池玲子 was, in her time, a sex goddess. she was famous for starring in pink films that doubled as action flicks (known as "pinky violence"). she starred in quite a few of them, too. these films often had strong S&M themes to them, with the women playing the parts of violent yakuza members who murdered each other in cold blood.
this album is, for the most part, simply audio pornography; she sucks in her breath, pants, moans, grunts, wimpers, cries, winces; she makes every noise a pornographic diva can make. but, there's also this really strange growling/gurgling/purring sound rumbling around under about half of the tracks. it sounds like a distorted human voice, or something, but i'm not sure if it's supposed to be sexy or not. basically, it just sounds gross. i can't really argue for the artistic merits of this particular album, as they don't exist. it's trashy, trashy, trashy. a bit slimy, in fact. which is unfortunate, because she doesn't have a bad voice. i quite enjoy it, in fact. but, still: it's no moving work of art. it's audio porn. and yet . . . it's completely disturbing. you really must listen to it to fully understand. it makes me feel completely uncomfortable (and not because of the sex sounds). the creepy, lurking flutes and drugged piano tinkling, combined with the lethargic guitar strumming gives the album a filthy, unclean feeling.
2. よこはま たそがれ
by request, here's としごろ by 山口百恵. she was one of the most successful idol pop singers from the 1970s (if not the most successful). her first album (this one) came out when she was only thirteen years-old (1973). which is absolutely fucking crazy, considering this is not the voice of a thirteen year-old girl. it's simply far too deep. and yet, it's her alright; her voice only got stronger and deeper as she got older (until her last album, which came out in 1980). on this album, though, her voice is already huskier than most adult women.
美輪明宏 is an enka and cabaret singer of the highest order. she is everything a drag queen enka/cabaret (they went hand-in-hand in the 1960s) singer should be; luxurious, dramatic, fabulous, and most importantly: long suffering. she was even romantically involved with the late, great 三島由紀夫 (Mishima Yukio) at one point. Mishima was very proud of his lady-boyfriend (lol wordplay), too, to the point that he insisted that she was a must for the titular role of the film adaptation of his play Black Lizard (which is a great movie, by the way. if you haven't seen it then you should really make a point to do so at once). they were apparently involved for quite some time, too (although, of course, Mishima's family denies any and all allegations about his homosexuality)(also, i've always found it odd that they were so involved, considering Mishima always emphasized the beauty of masculinity in his writings).
ANYWAYS, concerning the music here, it is very sensuous and incredibly ridiculous. at some points she will trail off from singing and go into long, dramatic, pained spoken-word rants. they are very intense monologues, and very convincing, too (which i guess is why Miyazaki Hayao has cast her in at least two of his films). the mood of the music can fluctuate very quickly, too. it's really thrilling.
i think my favorite track presented in this collection would have to be the final track. she really displays just how powerful her voice (and acting) is here. my favorite part, actually, is the monologue. she whispers and and grumbles at first, but then her voice rises to a scream of anguish and frustration near the end of the monologue.
ｇａｉａ was an incredibly short lived visual kei group. they put out only two EPs during their short existence (this one, and 新未来抄). which is a shame, of course, considering this is one of my favorite visual kei records from the twilight of the scene (while "visual kei" was most certainly not a genre, it is debatable that a genre did arise from the scene. many bands played, including this one, played a combination of speed/trash metal, hardcore punk, and, in the beginning, post-punk and goth. later on they would elements of pop-rock, as well. so, there is most certainly a sound that can be associated with the scene). this EP is really splendid. i guess it sounds rather similar to the sort of music that more popular bands like La'mule or Madeth gray'll were making, but ｇａｉａ's music had very low-fi production, and that makes them all the more interesting. there is something very strange and minimal about this release. throughout the entire EP there are very shrill sounding synth notes that echo off and on here and there. they give the EP a ghostly sound.
the outro (i got the track order mixed up in the upload, but the track listening i've supplied below is accurate) is very strange. it was not uncommon for many visual kei acts to include a piano piece as an outro or intro, but often they feel . . . beside the point, i guess. this is an exception. it's incredibly haunting, and it's actually my favorite track on the entire EP. i only wish there had been more like this.
anyways, check this out ASAP.
3. 憂鬱-D-Piano Ver.1.0-