PLAYING TODAY AT LONDONWORKS (Taiko, album by French artist Danger)
I discovered this artwork recently, after the release of "Origins", Danger latest album. Danger (AKA Franck Rivoire) is a Fench electronic artist, represented as a faceless masked figure with glowing eyes. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed "Origins", I feel like "Taiko" is his true masterpiece, and therefore my discovery of the month.
This album presents itself as a highly cinematic piece. It portrays a nostalgic and obscure atmosphere, which sounds at times autobiographic, and at times atmospheric. It's the contrasting feeling of both past and future dancing together in melancholic darkness.
Life in the aggressive capitalistic contemporary world is a central theme here, and it's almost as if the artist is trying to define a space for himself, where he can alienate, rebuild, and cherish his childhood memories and feelings. It's a magical dimension filled with emotions, memories, and dreams.
This devoted and solemn approach can be heard in track "6:42" (numbers indicate the moment each song was finished). Here, we find that sense of isolated creativity that he experienced during his childhood. It's a common trait that many artists and musicians share. In the dark hours, we are alone, we don't carry out duties and we don't have to live up to expectations. We find ourselves exclusively engaged with our deepest fears, our true passions, and our genuine drives. It's this almost spiritual experience that defines the bravery and intensity of this track. It sounds like a distant lullaby slowly approaching, like the anti-hero of a nostalgic Japanese manga.
Track 9:00 is for me the highest point of the album and the most complete and balanced tune. It's where East and West culture meet, in an ecstatic oniric ritual crowned by ethnic rhythms and hypnotic drums. A similar feel can be found in track 8:10, slightly less successful as a whole, but still pretty good.
In tracks like 7:17, we experience the cinematic aspect of this album to its fullest power. It's a flow of mysterious dark energy in a Blade Runner-like movie. It's pleasantly decadent but subtle. We find a similar obscure atmosphere in song 9:00, which is for me one of the signature pieces of this album. It closes with a sequence of delicate and nostalgic notes that reminds me of Japanese soundtracks in 80's romance cartoons.
The Japanese influence on this album is really strong. I can almost imagine the picturesque streets of Osaka, or the futuristic Tokyo alleys in the rain. A sea of colorful umbrellas getting lost in a gray cloud and a sea of flashlights. But at the same time, he celebrates the warm, naive and lighter aspects of Japanese culture through references to manga books, drawings, superheroes and computer games.