Kensuke Ushio is on the verge of becoming a household name in the western anime fandom, thanks to his exhilarating and sensitive contributions to numerous modern anime classics’ original soundtracks, namely Space Dandy (as part of LAMA), Ping Pong, A Silent Voice and the recently released Devilman: Crybaby.
However, Ushio already had a decade-old alter ego of sorts in his stage name agraph, which he adorns when producing and releasing his own solo albums, exploring the pure, unadulterated creative impulse within him. ‘the shader‘ is his third solo electronica album release.
The following is a translation of the interview conducted with the artist by Natalie Music.
You know…I went into starting this post with snippets of ideas for the intro: something snappy, a humorously depressing comment on 2017, and end it with a cheesy flavour of hope. But instead…I ended up with this.
I think I’ve sampled more albums than I ever did in 2017: more varieties of artists both old favourites and new discoveries, an increasingly diverse set of classical repertoires, genres and origins. That comes with good news and bad news, and I think the good news is kinda obvious already. But the bad news: I’ve listened to less albums COMPLETELY than the past two years, since there’s always something I want to jump onto prematurely.
Princess Principal was an action-adventure highlight of Summer 2017, and a big part of this resonance with the fandom was undoubtedly the high-octane musical identities afforded to the production by its arranger/composer duo of rising star Ryo Takahashi (ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, Classroom of the Elite), and prolific veteran Yuki Kajiura (Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, ERASED).
The following is a translation of the interview conducted with the two composers by Natalie Music.
Like it or not, trailers are an art form. And like any art form, the contested validity of their societal worth is often the only framework of discussion that floats among the mainstream. Contemporary culture’s love for ‘what comes next’, makes for a very horrible environment for any sort of expressive ‘fad’ to gain recognition, especially when such a culture is sandwiched with the famed slots of the ‘timeless few’, which have already been filled with the likes of Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and Tolkien.
Just a quick note, in regards to this new development. 2017 was a relatively spotty year for this blog: while my upload frequency has somewhat dropped, the quality and diversity of coverage I was able to afford has expanded. I’ve published and co-commissioned interviews and transcripts, extended essays, in addition to my usual collection of thought pieces, summaries and capsule reviews.
A short greetings, readers! This is not a blog post written by yours truly, unfortunately, but I did sorta have a hand in making this interview translation happen, and it deals with a subject that I’m evidently passionate about, as well as being shamefully underappreciated by fans (AND a fair share of creators/producers if I dare say so) of film & animation.
In addition to co-funding the translation by the ever so reliable karice, I was happy to lend my help on a few technical translations of musical terms.
You can support the translators who you see on WMC by pledging on Patreon!
Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
has attracted lots of attention as the first Lupin III TV series in 27 years. The individual responsible for its soundtrack is Naruyoshi Kikuchi. Though this is a spinoff with Fujiko Mine as the heroine and protagonist, it is precisely because the maestros
gave birth to “Lupin Jazz” that we are now keen to find out about the new blood that Kikuchi, the maverick of the Jazz world, has poured into the mix. And on the other hand, we have series director Sayo Yamamoto. Tag-teaming with…
Not sure where I heard it, but the perfect completed anime to favourite anime ratio is a clean-cut 10:1: meaning that now that I’ve completed over 200 anime in total (according to MAL at least), I get to update my favourite anime to a list of 20. And that’s good news and bad news.
Spielekonzerte (German for ‘game concerts’) certainly doesn’t sound like a new and flashy concept in the west, until you have the context to realise that it didn’t find its international attention until 2003 rolled over. Which was decades after the very first game concert ever held in 1987, led by the famed Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Yes, for whatever reason, ATMA & Funomena is still alive and kicking. I also got into the elites’ club by being featured on the ThatAnimeSnob Reddit board. Truly an honour.
2016 was a horrible year (yes I’m one of those, deal with it) that was unfashionably kind to me as a blossoming anime fan and…maturing adult (somehow, these two do go hand-in-hand for me). I got myself a new (and first) decent-paying job, I started collecting anime, music and film merch like crazy. I watched too much anime.
Like I always say, there’s something inherently magical about film music. I wouldn’t miss it for all the unoriginality (I prefer the word ‘homage’) that it so proudly displays at every glorious turn or twist. So. Let us have our 7 minutes and 38 seconds of pure bliss, away from the politics, away from 2017. Let’s go back to 2016 for just another few moments.
(Yes. You can pretty much guess my winners from just reading the above paragraph.)
There is a sense of idyllic rhythm that Aria exerts when one allows him or herself to engage with its cinematic heartbeat. It’s obvious: everything has its own rhythm, its own footprint, when it makes contact with another existing entity. If one takes this idea far enough, existence is just another way to visualise and define relationships. And creating rhythm is but another expression for finding uniquity.
You know that time of the year, when suddenly jingle bells (the actual thing…and that damn song) started appearing in every shopping mall you visit? The television channels starts to air cheesy Christmas-themed comedies and cartoons every 7pm (I think this is the 9th year in a row I remember seeing Elf staring Will Ferrell getting a re-airing on TV), and you start to overhear Michael Bublé-performed Christmas carols being played in car radios as you strolled along your home street.