Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TIMR 4: ryuichi sakamoto playing the orchestra

There are not many albums I have bought primarily for the packaging. Most of my 'treasures' were music I wanted anyway (Muslimgauze, Dorobo, Tull, Eno).

I will admit to buying Horses on the basis of Mapplethorpe's cover image of Patti Smith (and the reviews) as the picture intrigued me & what I heard of the music in the record store booth I wasn't sure about.

Darrin sold me some stuff on the basis of the music and the packaging - Aube Metal de metal and then Seton, though by then I was enjoying the music. Chopshop lead and metal cover on Smolder, the mesh of Tension, charge, discharge or Gunter/Wehowsky triple 3" Un ocean de certitude. Or John Wall's albums. But it was primarily on the basis of his advice.

This box I bought just because it was beautiful.

I knew about Sakamoto from various directions, including the soundtracks, but didn't own any of the releases. I saw this in a shop in Brighton (Melbourne) in the window, at not much above normal CD price as I recall. The box is designed to look like weathered paint. There is a false base with beads in it, so that it rattles. Taking off the lid you see the two layers of card that look like wooden constructs with rice paper that has been pierced in each 'window'. Lift this out and the main CD in a slimline case is on the bottom. The box has sections which resemble wrapping paper as well as the weathered paint.

But there is also a 3" CD - hidden inside the lid, held in place by four of the wooden (card) struts. The liner notes continue the theme of the wooden struts. The pictures below are from an even rarer Japanese edition which has a second 3" disk. What you can see here is 
top left - the base of the box
bottom left - the inside of the box with inserts and rice paper holes
top middle - the lid
bottom middle - inside of the lid, with the extra cd
right top - the liner notes
right bottom - the main disk
(far right - extra 3" CD in this Japanese issue

I did take a picture myself but this one does it more justice (my aim is to mainly use the amateurish pictures taken in my room - so I might add it below)

As far as the music goes, well it is a colection of orchestral soundtrack pieces and is as good or bad as you'd expect that to be - I have other albums by him and play them more often.

But I never regret that this one did not get away, unlike PiL's Metal Box or Talking Heads' Speaking In Tongues (but more about that later)

1 comment:

Jakki said...

The Mapplethorpe picture of Patti Smith captured me from the first time I saw it - I still get a visceral response - when I read your comment, I got an immediate, and clear vision of it - I googled it and found that my memory, unusually, was absolutely accurate.