "Ostinato (Suite for Angela)" is a 15/8-meter Afro-electric-funk including electric bass repeating a riff and African percussions. The second "You'll Know When You Get There" is a dreamy piece at a slow tempo featuring Bennie Maupin's flute. The closing "Wandering Spirit Song" (over 21 minutes) is an abstract piece influenced by "In A Silent Way", including a freaky free jazz part in the middle.



Can/Future Days (1973) *

A German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany, in 1968, Can's fifth album. The last album featuring Japanese vocalist Damo Suzuki. Percussive and comfortable Krautrock/progressive rock, featuring ambient-music elements, elaborate sound processing, light and fine drums and African percussion, and Damo Suzuki's delicate vocals. The single track "Moonshake" is a pop song with Jaki Liebezeit's metronome style drums. The closing "Bel Air" (about 20 minutes) in the suite form is an excellent piece with floating and ecstatic feelings.

Future Days

| Music: C |


Diggin' in the Carts: A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music (2017/1985-1995)

A collection of rare Japanese video game music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This dig began with Red Bull Music Academy documentary series of the same name, and it was released as an album from the UK electronic music label Hyperdub. You can enjoy cheap but atmospheric chiptunes (8 bit/16 bit music) in the early days, produced by digital synthesis within the limits of data capacity and channels. Includes 34 tracks selected from video games for consoles (Famicom, Super Famicom, PC-Engine, MegaDrive and others), PCs (PC-8801, MSX and others) and arcade. IT is worth listening to, because it was compiled in purely musical terms. The artists are Konami Kukeiha Club and others. The artwork by anime director Koji Morimoto.

Diggin' in the Carts: A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music


Guillaume Du Fay/Motets for Ceremonial and Liturgical Occasions, Plainchant for Vespers I (Pomerium, 1995)

A Flemish composer of the early Renaissance and a central figure in the Burgundian School, Guillaume Du Fay's vocal music (Archiv). Includes four motets and a plainchant. The motets, polyphonic vocal music including plainsong of Gregorian chant, are worth listening to for their clear and pure sounds, and beautiful harmony of polyphonic melodies. Most of all, a ceremonial motet performed in the consecration of Florence Cathedral, "Nuper rosarum flores" is a famous one regarded as a monumental composition in the Italian Renaissance culture. "Plainchant for Vespers I" (from "Recollectio festorum beate Marie virginis") is a chant like a recitation, which is typical of sacred music, but it includes beautiful polyphonic parts (Magnificat and Benedicamus Domino) in the postlude. Performed by the US vocal ensemble, Pomerium.

Motets for Ceremonial and Liturgical Occasions, Plainchant for Vespers I


Herbie Hancock/Crossings (1972) *

An American jazz pianist, composer and arranger born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1940, Herbie Hancock's tenth album (Warner Bros.). An experimental album recorded in the transition period (Mwandishi period) between the Blue Note years in the 1960s and the funk period in the 1970s, under strong influence of Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew" (1970). Features an electronic-music composer and synthesizer player Patrick Gleeson as a new member. Spacey and psychedelic avant-garde jazz/fusion featuring African percussions and electronic instruments, such as electric piano (Fender Rhodes), Mellotron and Moog synthesizer. The first track "Sleeping Giant" is a long performance of five parts (24:50) with funk grooves in the fusion style. The latter two tracks composed by Bennie Maupin are more avant-garde performances like contemporary music, with the atmospheric soundscape akin to deep sea or cosmic space.



Ramones/Rocket to Russia (1977)

An American punk rock band formed in New York City in 1974, Ramones' third studio album (#49 on the US album charts). A masterpiece of catchy and pop-oriented punk rock with simple and minimal sounds, heavily influenced by surf rock and bubblegum pop. It seems like a roots of melodic pop punk such as Hüsker Dü and Green Day. Includes singles, "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" (album version), "Rockaway Beach" and "Do You Wanna Dance?". "Do You Wanna Dance?" is a cover of Bobby Freeman's hit song (covered by The Beach Boys). The expanded edition CD including 5 bonus tracks was released in 2001.

Rocket to Russia

| Music: R |


Beastie Boys/Paul's Boutique (1989) *

An American hip hop group formed in New York City in 1981, Beastie Boys's second studio album (#14 on the US album charts). A masterpiece of funky alternative rap/psychedelic hip hop, featuring lots of samples, produced with the Dust Brothers, a production duo known for their sample-based music. Almost all except the vocals (rap) is composed of multilayered samples from 105 songs of funk, hip hop, rock and others, including The Beatles, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Kool & the Gang, Afrika Bambaataa, Trouble Funk, Bernard Herrmann's "The Murder" (shower scene theme from the film "Psycho"), and John Williams's "Main Title (Theme From Jaws)". Includes singles, "Hey Ladies" and "Shadrach". The Japanese edition includes two bonus tracks. The 20th anniversary remastered edition was released in 2009.

Paul's Boutique

| Music: B |