Beat Bachs

A post on Boing Boing was the first I’d heard of Omodaka, a collaboration from a Japanese electronic musician putting out some of the most amazing videos I’ve ever seen. (You can read more about the artist on this modern Japanese music guide).

He’s got six videos available on YouTube, and pretty much every one is going to be something you haven’t quite seen before.

Kokiriko Bushi is a fantastic video that sums up everything distinctive about the music: a combination of 8-bit videogame music samples with traditional Japanese folk and pop vocals. (As Boing Boing points out, the track is an electronic version of a Japanese folk song).

I was a little surprised that my favorites were the ones that didn’t play up the retro-videogame angle. The Omodaka version of Bach’s Cantata No. 147 is just wonderful:

But my favorite (possibly my favorite music video ever) is Kyoteizinc. I love this so much I want to make another Voyager probe just so I can put this on the disc:

I’m hoping that a DVD of the videos makes it way to the US sometime, because this stuff is just amazing.

2 thoughts on “Beat Bachs”

  1. Thanks for sending this around, it’s awesome stuff. Am I allowed to say that this stuff reminds me of the better electronically-focused music in the Katamari soundtracks (listeng to the ‘kyotei daiski’ video right now), without it being wholly obvious that this and the Katamari soundtracks are maybe the only things resembling Japanese music that I’ve listened to in the last two years?

  2. Probably not, but it’s understandable. My knowledge of Japanese pop & electronic music is pretty limited, and at least 5 years out of date, but even an outsider can see there’s a lot of cross-pollination going on.

    I’ve gotten a couple of the records from Amazon, and the influences are from all over the place. Omodaka throws in the chiptune/8-bit stuff, and of course the traditional Japanese pop vocals, but I think they’re all following the same trends and pulling from the same place. Some of the samples I recognize from Pizzicato Five remixes.

    I’m still astounded by that video for Kyoteizinc, even after watching it like a billion times over the last week. It’s the first case I’ve seen where an artist’s statement wasn’t just pretentious nonsense, but it really does what it says: the “mutational fusion of music and motion graphics” from the “What is OMODAKA?” part. It really has knocked over my existing image towards a music video by a beautiful trajectory.

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