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Main » 2007 » June » 14 » Takashi Nishioka - 1973 - Manin No Ki
Takashi Nishioka - 1973 - Manin No Ki

Former member of Japanese folk band Itsutsu No  Akai Fuusen (5 Red Balloons), this was Takashi Nishioka's first solo album from  1973, some lovely tunes with psychedelic touches and a couple of minimal home  recordings.

Review from
Takashi Nishioka's Manin No Ki is surely one of the  finest psych-folk singer-songwriter albums I've heard; if it weren't for the  fact that it's sung in Japanese it'd probably already be in your collection.  Nishioka has had a long and artistically successful and varied career of enough  stature that he's been afforded a five-CD box set in Japan. He first came to  public attention in the '60s as a member of Five Red Balloons, a group whose  music was indebted in great part to the folk revival taking place in America at  the time. Where his career really begins to interest us, however, is around  1970, when he was the nominal leader and songwriter of Tokedashita Garasubako  (Melting Glass Box), whose members included notable musicians from Apryl Fool  and the Jacks. They made one extraordinary and essential album of dreamy and  avant-garde psych-folk that stands on par with any thing else of the era.  Unfortunately, that CD is long out of print and vinyl copies sell for exorbitant  amounts of money, but they do have a fine song included on the Japanese  installment of the Love, Peace and Poetry series. After Tokedashita Garasubako  dissolved, Nishioka began work on his first solo LP for URC (Underground Record  Club), a label that had been started to document the intriguing folk and pop  music that was being made in Japan's early-'70s counter-culture, a good portion  of their catalog has been reissued and is well worth tracking down. Manin No Ki  is far less amorphous than Tokedashita Garasubako, it begins on a foreign  sounding note with a short ditty laden with ethnic string instruments and  rattling wood blocks. It's probably the weirdest piece on the album and it  barely hints at the songwriting to follow.

Nishioka is a master of the  lilting melody and he specializes in those mid-tempo ballads that characterize  many of Neil Young's greatest moments. Not that Nishioka just sounds like a  Japanese Neil Young, far from it. His writing includes space for complex vocal  overdubs and he uses a diverse array of instrumental shading, including marimba  and xylophone sounds that would make Tom Waits jealous, and whoever engineered  his drums is a complete genius. But now I'm starting to come across like a real  nerd, because truly the main strength of the album is simply Nishioka's moving  songwriting, that the sounds surrounding his songs are interesting only adds to  the appeal. Manin No Ki is the album I've listened to the most this year by far  and it won't fail to make it to my top ten. [MK]

1. Osaka-ben
2. Manin  No Ki
3. Hitori No Onna
4. Owari No Sasetsu
5. Miren
6. Professional  Ji-Ji
7. Kimi To Boku, Boku To Kimi
8. Dousei
9. Tsuma Ni Naru Onna  Ni
10, Minna Ii Hito

posted by J-bag


Category: Psyche/Garage/Folk | Views: 2396 | Added by: Lost-In-Tyme | Rating: 3.0/1 |

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