lunes, 7 de diciembre de 2009

Isao Tomita - Captain Ultra Soundtrack (1967)

Very early work by Isao Tomita, some unusual space-age soundtrack, done in the years before his greater electronic fame!

The music here is everything you'd expect from the cover -- a great retro-future sort of style, and one that uses conventional soundtrack instrumentation, but with lots of odd twists and turns, weird effects, and more... all to create a cool space-driven batch of tracks! At times, the music is almost like that of Peter Thomas in his 60s space age mode but at other points, things are moodier too: quite dark, with electronics bubbling under acoustic instrumentation in a very spooky way. The 2CD set features a whopping 90 tracks in all -- all with Japanese titles -- a heck of a deal at this price! © 1996-2009, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

Isao Tomita was born in Tokyo in 1932. He studied art history at Keio University in Tokyo and pursued his interest in music and electronics with private teachers. While still a student he submitted a composition called "Wind Mills" to the Japan Federation of Choral Organizations to be used by contestants in a choral competition, and it was accepted. This led to requests for other compositions. He wrote the theme music used by the Japanese gymnastics team in the 1956 Olympics and then turned to films and television, particularly the latter.

He has written the background music for such year-long NHK series as "The Life Of The Flower" (1960), "The Heaven And The Earth" (1969), "The New Tale Of Heike" (1972) and "Kaishu Katsu" (1974), and for his contribution to the industry Tomita was awarded the prestigious Television Grand Prix for 1973. He has also composed music for TV cartoon projects, including "The KIng Of The Jungle", which was shown on NBC under the title "White Lion"; this music was later incorporated into a tone poem, which was performed by the Japan Philharmonic. For Expo '70 he provided the music for the Toshiba hall, and he has been commissioned to compose the music for the Japanese government hall at the 1975 Okinawa Marine Expo. In 1973 Tomita established Plasma Music, which is dedicated to the creation of music by electronic means. Other members of the group include Kinji Kitashoji, who specializes in rock music, and Mitsuo Miyamoto, who specializes in mood music. Among the projects being planned are a piano-synthesizer concerto; "The Prince Of Stars", an original piece being composed by Tomita as a fantasy based on a synthesizer, and "Orchestral Prayer", for the Ohara Sanzenin Temple in Kyoto, which would utilize traditional Japaniese instruments coupled with sythesizers.

Release date: 1967
Label: unknown (this issue is actually not stated on webs like DiscoGS or Rate Your Music)
Country: Japan
Format: LP
CD re-issues:
- 1996, SLC 2-CD SLCS-5100/1
- 2007, Solid 2-CD CDSOL 1162/63
- 2009, Phantom 2-CD 858466

Track listing:

01. Captain Ultra Theme (Long version)
02. Captain Ultra Theme (Short version)
03. Episode 1: Banderu-Seijin Appear
04. Uchu Ambience I
05. Uchu Station Theme
06. Battle Theme
07. Uchu Ambience II
08. Uchu Kaiju Theme
09. Banderu-Seijin Theme
10. Uchu Fanfare Medley
11. Haku & Joe
12. Captain Ultra Theme II (long version)
13. Uchu Kaiju Attack
14. Uchu Jazz
15. Uchu Fanfare Medley II
16. Speigel Theme
17. In Space No One Can Hear You
18. Uchu Sad
19. All Robots Go To Uchu Heaven
20. Captain Ultra Theme II (instrumental)

Pretty weird soundtrack, anyway! For Tomita's fans, it's a must or possibly something to avoid if you were so keen with his atmospheric, spatial and classical albums.


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