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Old 2011.04.18, 02:30 PM   #261
so_cold
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^ Souretsu is genius because by rights it should be a total cacophany but it's not, it's amazing.

My favourite tracks from the album these days are Poltergeist and Okonomi de. Although when KZK properly intoxicates, there's always a different favourite and a different track that gets you in a new way each time. There seem to be a lot of clever use of harmonising to ascending / descending scales in KZK (think the music box accompaniment to the B-side version of Ishiki and the "fairground"-style accompaniment to Poltergeist between the chorus and verse) which is always a great way to write a pleasing song.

I love the clockwork thing in Poltergeist as well as the lighter in Meisai.

Part of the difficulty of talking about KZK is that the music follows its own logic (and her ego?) to the exclusion of all other reference points. The brain casts around for some and goes ... "???" So can anyone "recommend an album that sounds like KZK"...? Only really Shugo Tokumaru ever really reminded me of this in its sonic flavour. I had a pet theory that the 20s jazz idiom in Meisai and Okonomi de are "found sounds" from her time in the UK like the detuned piano she apparently enjoyed playing. There were one or two TV theme tunes at that time with similar drawing-room type strings (Jeeves and Wooster, Fawlty Towers [which is pastiche Beethoven]) but that has the same volume of corroborating evidence as my theory that Suberidai is influenced by UK garage - i.e. literally nothing.

I think it was merman I picked up from that Kuki was called "Sei", meaning gender - this is actually true AFAIK - and the album is split into a male and female half. The second half does definitely sound more "female".
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Old 2011.04.18, 04:15 PM   #262
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That's completely how I feel. My favorite tracks constantly shift. It's really an amazing album that each track sounds distinct yet feels like just one part of the whole. I almost feel like the album should never be listened to as a single track, rather it is meant to be listened to as a whole in one sitting.

Stylistically, it's also really interesting, because, what the heck is it? Is it a pop album? Jazz? Rock? Folk? The best answer I ever got was Shiina-kei.

Kuki was called Sei? Like, the character used? Because I know that she used the character 茎, which does indeed mean stem (or stalk).

EDIT: I've never heard of that artist before, but listening to his music and researching a little, he does sound like a less-Jazz/less-punk Shiina. I read that he plays all the instruments in his album. I heard for KZK, Shiina played almost every instrument (that she could) and then arranged the ones she couldn't.

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Old 2011.04.18, 07:17 PM   #263
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Souretsu is good for scaring the fuck out of people who think Japanese Music is only about AKB48
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Old 2011.04.19, 08:28 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by so_cold View Post
I think it was merman I picked up from that Kuki was called "Sei", meaning gender - this is actually true AFAIK - and the album is split into a male and female half. The second half does definitely sound more "female".
Hmmm? Elaborate?

Edit: Ooh, I see.

Japanese KSK wiki page:
先行シングル『茎(STEM)〜大名遊ビ編〜』のアルバム・バージョン(茎のバージョン違い参照)。
この曲の当初「性」という原題で製作されており、2000年の頃にはすでに完成していたが、2001年のアメリカ同時多発テロ事件で一時期精神的に不安に陥りその時の心情など交えた現在の歌詞に書き変えて収録。
なおタイトルの「茎」の意味は「陰茎」で、性的な意味ではなく種族存続などのことを意味する。
Let me just say it is hilarious that there is an entire Japanese wiki page dedicated to the different versions of "Kuki" and their differences. (Well, okay, it's just a subsection of the Stem single's page, but still amusing.)

Now, it says that "性" (and that word has many readings but the most common is probably sei, gender/sex, so that's probably how we can read it here) was the original title of this song and it was completed in 2000, but after 9/11 she changed the lyrics before it was recorded.

AND... wow. "Kuki" (stem, stalk) is supposed to be read as meaning "penis" [陰茎 inkei, and the kei from that word uses the same kanji as 茎, kuki] but not in a sexual way, but rather as in the continuation of the species.
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Old 2011.04.19, 03:09 PM   #265
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I guess that makes a little sense considering what I understand of the lyrics. I always thought it was about some kind of disaster.

So the song, then, is about reproduction after disaster? Death followed by birth? Shukyou before Souretsu?
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Old 2011.04.23, 08:40 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by so_cold View Post
There seem to be a lot of clever use of harmonising to ascending / descending scales in KZK (think the music box accompaniment to the B-side version of Ishiki and the "fairground"-style accompaniment to Poltergeist between the chorus and verse) which is always a great way to write a pleasing song.
Two of my favorite KSK-era songs. When I was first getting into SR, I downloaded one song (Kokode, Gibusu, Poltergeist) from each of the albums. Kokode was OK and I loved her attitude on Gibusu, but Poltergeist was the song that sold me on her. Such a lovely song.

Truthfully, I generally prefer the Electric Mole arrangements of the songs. Kuki in particular. I'm not a fan of the album version. The EM arrangements are less ambitious and simpler, but that works for me. Poltergeist is the only song performed on EM that I clearly prefer the album version. The EM jazz ending is cool, but the song loses so much with the piano arrangement.
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Old 2011.04.23, 08:53 AM   #267
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For me, I love KZK, but my favorite versions are the Baishou Ecstacy ones. I love orchestrated/Jazz Shiina.

Also, what the HELL is Meisai about? I've been reading the lyrics, reading different translations, and I still cannot understand it!
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Old 2011.04.24, 04:01 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Maou View Post
Two of my favorite KSK-era songs. When I was first getting into SR, I downloaded one song (Kokode, Gibusu, Poltergeist) from each of the albums. Kokode was OK and I loved her attitude on Gibusu, but Poltergeist was the song that sold me on her. Such a lovely song.

Truthfully, I generally prefer the Electric Mole arrangements of the songs. Kuki in particular. I'm not a fan of the album version. The EM arrangements are less ambitious and simpler, but that works for me. Poltergeist is the only song performed on EM that I clearly prefer the album version. The EM jazz ending is cool, but the song loses so much with the piano arrangement.
I love both the KZK and EM versions to be honest, it's great there's such different versions for studio and live. Something about EM seems to shoot those tunes straight into my veins, which is why Poltergeist is such a wonderful song, because there's really not much going on in the EM arrangement relative to the others on the same concert but it sounds so good you almost can't stand it. EM Kuki is a fantastic use of heavy rock as well, and the chorus is just so the kind of tune she'd used to write.

As for Baishou Ecstacy, I like it more than HF. I don't know why, maybe because it's a smaller orchestra, her voice doesn't get as harsh, or I'm a fan of the mole (even if it's a stick-on one), I don't know. HF is too slithery, too posh and unexpectedly dissonant (describing the Stem here), I used to think it would grow on me but it hasn't.

It might just be fan theory about the two halves of the album being male and female, I don't know.
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Old 2011.04.24, 07:08 AM   #269
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Speaking of Kuki -- is the mashup of the album version & the (single?) version that showed up a few years ago just Protools gimcrackery, or do they actually match up that precisely?
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Old 2011.04.24, 08:21 AM   #270
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prolly a bit of tweaking involved to get them matched up. the originals sound like they're about the same tempo. but what's so surprising about them matching up precisely? it is the same tune after all.
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