The sense of pop in Takuro Okada’s music on #neuguitars #blog #TakuroOkada
“From his time with “Mori Wa Ikiteiru” up and through “Betsu No Jikan,” Okada’s ambition and curiousity intersecting with his evolution as a musician have led him to this question at the crossroads– “what is pop?”
▶︎ Betsu No Jikan | Takuro Okada (bandcamp.com)
Usually I don’t like reading the best of the year lists published by newspapers, bloggers, etc. Not because I consider them useless, but because I don’t like lists and rankings of this kind and also because I confess I’ve never been able to make one. I can’t make rankings. I already find it difficult to express a judgment with a review, therefore it is impossible for me to create a ranking, where to indicate who arrives first and who last. This year I made an exception by reading the Guardian list ( The 10 best contemporary albums of 2022 | Experimental music | The Guardian ) “The 10 best contemporary albums of 2022”, where I was impressed by the ninth position: Takuro Okada – Betsu No Jikan. A really interesting album. It deserved further study. The Guardian was not wrong, Betsu No Jikan deserves the purchase and a careful listen.
What is pop, Takuro Okada wonders? Is it a semantic category? A kind of sound? In a sense, Betsu No Jikan admits the possibility of imagining a culture that plays with elements of other cultures. A culture uses them as masks, as disguises. The strength of Takuro Okada’s music lies in exploiting different cultural frameworks, working as a sound collagist. Pop, which I think Takuro Osaka moves towards with his music, is a complex amalgam of popular soul, energetic and nervous pulses and accents. In itself it represents the vision of a future, in which our present is given by titles, sources, initializations, the principle and point of reference of a continuous transformation. Pop is the opposite of a utopia, a closed system, immobile in its theoretical perfection and therefore boring, limiting and fanatical. At the same time, pop culture is so steeped in myth yet so eternally young that a slight shift of attention is enough to change the whole picture. This album becomes a pop canvas on which sound painter Takuto Okada builds the illusion of a vast sound stage, with instruments flowing in and out like characters in a play. It is as if Okada were trying to develop a superior ability to grasp in his own musical forms the emergence of continuous change inherent in the complex phenomena that we experience every day today. Pop has become liquid. Songs have become vehicles for improvisations or raw materials, to be remixed and reconfigured at will for future use. Betsu No Jikan is a hybridization of hybrids, in which identifying a traceable source, even in the case of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, becomes an anachronism. In which the speed of communication and cultural encounters become the cornerstones of musical expression. An ethereal album, imbued with light, textures, accords and iridescent moods.
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“We design the prototypes (Scott Johnson)”