films : a forbidden garden (2nd album released in 2013)
Even if the world is covered with darkness, I continue to sing.
This is the second album after a three year hiatus by Films, the dark fantasy music unit whose members remain a secret.
Films debuted in 2010 on Noble, the Tokyo-based music label which has sent many Japanese electronica artists such as World's End Girlfriend and Serph all around the world. The mystery composer and contributing member of Films has received many awards in music competitions and international film festivals, and is admired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nobuo Uematsu and Takeshi Kobayashi, famous Japanese musicians.
Some of the Japan's top talent in post-rock, modern classical, and ambient music such as Yuki Murata and Takahiro Kido (members of Anoice) and Daisuke Kashiwa, participate in this album as the players and the mixing/mastering engineers. In addition, RAKU-GAKI supported Films' world as the art director and the web designer.
Films' second album is graced with two females' beautiful and fantastic vocals in their original languages which are put on classic music made from piano, violin and viola, destructive rhythms and grandeur orchestral sounds.
Deeper than "Vespertine " by björk, don't miss this incredible work!!
|1. bubbles||films : Vocal|
|2. lost field||Yuki Murata : Piano, Synthesizer, Organ, Programming|
|3. the door||Junko Tabira : Violin|
|4. golden wind||Wakana Sawada : Violin|
|5. once upon a time||Utaka Fujiwara : Viola|
|6. control||Takahiro Matsue : Bass|
|7. they pass in front of me||Saiko : Flute|
|8. clone||Kei Takahashi : Drums|
|9. sleepless town||Takahiro Kido : Programming|
|10. nostalgic hill|
|All tracks composed by films|
|Recorded and Mixed by Takahiro Kido|
|Mastered by Daisuke Kashiwa|
|Illustration by Naoko Okada|
|Art Direction and Design by RAKU-GAKI|
|Released by Ricco Label|
|bubbles||lost field||clone||a forbidden garden|
It may seem like it is easy to free one's sensitivity, but I think it is not. In addition, it is more difficult to control those cluttered and unarticulated materials, and work them up into one work of art.
I am envious of this talent which can cope with both!!
= Nobuo Uematsu (the music composer for Final Fantasy, the music producer)
When one sees both Takahiro Kido and Yuki Marata among the band members, one wonders, “is Films an offshoot of Anoice?” The answer is yes, but Films is more of a first cousin than a sibling or a child. The strings form a connection between the groups, but the two talented female vocalists dramatically alter the timbre. Their inflections range from the whispered to the operatic, echoing the glory days of 4AD and its diverse female-fronted bands.
It’s hard not to view a forbidden garden as a concept album, but the concept is not immediately apparent. The website description reads “Even if the world is covered in darkness, I will continue to sing”, which is a contemporary riff on both Maya Angelou (“I know why the caged bird sings”) and Robert Wadsworth Lowry (“What tho’ the darkness gather round … how can I keep from singing?”). This darkness may be either physical or spiritual, and Japan has experienced both brands of darkness in recent years. Every creative expression thus becomes a statement of light.
After a lovely opening track, a meld of piano, electronics and strings, the album presents its first surprise: the “give it to me, give it to me” utterances of “lost field”, balanced by a series of soprano arpeggios. The vocals pass from speaker to speaker; the bass thumps; the piano goes wild. At nearly 140 b.p.m., the song seems ripe for a remix. This isn’t what we expect from Films, but it serves its purpose; for the rest of the album, the listener is primed for new experiences. These often arrive in brief interludes (the military snare march of “control” ), but also visit the edges of tracks (the mid-song onomatopoeia and late-song radio static of “they pass in front of me”). By virtue of its name, Films is cinematic; but it’s heartening to see the band coloring outside the lines.
Rock, post-rock and modern classical sounds co-exist on a forbidden garden. While one can imagine many of the tracks presented without vocals – for example, the lush “once upon a time” – the tandem singing raises the album to a higher level. Still, instrumental fans will not be disappointed. Films’ music is powerful throughout ~ and late in the album, the band presents a pair of vocal-free tracks: the moody, electronic “sleepless town”, followed by the brief but effective “nostalgic hill”.
If a song is heard in the darkness, then the darkness seems more like light. This album provides a lantern to the lost.
= Richard Allen / a closer listen
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