Kazuki Tomokawa - Ore no uchi de nariyamanai mono (1978)

The complete title is 俺の裡で鳴り止まない詩~中原中也作品集 (Ore no uchi de nariyamanai mono - Nakahara Chūya sakuhinshū). I only noticed the tiny furigana next to 詩 recently, I always read it as 'uta'. In any case, the title means 'Poems that won't stop crying inside of me - Collection of works by Chūya Nakahara', and this is the 4th studio album by bluesy folk hero Kazuki Tomokawa (友川かずき); if you've been following this blog, you should know him by now. This is one from the first 2 decades of Tomokawa's career, before he was picked up by P.S.F. Records, and these albums are to this day far less easy to obtain than the later ones. The songs, settings of poems by Nakahara (whom you can get to know better here) are quite lavishly orchestrated. Once you get to know them, you can treat yourself to a comparison with 中原中也作品集 (yes, that's basically the same title, with the first line omitted), a 2003 album (it was originally only to be found in the lavish P.S.F.-released 13-CD box) on which Tomokawa records all these songs again solo. I kind of like the almost bombastic arrangements on some of the versions here, though they may be an acquired taste for some.
Tracklist with transliterations and translations (the latter taken from Tomokawa's official site):

1. サーカス (Sākasu) - The Circus
2. 臨終 (Rinjū) - One's Dying Hour
3. 湖上 (Kojō) - Upon the Lake
4. 帰郷 (Kikyō) - Going Back Home
5. 桑名の駅 (Kuwana no eki) - Kuwana Station
6. 夏の日の歌 (Natsu no hi no uta) - Song of a Summer Day
7. 汚れっちまった悲しみに (Yogorechimatta kanashimi ni) - For the Tainted Sorrow
8. 春の日の夕暮 (Haru no hi no yūgure) - Dusk of a Spring Day
9. 六月の雨 (Rokugatsu no ame) - Rainfall in June
10. 坊や (Bōya) - Sonny Boy      

The album was released in 1978 on Bellwood and reissued in 1990 on King. The rip was made from this CD reissue. There is a later remastered reissue (from ca. 2003?) that I haven't heard, but this one sounds fine to me. Files are tagged in Japanese for your pleasure. Scans included, because you deserve it.
By the way: when is that documentary going to be released on DVD already??


Olivier Capparos & Lionel Marchetti - Livre des morts (2008)

This is the soundtrack to 'Livre des Morts', a film by Éric Pellet. It was composed in 2002-2003, but not released until 2008, on British label Entr'acte (good taste in music, not so much in packaging). Sound cinematographer Lionel Marchetti is joined here by composer Olivier Capparos for what they call 'a musical journey along the path we all must travel when, as humans, we confront our own mortality'. What that translates to in audio terms I will leave up to you discover, but take it from me: if you've never heard any Marchetti, you're in for a wonderful discovery. Check him out if you thought Luc Ferrari's 'Presque rien' was rather neat. It was only a matter of time before someone sampled Johannes from Carl Theodor Dreyer's 'Ordet' (1955), right?
The same duo released another composition from the same period ('Equus') on Pogus in 2009. This one here was released in a limited run of 300 copies but somehow is still listed as available, so start ordering some discs already.

Link removed at the request of the label - 2nd edition now available!


Damon & Naomi - Monday, January 19th, 2004 At Kichijoji Manda-la 2, Tokyo (2005)

Mention was made here recently (in the Kim Doo Soo post) of Damon & Naomi (you know, formerly Galaxie 500). Here's a little something they released on the side in 2005, supported as they often were (still are?) by Michio Kurihara (栗原ミチオ), who played guitar in Ghost, The Stars and White Heaven. My main interest in this short live recording is the fourth track, which is a cover version of Kazuki Tomokawa (友川かずき)'s song 私の花 ('Watashi no hana', translated here as 'My Flower'), from his 1993 album 花々の過失 ('Hanabana no kashitsu', aka 'Fault of Flowers'). There's also covers of Caetano Veloso ('Araçá Azul'), Jacks ('Love', which is a version of their 遠い海へ旅に出た私の恋人 / 'Tōi umi e tabi ni deta watashi no koibito' if I'm not mistaken - a more literal translation would be 'My Lover Who Went on a Journey to a Distant Sea') and - a standard by now even in D&N's repertoire - Tim Buckley's 'Song to the Siren'. Taishi Takizawa (瀧澤大志) plays flute on the last 2 songs; he was also in Ghost. This was a CDR release for Japanese label Disk Union, numbered to 100 copies. The title given here is what is printed on the disc itself.


