Monday, October 26, 2009


Okay, I think it's time to blow this joint. Get everybody and the stuff together. 3-2-1, let's jam.

Pe rep perep perep pereee reeee

Pe rep perep perep pereee reeee

Pe rep perep perep pereee reeee

Pep perep peeeeeee!

I once told my editor I hate music. That's not true. I like certain types of music. Most of them from animation.

I say it again. Mankind was put on earth so that one day we would do Cowboy Bebop. After that, it's Armageddon.

I haven't really watched anime after Cowboy Bebop. Gave up on it.

It's like having the best sex of your life, where you see white and your ears only pick up static, and your mind is empty, and you are as close to Godliness as possible.

After that kind of experience, that perfection, everything else feels soulless and tastes stale.

Like how Dekichatta Kekkon (Shotgun Marriage) is the best J-Drama ever. EVER! And all J-Dramas after that sucked ass.

The composer for the soundtrack, Yoko Kanno, will forever be my favourite musician. In Malaysia, the only person who comes close to her kind of unique sound would be Saidah Rastam - Malaysia's best stage composer.

I mentioned Kanno's name to Al Di Meola, and he was like, "Who?"

I also mentioned Saidah's name to a renowned composer, and his reaction was also the same.

Such a shame, cause these composers create such wonderfully weird music. Kanno works in multiple genres from classical, folk European (check out the traditional movement in Bees and Honey as well as the heavy gospel Dance of the Curse in Wings of Escaflowne), Jazz(Cowboy Bebop is predominantly jazz but includes all other genres of music - from samba to the Brat Pack to boogie, rock and roll and heavy metal and even Sufi music and Moroccan rhythm), blues, techno, J-pop and whatever labels you fancy. And she does them well.

The closest analogue in the States would be the genre-trancending Rickie Lee Jones. And even she falls short of Kanno's brilliance and vibrant compositions.

It was like looking at paintings and logos and icons and one day discovering negative space.

I have never heard anything so beautiful in my life.

Count Bassie's Band was also here years back, and his proteges talked of negative space in music - especially in jazz - a subject touched upon by Scott McCloud in his seminal work Understanding Comics.

Honestly, I don't really listen to the radio, which is a bad thing. I like soundtracks and theme songs. I pay attention to compositions in TV shows and movies. I memorise commercial jingles.

Sime AXA's What Would You Do, Motorola's Hero 60s. Cheers' Where Everybody Knows Your Name, Greatest AMerican Hero's Believe It or Not.

That's why I like musicals and background music. Kanno, who has worked extensively with so many different animes - Ghost in the Shell, Macross Plus, Record of Lodoss War, Cardcaptor Sakura, Wolf's Rain, Please Save My Earth as well as games - even my favourite sea supremacy game Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons, simply jumps out at me because I have been enjoying her work for years without knowing who was behind such memorable tunes.

I was waiting for any calls from the office, just in case they need me, and doing some work. So I've been spending all that time - all night - listening to my collection of Yoko Kanno's work.

Pretty soon, when I have enough money, I'm going to get all her music, as much as I can.

I remember, talking to some people who specialise in audiophile albums years back. I mentioned to them about Yoko Kanno. I think I need to check whether their company still exists and if they finally have those albums I've been looking for.

Otherwise, I'm going online with my credit card. I have never bought anything online. Just paid my bills and shit.

For Yoko Kanno, anything.