elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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Iwas delighted to discover that I hadn't already posted this soundtrack. This is easily one of the most unique soundtracks of all time, and it happens to be my personal favorite. Don't make the mistake of judging this album by it's cover, thinking that it's just the soundtrack to some silly cartoon, as that would be a serious lapse of judgement on your behalf. Those of you who haven't had the pleasure of listening to it are going to be in for a real treat. I'm not a fan of anime or manga, but there are two exceptions, those being "Ninja Scroll" and "Akira". Fortunately for you all I happen to have the soundtracks to both, with the latter being presented to you now.
For those unfamiliar with Akira, it is a 1988 anime film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, based on the manga comic bearing the same name. It has since become a massive cult classic, influencing a great deal of the anime/manga art and animation that would follow in the years to come. The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019. Rebuilt from the ashes of World War 3, it's a technological dream of computers and soaring science, mated to the social nightmare of corrupt politicians, a rampant military and an oppressed working class. Add to this the rise of a powerful breed of psychics (or 'psionics') capable of various degrees of telepathy and telekinesis, and somehow linked to a top secret military project known as Akira. The film tells the story of Tetsuo, who begins developing psychic powers but doesn't understand what is happening to him or the responsibilities that come with such godlike power.
The soundtrack was recorded by Geinō Yamashirogumi (芸能山城組), and composed and conducted by Shoji Yamashiro. Geinō Yamashirogumi is a Japanese musical collective founded on January 19, 1974 by Tsutomu Ōhashi, consisting of hundreds of people from all walks of life. They are known for their faithful re-creations of folk music from around the world, as well as their fusion of various traditional musical styles with modern instrumentation and synthesizers. In the early 1980's the group saught to incorporate computer-generated sounds into their music. The MIDI digital synthesizers of that time were incapable of handling the tuning systems of traditional gamelan music, so the group taught themselves to program these synthesizers in order to modify their equipment. Their fusion of traditional gamelan and electronic music captured the attention of Katsuhiro Ōtomo, who commissioned them to create the soundtrack of Akira. The soundtrack is built on the concept of recurrent themes or "modules". Texturally, the soundtrack is a mix of digital synthesizers (Roland D-50, etc), Indonesian chromatic percussion (jegog, etc.), traditional Japanese theatrical and spiritual music (Noh), European classical, and progressive rock.
The soundtrack was recorded in 1988, and released in 1990 by Demon Records. You can no longer find it to purchase on the Demon Records website. A few versions of the soundtrack have been released over the years. "AKIRA: The Original Japanese Soundtrack", consists of only four tracks. I haven't had the chance to listen to it, therefore I'm unable to describe to you what extent it differs, aside from the number of tracks and length. "AKIRA: Original Soundtrack" consists of 10 tracks, and contains voices and sound effects from the film, as well as music which was additionally re-recorded for the soundtrack release. "Kaneda", "Battle Against Clown" and "Exodus From the Underground Fortress" are actually part of the same song cycle. "Symphonic Suite AKIRA" is the same as "AKIRA: Original Soundtrack", only the voices and sound effects are absent.
I have no doubt that those of you who have been following this blog will enjoy this, as well as anyone who happens to stumble across it. As I mentioned before, my knowledge of anime is virtually nonexistent, but if any of you could recommend some soundtracks in a similar vein I would be very grateful.
Year of Release: 1990 Label: Demon Records Genre: Soundtrack, Experimental, World Fusion Bitrate: 256kbps
Track List: 1. Kaneda 2. Battle Against Clown 3. Winds Over The Neo-Tokyo 4. Tetsuo 5. Dolls Polyphony 6. Shohmyoh 7. Mutation 8. Exodus From The Underground Fortress 9. Illusion 10. Requiem