Taku Sugimoto - Italia (2001)

For some years now, I've had a lot of trouble relating to the work of Japanese guitarist, improviser and composer Taku Sugimoto (杉本拓). He seems to be disappearing into a black hole of theoretical concerns, and the resulting music is more often than not too dry, too absent to connect with. There was a time though when his playing was a lot less hesitant, a lot more spirited and soulful. To hear that Sugimoto, you need only return to such masterpieces as his solo album 'Opposite' (1998 HatNoir), or 'The World Turned Upside Down' (2000 Erstwhile, an improv trio with Keith Rowe and Günter Müller), or some of his duos with Kevin Drumm or Annette Krebs.
'Italia' marks something of a transitional phase. Released in 2001 (and for years now impossible to find), it was also the first release on French label A Bruit Secret, they of the design even more minimal than the music. Four years later they would release 'Principia Sugimatica', which is unlistenable (well, almost completely inaudible) to me; apparently they'll stick with him however far he's willing to go. I gave up on 'Principia' immediately, but the concert recordings from Bologna and Milan that make up 'Italia' can captivate me. In the words of Dan Warburton: 'The music is, for the most part, exceedingly quiet, nearly empty (the word is more appropriate than "minimal," and Sugimoto's recent work has become even emptier), but once the ear becomes attuned, it's delicate, fleet (surprisingly active in places), melodic, and extremely beautiful.'


Nmperign & Jason Lescalleet - In Which the Silent Partner-Director Is No Longer Able to Make His Point to the Industrial Dreamer (1999)

Nmperign is the improvising duo of Greg Kelley (trumpet) and Bhob Rainey (soprano sax), and this is their first collaboration with Jason Lescalleet (tape loops, computer on the last track, don't play that one too loud if you care about your speakers), who has been mentioned here a couple of times before. This early work does not yet exhibit the amazing range that can be found on the much more well known double CD 'Love Me Two Times' (2006), but it's definitely well worth your time if you like detailed drones and buzzings and a creative approach to horns. Released in 1999 on Howard Stelzer's Intransitive Records in a run of 500 hand-numbered copies, this is another one of their lost treasures. Check this label out already, and buy 'Love Me Two Times' while you're there. Or some Lionel Marchetti. Go!


Kim Doo Soo - Bohemian (1991)

Here's a nice treat: 'Bohemian' (보헤미안), the third album by Korean folk singer/guitarist Kim Doo Soo (김두수). I also found the titles 자유로운 마음강변마을 사람들 and 'Jayuro-un ma-eum / Kang-byun ma-eul sa-ram-deul' for this somewhere, no idea what they mean or if they are correct. Let's call it 'Bohemian', shall we.
Kim has gained many new fans in recent years because of his inclusion on 'International Sad Hits vol. 1', a compilation album released by the Damon & Naomi people on their 20 20 20 label, where he appeared alongside Kan Mikami (三上寛), Kazuki Tomokawa (友川かずき) and Fikret Kızılok, and because of his move to P.S.F. Records. This one, released in 1991 on Sea Ra Bul Records, predates all that though, and is rather hard to find. The trademark sound is there though (albeit with more accordion, cello, organ and harmonica here), the gorgeous wistfulness and quavering voice already in place. Here's what the track titles supposedly translate to:
1. A Bohemian
2. The People in the Riverside Village
3. Free of my Hearts
4. The Sun Shines on the Water (Ad Lib for Meditation)
5. The River
6. At the Distance
7. The Secret of Green Barley Field
8. The Shade of a Tree
The cover shown here and in the scans is the one of the 2004 mini-gatefold CD reissue on Hyundai Records. Tracks are tagged in Korean.


Michael Prime & Max Eastley - Hydrophony for Dagon (2006)

Released in 2006 but recorded 10 years earlier in Copenhagen, this is a one-off collaboration between Michael Prime (of Morphogenesis and Negative Entropy) and sound sculptor Max Eastley. They both improvise here on tapes, objects and the like, and something labeled Hydroarc. And oh yes, they do it under water. Or something, I don't have any specifics here. Released on Absurd, when they were into those over-sized round fold-out covers (scans included).
Re-upped! Here.


Steve Roden - Ear(th) (2005)

Sorry for the low activity lately, but here is another beautiful Steve Roden album to appease you. The audio part of a large installation at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery (who also released this album the next year, in an edition of 2000 copies in a nice large booklet, complete scans of which are included). This large construction transforms earthquake date into music. One of Roden's most impressive creations, no doubt. And hey, what do you know, the resulting sound is very nice too. Check the pictures and text in the booklet for more information, or look here.