Retrospective 2015

The annual celebratory extravaganza known as Christmas has just reached its conclusion and New Year’s is only a few days away, as I’m in the midst of an ironically stressful school break. In order to prevent my blog from complete inactivity during this hectic holiday season, I’ve decided to lazily put together some of my highlights in various mediums from the past year. But since I’m not one to actively follow seasonal stuff to any greater extent, this is not going to necessarily focus on things that have come out this year, but instead things that I personally have consumed.Read More »

An introduction to experimental music

As the highly active and passionate consumer of the music medium that I am, I listen to a wide spectrum of different stuff; everything from catchy pop songs, to heavy metal bangers and nasty punk tracks, to cool jazz tunes and tasty hip-hop beats. Out of all though, experimental music is probably the most interesting and exciting category within the musical realm that I regularly enjoy, examine and explore. While not so much a concrete genre as an umbrella term for a variety of different styles, there is yet one common aesthetic that all musical approaches within the category bears, and that is their will to explore the possibilities of the medium, and creating as equally immense as unique and interesting listening experiences. But while the category is filled with intriguing stuff, it is also a type of music that people are generally highly alienated Read More »

The expressionistic goth horror of Suspiria

As the end of October steadily is closing in, so is the unholiest of holidays, with pumpkins, costumes and stacks of candy lurking around every corner. I personally have never really been the most engaged person in the celebration of halloween; beside some occasionally fun and impressive costume outfits and the excuse of stuffing myself with more candy than normally, I’ve never really had any reason for getting excited about it. It’s always just kind of happened, and then I’ve moved on with my life. For this year though, I figured I’d for a change partake in this fine yearly tradition of spookiness, and what better way to do that than by looking at my personal favorite horror film?Read More »

Censorship, sexuality, and the concept of indecency – Thoughts around Shimoneta

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Shimoneta, or Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Shonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai, or A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist, was one of the few series from the past anime season to really grab my attention. While it on the surface seemed to be no more than another show bound to fall into the pool of mediocrity, by my own and a lot of other people’s big surprise this turned out to be one of the best gems of 2015 thus far. It was a show that truly came out of nowhere with its childish yet satirical content and spot-on social commentary, and turned into the highlight of my week for the past three months that it aired. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to write about it after its conclusion.Read More »

The music of Kenji Kawai

Kenji Kawai is a musician whom I’ve admired for quite some time. With a career as a score composer spanning for almost 30 years, he has worked on a lot of various films and TV-series, including many of Mamoru Oshii’s works, all of Hideo Nakata’s movies, Wilson Yip’s Ip Man film series, and anime series such as Higurashi and the original Fate/Stay Night TV-adaptation. What I like so much about Kawai though is that he’s a composer who knows how to leave his mark on the scores that he’s working with, while still managing to keep them being scores and not products his own artistic expressions. Granted, this ”mark” doesn’t apply to all of his works, but very often you recognize with ease that distinct Kenji Kawai sound – a sound that is filled with a meditative, dreamlike atmosphere, yet at the same time can be very bombastic and grandiose. But what exactly is it that makes this sound what it is? I’d like to devote this post to exploring and breaking down the different aspects of Kawai’s music in an attempt to figure out what makes his typical style.Read More »