Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Morio Agata - El Jaguar Del Bandoneon (Columbia, 1987)


Released 1.21.87

Technically, "jaguar" should be pronounced with a soft "h" sound. This is not how Morio Agata pronounces it. His jaguar is hard, sharp, jagged, dangerous. With this album, Agata discovered tango, and in it perhaps the ideal medium for the switchblade violence always inherent in his furious, sarcastic vocals and relentlessly propulsive songwriting. One can imagine that, finding folk too laconic, psych too meandering, synthpop too brittle, Agata turned in calm desperation to something more solid with which to express himself in greater clarity. Unlikely as it may at first seem, tango's exquisite blend of complete command and sweeping, cosmic romanticism suits Agata perfectly. At the same time, Agata remains a restless experimenter, introducing strands of synthpop and rock to create a new breed of music, a notable forerunner of today's electrotango, but perhaps still without direct descendants. Conceptually cohesive, it is held together by a constant tension between the turn of the century Euro-American avant-gardism that acts as its model and the more cutting edge, distinctly Japanese electronic sound of the instrumentation and arrangement, similar to Kato's Papa Hemingway or Miharu Koshi's Boy Soprano (Koshi also sings a prelude here).  The record is bristling with appearances from, amongst others, three Moonriders (Shirai, Kashibuchi and Suzuki), Nobuo Nakahara, Takehisa Kosugi, Koji Ueno, and a duet with Akiko Yano.

Lado Pierra (地上篇 / Chijou hen / Above Ground)
A1. La Vuelta Del Barón / 男爵のおかえり / Danshaku no okaeri / Return of the Baron
A2. Para Dos (El Jaguar Del Bandoneon) / バンドネオンの豹 / Bandoneon no hyou (Jagaa) / Jaguar Bandoneon
A3. El Tigre Que Murió En Paris / パリで死んだ虎 / Pari de shinda tora / The Tiger that Died in Paris
A4. Bandoneón Bajo La Luna / SP「月光のタンゴ」 / SP 「Gekkou no tango」 / SP "Moonlight Tango"
A5. Invierno En Buenos Aires / ブエノス・アイレスの冬休み / Buenos Airesu no fuyu yasumi / Buenos Aires Winter Vacation
A6. Amor Humano (Extrano Amor Del Doctor Megata) / 博愛(目賀田博士の異常な愛情) / Haku-ai (Megata hakase no ijou na aijou) / Benevolence (The Strange Love of Doctor Megata)
A7. A Media Luz (Luna Road) / 夢のルナロード / Yumē no luna rōdo / Lunar Road of Dreams
A8. Super Expreso Tango / タンゴ超特急 / Tango chou tokkyū / Super Express Tango
A9. Uno (Triste Bandoneón De Quién) / 誰が悲しみのバンドネオン / Dare ga kanashimi no bandoneon / Whose Sad Bandoneon

Lado Fondo Marino (海底篇 / Kaitei hen / Undersea)
B1. Recuerdo /夜のレクエルド / Yoru no reku-erudo / Nighttime Recuerdo
Suite: La Cruzada Del Fondo Del Mar / 組曲「海底十字軍」/ Kumikyoku「Kaitei juujigun」/ Suite "Underwater Crusades"
B2a. La Cruzada Juvenil / 少年十字軍(星の界)/ Shōnen jūjigun (hoshi no kai) / Juvenile Crusades (World of the Stars)
B2b. Para Dos - En 78 Rpm; Mono / SP「バンドネオンの豹」/ SP「Bandoneon no hyou」 / SP "Jaguar Bandoneon"
B2c. Fondo Del Mar /  海底の豹 / Kaitei no hyou / Jaguar Under the Sea
B3. Pescadores De Las Perlas - Frágil Anhelo / シフィリスの真珠採り / Shifirisu no shinju tori / Pearl Fishers of Syphilis
真珠採りのタンゴ〜シフィリスのもののあわれ / Shinju tori no tango ~ Shifirisu no mono no aware / Pearl-taking Tango ~ Aesthetic of Syphilis
B4. Jardín De Perle-Déco / パール・デコレーションの庭 / Paaru dekorēshon no niwa / Garden of Pearl Decorations
B5. Bandoneón Bajo La Luna / 月光のバンドネオン / Gekkou no bandoneon / Moonlight Bandoneon

Morio Agata