Track: Sabiwa – ‘鬼 / The Demon’: deeply expansive rescoring for the Japanese animation from Geist im Kino’s second ‘Imaginal Soundtracking’


IMAGINAL SOUNDTRACKING is one of those excellent conceptual series whereby a label creates a scheme for artists to work within, often lead to surprising and enveloping results.

This particular schemata comes from Phantom Limb’s soundtrack imprint, Geist im Kino, and looks to “… reframe overlooked or forgotten works of cinema and to offer a new artistic challenge to the contributing musicians … a dialogue between the creative minds at play.”

The first release came last year, when Nazim Tulyakhodzayev’s Soviet-era animation of the Ray Bradbury sci-fi short “There Will Come Soft Rains” was reinvented four ways by Masaaki Yoshida, Laaker, Rully Shabara and Dylan Henner (you can find that here); and volume the second is now on the horizon.

Come April 16th, you’ll be able to get your digital mitts on Imaginal Soundtracking Vol. 2: 鬼 / The Demon, which sees a quintet of sound artists take on the 1972 Japanese short animation from master puppeteer Kihachiro Kawamoto.

The film is based on ancient Japanese mythology, telling the story of a demon-possessed mother hiding her true identity from her sons. 

Created from traditional bunraku puppetry, painstakingly shot with manual stop-motion, Kawamoto’s film conjures sorrow, superstition, horror and honour, all uniquely materialised within a delicate and ornate miniature world. Though each musician all began with the same source material, their respective new soundtracks are strikingly different. You can watch snippets of each unique take by each musician on the film here.

Taiwanese producer Sabiwa has just dropped her eerie, glitchy and expansive take on the score; it’s so one for headphones and onomatopoeia, as it groans like old timber, rings with bells, swathes with synths.

Elsewhere on the release you’ll find treatments from Baltimore producer and sitar player Ami Dang, who brings raga to her ambient aesthetic;  delicately processed piano from Berlin’s superb Midori Hirano; the skittering neo-industrialisms of foodman; and the playful experimenta of Tori Kudo, perhaps better known to lovers of the strange as Maher Shahal Hash Baz.

Geist im Kino’s Imaginal Soundtracking Vol. 2: 鬼 / The Demon will be released digitally on April 16th, and may be purchased at Phantom Limb’s Bandcamp page.

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