Uploaded on Aug 22, 2007
Smoke on the Water Live Sonarsound Tokyo October 2006
Señor Coconut and his Orchestra (feat. Argenis Brito)
Essay Recordings AY CD 11
Release date: June 9 2006
Atom™ on his latest album
As early as the eighties, the Yellow Magic Orchestra was merging the eclectic Exotica attitude of Martin Denny with an ultimate update of Japanese music. "Martin Denny and his line-up created an imaginary musical landscape of luscious tropical delights: damp, foreboding jungles, vibrantly plumed birds in full flight, grimly silent Tiki gods in clearings overgrown by creepers, sleepy fishing villages on bamboo stilts, volcanoes erupting with molten orange lava, alluringly smiling little brown nymphs in grass skirts -- the land of lotus blossoms -- in a word: Exotica. If rock'n'roll is the musical equivalent of a good hard fuck, Exotica brings us the multi-orgasmic joys of tantric sex in endlessly flowing combinations of mystic union. Or, in the words of Lex Baxter: 'Ports of Pleasure'" (Stuart Sweezy). Today I am trying to go one step further by transferring the Yellow Magic Orchestra 'back to the future': a digital, fully artificial simulation and cut and paste style recreation of Latin Exotica sound. We may call it 'hypereclectic'. I have left both the historical timeline and ethnical space and move back and forth between musical periods and styles of Latin music. YMO covered Martin Denny's originally Exotica style "Firecracker" in a futuristic yet folkloric manner. Now I am covering the cover and transforming it back into a simulation of a Martin Denny sound.
In "Yellow Fever!" I combine the production techniques of the last three Coconut albums "El Gran Baile" (1997), "El Baile Aleman" (2000) and "Fiesta Songs" (2003): "El Gran Baile", was not based on song structures. It was abstract cut and paste. It became the prototype of the Electrolatino genre. Latino samples fused with the track logic of European electronic music. "El Baile Aleman" put the focus on Kraftwerk covers that were meant to sound as though they had been played by a Latino line-up. But this simulation was created by sampler, without 'real' musicians. The fusion of Latino and Electro that was set in motion in "El Gran Baile" is given a new slant -- partly because of the production method, but also by processing prototypical songs (Kraftwerk). "Fiesta Songs" abandons the obvious reference to my electronic roots to concentrate on simulating an acoustic retro-Latin sound, covering Anglo-American pop hits. In places, the simulation is revealed by digital artefacts. Again, I wanted to try taking a new direction in my production approach: instead of total programming, I recorded musicians for the first time, merging the material and original Latino samples to create something completely new.
"Yellow Fever!" combines these three working methods and approaches: abstract cut and paste emerges in the interludes between the tracks, and a digital/electronic sound in the "El Gran Baile" style reappears. It contrasts with the acoustic passages, reveals the simulation and is a musical style in its own right. As in "El Baile Aleman" programming and covering feature strongly here, merging with yet another milestone in the history of electronic music. The Yellow Magic Orchestra tracks undergo the same kind of distortion that was applied to the Kraftwerk songs: bringing Electronica back to the future! The third step involves working with session musicians, as to some extent on "Fiesta Songs". The acoustic aspect of the music is perfected by the detailed structuring of complex arrangements, but at the same time it is contrasted more strongly by the inclusion of digital elements. The album as a whole is an extremely complex patchwork of thousands of parts. Within a single song the musical course of things changes dozens of times. You could see "Yellow Fever!" as my first experiment on the way towards hypereclectic music. I experiment with breaking down all musical boundaries -- but this time "only" within the Latino genre. Another important point is the cinematic principle: every moment of "Yellow Fever!" is meant to provoke images. In this respect, there is a very close correlation with the concept of Exotica. I'm not just interested in recreating styles. Above all, I want to trigger emotions, images, déjà-vus, and so on.