Artist: Magical Power Mako
Album: Magical Power
This is the debut album of the prolific composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Magical Power Mako, born in 1955 and still recording and releasing music today. MPM's debut LP Magical Power is comprised of music composed during Mako's childhood up to his early twenties, alongside field recordings and studio tape experiments. The variety of techniques employed by Mako on the record makes for an incredibly diverse LP and the tracks contain traces of world music, Japanese folk, which is a recurring theme in Mako's work; western pop; psychedelic rock and free improvisation. Best of all, Mako is completely unafraid of fast musical transitions, and the resultant effect of this is a narrative-like sound, set up all too conveniently by the introduction.
As is often the case with other MPM releases, Magical Power almost sounds more like a compilation of different artists from different continents. For me, the fact that Mako manages to fuse these elements into comprehensive releases without fail never ceases to amaze me. Interestingly, Magical Power features vocals on two tracks ('Restraint, Freedom' and 'Look Up the Sky') by Keiji Haino, a childhood friend of Mako's, who offers his somewhat uncharacteristically beautiful, angelic vocals to two of the best tracks on the album. This is a must-hear not only for seasoned Magical Power Mako fans, but also for fans of Keiji Haino's earlier work and fans of Japanese-psych in general.
1) The End Amen
2) Cha Cha
4) In a Stalactite Cavern Astoronaus
7) Restraint, Freedom
8) Open the Morning Window, the Sunshine Come in, the Hope of Today Is Small Bird Singing
9) Ruding Piano
10) Shukuyakushi Nenbutsu Kane-Hari
11) American Village 1973
12) Look Up the Sky