Thursday, 7 July 2011

MUSIC FOR THE RISING SUN [V/A]

Band: Ceremony Of Innocence
Title:
Music For The Rising Sun [V/A]
Format: Digital download album created in 2011 and in 7 parts, available via http://mftrs.bandcamp.com. This compilation is designed to raise funds for the relief programme in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and has been co-ordinated by Aaron Russell of Impurfekt.
Edition: Available in unlimited download

Track Listing:
Part I
01. Rarefaction - For Ophelia and the Silent Sea 02:05
02. Marching Mind - Mission 03:23
03. Red This Ever - Only Survivor 04:22
04. The Oedipus Complex - Descend the Ascent 05:06
05. Anti-m - Deep 05:21
06. Fantome - Emerald Coast 04:27
07. Esoteric Sob (featuring Cellar Door) - Little Moments 04:55
08. Mezzamo - My Spaceship 04:17
09. Dudley Ghost - White Cherry 05:23
10. Cybo - Aqueous 03:18
11. Paula - The World Stands with You Now 05:43
Part II
01. Apparent Symmetry - Control Theory (r.roo Remix) 04:19
02. Fluxussyndrom - The Telling of Aikenn Drum 03:39
03. grauraum - Out of Ashes 05:39
04. ArcRunner - Umi 04:22
05. Nameless City - The Past 05:34
06. The Ghost of 3.13 - Overcome 03:59
07. r.roo - Birds 05:45
08. New Army - Kyoto Majestic 04:54
09. Pandora's Black Book - Burrowers 05:28
10. Miktek - Cracks on the Surface 05:44
Part III
01. Phantoms of the SS - The Persistent Heartbeat 04:40
02. Proyecto Alienoxir - The Rising Sun Nation 04:41
03. The Seventh Necronation - With this Life 04:45
04. Roughhausen - Voltage Control 05:41
05. First Aid 4 Souls - exJESUSnow (The Game) 04:34
06. R.I.P. - Temporary Evacuation (Ad Inferna Remix) 04:55
07. Systemshock - (I Take) The Sun 04:50
08. The Alacrity - Smoke and Mirrors (Alacrity Mix) 04:19
09. Dead Frail Honesty - Grasping for Air 05:36
10. LPF12 - For All That's Been Achieved 05:24
Part IV
01. A Bleeding Star - From the Depths of Orient's Ashes... 03:48
02. Access to Arasaka - Ninsei 04:21
03. Counterfiet i - Ikeru 04:31
04. Spunx - Where are You Atsuko 03:06
05. Schlafstoerung - Human 05:02
06. Scapegoat - Kaiju (The Demons Return Once More) 05:25
07. Verney 1826 - Sunrise 04:05
08. iN sCissorS - Adjoined Twins 06:33
09. Lisa Hammer - The Saddest Day of All 04:40
10. djozr - Dawn (White Day) 06:57
Part V
01. Nux Vomica - As I Searched for Answers 06:03
02. Starchasm and Protea - The Bardo of the Experiencing of Reality 04:42
03. XSRY with Kenji Siratori - Angel Mechanism 02:55
04. The Craft - Dark Angels 02:33
05. Gary Flanagan - A Train Passes by Mount Fuji 04:03
06. e-gens - I Can Touch the Sun 04:38
07. Eric Hausmann - Kimigayo 02:00
08. Tears of Nature - Scars of Gaia 05:59
09. Louis Guidone - Soaring Spirits 05:45
10. Chris Givens - Earth Changes 05:45
Part VI
01. 1 Phantom - The Skyline from Kyoto 06:51
02. Galati - Feels Like I'm Breaking Up Inside 05:21
03. Botham - Journey 05:25
04. A Fallen Mind - Illuminate 05:18
05. Johnny S. Pizano - 4 Japan 01:57
06. Rebischung - Aquatica Lucis 05:21
07. Testube - Mitate 04:06
08. Union of Intentions - Forever Japan 03:27
09. soundedit - mntjnt 03:52
10. Ceremony Of Innocence - Japanese Morning 09:55
Part VII
01. Kimber Bennet - Everything Will Be Okay 05:00
02. Geodesic - Denki 03:08
03. Biel Oliver - Villa Lilian 05:47
04. impurfekt - For the Rising Sun 06:01
05. Levkoy - Straight Off 04:33
06. United Gods - S.G.G. 0102 03:42
07. Heart of Thorns - Yin-Yang II 04:32
08. Wolfskill - Pinprick Melodies 02:20
09. Automating - Unideation 04:55
10. Josef Nadek - Meltdown 05:48


Were you to cross the drawbridge of Castle Nazgul and negotiate yourself past the portcullis and other outer defenses, you would emerge into a central cobbled courtyard, in the far left of which is a small wooden door at the foot of a lofty spire, draped in variegated ivy and scarred from sieges long since past. Enter through this door and proceed up the spiral stone staircase and you will emerge onto a landing where a small, hunched figure sits on the floor, blue in the face and distressed in appearance. The reason for this sight - this sad figure is the COI fan who has been holding his breath since the release of the band's "Der Rote Glanz Der Flammenfee" album back in 2008 (see post for 24 June 2009), waiting all this time for that elusive second album...

