What has previously prolific Pizzicato Five leadman Yasuhara Konishi been doing since he dissolved the band and stopped performing with Maki Nomiya? I know he has been DJing, but I want something to take home and play in the car.
'Atom is Born - the remixes' is a 2003 CD with 12 songs about Atom Boy, known better to US cartoon fans from the 60s as Astro Boy.
It is true that many of the tracks are different versions of the same song, but each artist takes such a different track that it really doesn't bother you. And besides, it is great to have a new J-pop CD in the gullbuy again!
I couldn't even give you a song by song, as most of the tracks have titles in Japanese. However, here is my best:
- Yasuharu Konishi
The CD starts off with a child singing the Atom song with sparse accompaniment of accordion and piano. Then there is a segment of dialog from the cartoon.
- Readymade a Go-Go mix / Konishi Yasuharu feat. Gaijin a Go-Go
Super upbeat J-pop sounding like something Mansfield or Pizzicato Five might have done. Ace!
- Exotica Jazz tracks / Yaegashi Comoesta
I have always loved Comoestas, who went mambo as a solo artist after the end of his P5 styled band Fifth Garden. On this track he takes jazz for a ride and uses female vocals which even go into some wild scatting.
- Mission to Mars remix / Sunaga Experience
A jazzy organ / piano / drum instrumental version right out of your favorite cocktail party.
- Readymade Sir Duke mix / Yasuharu Konishi
Incredible what a men's chorus can do to a song. Something coming from such a square tradition sounds outrageously fresh and new, especially in the company of snappy drums and cool trumpet. Another ace - maybe even my fave track.
- Arranged for chamber music 2003 / Tatsuya Murayama
Not one of my faves - the music is a string orchestra with lots of violin, cello, etc. However, the tracks is not without its charm.
- Pacific 231
Sounds like it is made for a play. Very interesting, and quite well done. Lots of different voices, and more of a dramatic reading than a song. Many parts, and upbeat piano music accompanying the male and female singers. As odd a song as 80s German electronic pop artist Andreas Dorau's Die Doraus & die Marinas Fred Vom Jupiter.
- New Sound of Atom / Kazunao Nagata
Bleeps and electronic sounds, though not an attempt at techno - just space wankery!
- P&art Sasanoooha mix / P&art Sasanoooha feat. Gaijin a Go-Go
Similar to the second track - the most traditionally J-pop sounding tracks on this comp. Upbeat and polished with fun.
- Spaced out mix / Toshiya Arai
This sounds very similar to the stuff that Comoesatas has released. A mambo beat, and lots of "ugh" shout outs. A killer cut, and very much in the traditional J-pop mold of everything over the top.
- Peace in the Middle East edit / Tatsuya Murayama & Sunaga Experience
Similar to the sixth track. A string orchestra instrumental, but with cartoon dialog and effects included.
- Readymade 305 mix / Yasuharu Konishi
Smoky female vocals with the rush taken off. The music sounds like a band in a jazz bar, with brushed drums. Very fine, and a smooth closer to a nice ride.
A special alert for Atom fans: Stereo Total do a version of the song that most of the above tracks cover on their Liebe Zu Dritt single. It is as good as any of the above tracks, and worth seeking out if you are a fan.