Sunday, February 17, 2008
Interesting ad from Japan for Kirin Lager featuring an older, grayer Yellow Magic Orchestra. This ad seems to be trafficing in some kind of post-modern reverse orientalism. YMO have always reversed and played into/with their otherness, and Sakamoto's solo work also travels this terrain. His work with David Sylvian in particular could be seen as a Japanese reinterpration of Englishless. Together they queer the orientalism of Sylvian's early work with Japan(the band not the nation) into something other than the sum of its parts. Yet Sylvian's work can definitely be seen as definitively English, part of off a tradition that stretches back through psyc and english folk, that includes artists as diverse as Coil, Bowie, Bauhaus, Current 93 and others. Imagine if Sakamoto had called his first band "England" and worn white face and saucer eye glasses... The bizarre cultural tension between these two island empires, which in many ways are mirror images of eachother informs their colaboration.....
thanks to radio ruido for thoughts and discussion.