Yes, it's been an awfully long wait for any new COI product. However, the presence of a track on this enormous compilation (which manages to put even the recently reviewed 46-song SkullLine 5th Anniversary release in the shade) gives some sustenance to an audience suffering from a severe drought of available material. But before we get to the song, let's consider what this project is all about.

Some context: four months on and relief efforts are still underway in the wake of the 11 March earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. Beginning his efforts on the day of the disaster, Aaron Russell of Impurfekt spearheaded work on a charitable compilation entitled "Music For The Rising Sun" with 100% of profits going to fund Red Cross efforts in Japan. Impurfekt, an American project on the Shinto Records label, is described on www.impurfekt.com as "dark electronic music ... most influenced by artists such as Velvet Acid Christ, In Strict Confidence, [:SITD:], Massive Attack, Enigma, The Future Sound of London and composers Michael Kamen and Akira Yamaoka."

Featuring over 90 different acts from the Electro-Experimental, Gothic Rock, EBM & Neo-Classical genres, "Music For The Rising Sun" is chock full of brand new tracks, recorded exclusively for this release. Another different element to this compilation is that it is planned to be serialised in IX parts, each being released on a weekly basis, keeping the ball rolling and the relief effort constantly in the public eye. So far we're up to Part VII, so there's still more to come although at this time Nazgul believes there will not be any more Hugin-related material on the remaining parts. Apparently the original plan had been to enlist enough bands to make a double-CD release of material, but the sheer number and quality of compositions sent into Aaron led to this novel approach being taken.

Speaking on the Shinto Records website Aaron Russell said, "At its heart, Music for the Rising Sun is an international community effort. Musicians from around the globe have donated time, passion and inspiration for the benefit of Japan. It is our sincere desire that our music will inspire others to give to those in need. We also wish for the people of Japan to feel our compassion and support during this unimaginable trial."

Thus what we have here is an immensely worthy cause that you can visit via the BandCamp link and purchase each part for whatever you feel is a fair price to pay. You can actually donate once and then download anything between just one and all parts of the available music, so there really is no excuse not to dig deep and have a look around this site as all funds received will be transferred to the American Red Cross for the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami effort.

Now, let's have a listen to the COI track itself, called 'Japanese Morning' (note the cunning play on words, fitting of former Skyclad vocalist Martin Walkyier). The first thing that is evident is that this sounds very little - save for one section right at the end - like the Ceremony Of Innocence we've been used to in the past (cue sound of blue-faced man in tower crumpling to the floor in disbelief). Instead, the sombre tones and melodies, together with some 'clean' if dead-pan vocals from Hugin, give the piece a fitting timbre that is almost gothic in nature at times. In fact, it sounds not dissimilar to Solid Grey, which perhaps is a reflection of the state of mind Hugin was in whilst recording this track.

Following an almost dirge-like bass introduction, a light yet sad-sounding melody of keyboards and an early vocal appearance from Hugin, we're off and running! As the song develops there's an unexpected but most welcome appearance from an electric guitar, amidst the more normal mixture of synthesised drums and keyboards that weave a sonic tapestry around the lyrics. There's a lot going on here, and whilst the song might take a few listens become familiar, you can't doubt the effort it must have taken to pull it all together.

The lyrics from the song are reproduced below, and show insight into the emotional and traumatic issues going on in Japan at the time, whilst reflecting on a personal state of 'emotional meltdown' as a apt metaphor into Hugin's own feelings.

I’ve got up with a certain premonition
And felt the world is so much different today
I switched the TV on and realized
A global - a global disaster is underway

Although they keep telling you
The situation is in hand in the power stations over there
Millions of people run for shelter
And I can’t do anything but sit and stare

So I can feel
My next emotional meltdown is approaching …
I try to contact you by all means of communication

But eventually all lines to - lines to Tokyo are dead
I do remember those happy days we spent together
There is no moment that I do regret

So I can feel
My next emotional meltdown is approaching …

This state of uncertainty drives me crazy
More and more and more I try to make believe
That you are – that you are still alive
But there is no sign from you that I so desperately seek
So I can feel

My next emotional meltdown is approaching …

I know my security system is about to fail
I try to keep - to keep the pressure low
I’m so afraid – afraid of losing you
There is no way to keep me in the flow
My next emotional meltdown is approaching...

Ultimately it's a cause well worth supporting, and gives the splendid opportunity to investigate a host of new music at whatever cost you feel is a fair one to pay. Go on - make a difference.

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