Kashiwa Daisuke
Program Music I


5.0
classic

Review

by Xenophanes EMERITUS
October 8th, 2010 | 99 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A sprawling, yet meticulously crafted masterpiece.

So I sit here on a lonely bus, looping around places both familiar and new. Buildings and trees pass by, however it goes unnoticed. I sit in a daze, as the melodies and soundscapes of "Stella" gently fade, entering into the infectious jazz filled intro "Write Once, Run Melos". It's both the perfect setting and mood to listen, yet at the same time so inopportune. You see, Kashiwa Daisuke's opus, Program Music I is both a serene manifesto and a chaotic barrage of musical fury. It's a sweeping score full of many moods and emotions, thus making it impossible to find the perfect time and place in which to listen. Regardless, it's a musical experience like no other.

Hiroshima born, Kashiwa Daisuke hails from the land of the rising sun. With a vast array of influences, Daisuke creates a very unique form of electronica. With heavy influences of neo-classical and post-rock, the music coalesces into something much greater. Yet Daisuke should not be so readily compared to World's End Girlfriend or any other of his contemporaries. Program Music I is an entity all it's own, very organic, yet painfully planned out. And that is what makes Program Music I work so well. It is as if Daisuke simply let it come into existence, while at the same time meticulously planning out each musical phrase. It's all very poetically played out, yet no words are ever spoken. It's both a wonderful musical experience and an enjoyable listen. All of it's in the eye of the beholder. Program Music I is whatever it is you would like it to be, a novelty, or a modern epic.

As a whole, the album is very musically diverse. However, it is very string heavy, consisting of piano, guitar, violin, and cello. Yet behind this is a solid electronic backbone. The album excels in this aspect. The electronica aspects are at the forefront, but demand very little. The melody is always at the center, leaving the "bleeps" and "static" to simply detail what is already there. This is where Kashiwa Daisuke's musically meticulous planning really becomes apparent. Everything just works so incredibly well, from the trickling of water in "Stella," to the haunting chorus towards the back half of "Write Once, Run Melos."

The album is split into two very distinct portions. "Stella" and "Write Once, Run Melos." Rather, these are not mere portions, but fully realized compositions. Program Music I is a sixty minute suite, separated by two exceptionally lengthy songs. Fortunately, Daisuke refrains from merely indulging into endless bouts of musical madness, and creates two, fully realized, and fully detailed pieces of music. The album's 800-pound gorilla takes form in "Stella." To put it simply, "Stella" is pure genius. It is a new standard for the genre, and a new height that may or may not be reached for years to come. It is a sprawling piece of composition, and Daisuke's indelible opus. Opening with a haunting piano melody, the song starts off very subdued. Intermittent sound effects of trains and laughter accompany the keyboard, all leading into the piano/acoustic guitar duet. Once again, the electronic influences are kept very tasteful, being used like an artist utilizes the brushstrokes of painting. Entering in later with the strings, "Stella" becomes a series of builds and climaxes. It's relentless. Even when things appear to be slowing down, the pace quickly picks back up. At times morose, while at other times incredibly felicitous, "Stella" is an incredibly capricious piece. The song encompasses countless moods and feelings, and can at times be a tad bit overwhelming. However, at thirty-five minutes, "Stella" still manages to seem aphoristic.

While Program Music I has made this reviewer spout on about mountainous soundscapes and emotional euphoria, the album is not perfect. While the purple prose and poetic writings may lead one to believe Program Music I is flawless, it simply is not true. "Write Once, Run Melos" simply cannot compare to "Stella." While the climax at about the four-minute mark is possibly my favorite moment of the album, the composition simply cannot stand against the preceding song. There is much less variety within the piece, and the electronics play a vastly larger role. The track keeps a very brisk pace, but lacks the emotional punch. However, that is not to say that it is in anyway not worth a listen. In fact, the track is fantastic. However, it was poorly placed, making an otherwise wonderful song seem like a mere afterthought.

Kashiwa Daisuke has crafted something special here. To some, it will be a novelty. Two very long, pretty songs, or a neo-classical album with some techno. However, for those who truly embrace it will find something indelibly unforgettable.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Emeritus
October 9th 2010


7498 Comments


Best review I've read today. Happy 30th to you Xenophanes =) This piece is a wonderfully triumphant way to celebrate the occasion. Pos.

One minor gripe I have: I feel that the line "Hiroshima born, Kashiwa Daisuke hails from the land of the rising sun" is kinda redundant (I know I'm just splitting hairs here). You could probably have followed Daisuke's name with a better line that leads into your review proper.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2010


32292 Comments


Gay

But nice writing

Gyromania
October 9th 2010


32526 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Brilliant review! Pos'd. I'll definitely have one up by the end of this year myself. I hope this entices more people to acquire this, his magnum opus.

iamnotchan
October 9th 2010


669 Comments


Regardless, it's a musical experience like n other.

missing something there
nicely done, pos'd


btw you're gay

crazyblinddude
October 9th 2010


3388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

With a 5 review like this, you're flaming.



Nice job. Album is awesome.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 9th 2010


1600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

F*ck me, I decided to give this a full listen through after reading this and I still can't decide between Stella and Write Once, Run Melos.





taroo
October 9th 2010


2126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, amazing album

Skimaskcheck
October 9th 2010


2364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is stupid

porch
October 9th 2010


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wow a whole six or seven times, you must know this inside out

porch
October 9th 2010


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

six or seven times from beginning to end, truly remarkable

porch
October 9th 2010


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol

RedSky
October 9th 2010


309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like how this is only the 6th greatest album of ALL TIME.

americanmusicmachine
October 9th 2010


3953 Comments


this is pretty darn good.

Yotimi
October 9th 2010


7645 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album's really good. But just a tad cheesy. A tad.

acorncheese
October 9th 2010


7139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album, but can't see it ever reaching 5/5 for me. 4.6/5

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 9th 2010


4460 Comments


why do I not have this?

Gyromania
October 9th 2010


32526 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I don't know, but if you know what's good for you, you'll pick it up NOW

KritikalMotion
October 9th 2010


2278 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

easiest 5 ive ever given

Adash
October 9th 2010


1356 Comments


the album and the review are fierce

SoapySoap
October 9th 2010


865 Comments


"Album's really good. But just a tad cheesy. A tad."

A little cheese is good, though.



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