Saturday, 18 June 2016

Bach Revolution's Sand Boat from 1978

From discogs:

Japanese experimental electronics outfit. Particularly unusual on their debut, which just had 3 long tracks all at the very experimental end of label-mate Tomita's territory, and often comparable to early Cluster and/or Vangelis at his most out there.

I can't say I really enjoy their other records, which are quite a bit in the experimental direction.  (There are a few that are not included in the database, see here for example.)  However, this particular album, having been made as soundtrack, proved to be quite a bit more accessible musically with a clear Mike Oldfield influence in some areas.  Again from discogs the plot:

A story about a boy and a girl - A girl who has a mole (looks like the Chinese character 'grudge') on her hip who is named Chiharu, and a dumb boy who is named Katsumi. One day, they find a boat which is buried on the beach. They start on a voyage. The boat takes them into the cave, and they travel back thousand of years ago. There, Chiharu becomes Princess Aya, and Katsumi becomes Kiyowaka. Houin Kurikara, a magician of the cult religion Shingon Tachikawa sect, abducts Princess Aya and Kiyowaka. Kurikara wishes to spread their sperm on the skull of a dead samurai Minamotono Yoshitsune, because of the rite to summon his spirit. Princess Aya and Kiyowaka offer a stout resistance, but Kurikara lets his men shave off their hairs and strip them completely. They are thrown out of Kurikara's refuge. They are wandering around and find their way to a ruined temple. But robbers cut off Kiyowaka's tongue and rape Princess Aya. Just then, Chiharu and Katsumi come to themselves, they wonder if it was all a dream. But they find Yoshitsune's skull at the point of the anchor. They bury it cordially. Then, Chiharu's mole disappears and Latsumi can speak again.

Really, for me, one of the most beautiful albums I have heard in recent memory, and a discovery of our wonderful generous friend, of course...

The theme:

The intro, with ascending electric piano leading to the fuguelikemelody and sustained strings and choral-like chords is already to die for; but then, after a break of silence, very symphonically, you get the lilting undulating main theme evoking boat on sea.  Note the great chord progression too.  It's the arrangement which shows a great deal of educated skill that takes it far beyond what Oldfield was able to accomplish in my opinion.

Track 4 (Gathering Firewood - Digging Out A Small Wooden Boat - Launch)  is more typical of late seventies electronic OST music:

I would add that if this is a typical seventies art movie, I would love to see it at some point.  Anyone with info let me know.

And enjoy this lost musical boat from the sands of time...



  2. Julian, thanks - this sounds really good.