compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net
Last updated 04.1.25
(*) means I don't own this album
(@) means I don't own this album but I've listened to it
Official Info and previews of Susumu Hirasawa's latest works (in English)
jump to my the P-MODEL page
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Some recent downloadable songs by Susumu Hirasawa in protest to events taking place in the Middle East
He's the main and continuous member of P-MODEL. His solo albums have their own distinct style. Generally a sort of grand sound that can be a fast tempo like P-MODEL but can and often does move at slower tempos. P-MODEL is more of a collaborative statement while the solos are his solo statements. (and a third side, Shun, tends to be usually collaborations that sort of think "outside the box")
Unlike much of P-MODEL's catalog that now seems to be out of print aside from the Ashu-on boxed set, much of SH's back catalog is still quite available retail the last time I checked. All post-2000 works are available both in shops and direct from the label.
First solo album. A classic. Uses live strings but many synths also. Jun Togawa appears on this through Virtual Rabbit for one or 2 songs on each album. I think this the first appearance of Hirasawa's always enigmatic Turkish marching band sound that shows up here and there in many guises for quite a few years :-)
Second solo album. Has some pieces of the style of the first album but mostly has dense non-traditional style of acoustic rock drumming and never really gets in to a groove. Still quite a bit of interesting music, though not the same level as the next or prior studio album. Lots of interesting compositions.
Hirasawa plays with 5 musicians (incl. P-Model alumni Akiyama and Kotobuki) and an orchestra. As I heard this live album long before the albums the songs came from my first reaction was-- absulutely fascinating compositions!
The 32 piece"Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Nurse" orchestra adds an impressive retro feel. When I was listening the first timeI was reminded at times of Guernica. As it turns out Jun Togawa is a surprise guest on a song (and short samples of her are also heard on other songs) and I didn't realize it. In hindsight its a bit more compelling and easier to listen too than Guernica but not a period concept like them.Very exotic also.
Third solo album. <<The world of "dreams" which has been lost due to the encroachment of science.>> - a translation of whats said to be the album's concept. This one comes back to some really superb material and arrangements.
These are out of print. I have volume one. Kind of short with some quite interesting instrumental soundtracks and a differently arranged theme song from the version of the same melody on his solo album. The tracks seem to have some real strings with lots of synths and samples.
I understand Volume 2 has additional music and Volume 3 is said to contain previously released music material arranged differently.
This anime OVA mini-series (3 volumes on VHS) were and possibly still are available in the U.S.on video from Central Park Video with subtitles. The price is somewhat steep for the American video since you need to buy 3 full price 60 minute tapes. As for the animation itself, far from a classic but not bad.
Detonator Orgun (Dramatage Library version)
This is one CD with the whole story, music, sound effects and dialog condensed down to 1 CD as a sort of audio drama.
I believe there is a bonus track unavailable on the prior albums.
An "Image Album" is a Japanese genre of music inspired by a movie or TV show, but not an actual soundtrack. In this case inspiration seems to be from an illustrated graphic novel.
Includes a song. Somewhat soundtrack like in nature but with long instrumentals. Not Hirasawa's strongest work, but still quite worthwhile.
Much more reflective than the frenzy of P-Model. First rate songs, great singing, nice flow of material. He even does an hommage to Tangerine Dream as a break. Loaded with well aranged electronics including an extended composition near the end.
(I asked a friend to translate to english since I couldn't find some track names on the web)
*Sim City*1995 Polydor cd: POCH-1510
This album has a science fiction story concept and is set in Thailand. Another fantastic album, a faster pace and more driving than the prior one (which has some nice ballads). More techno-ish but it also j\has a thought out anthem-like quality to various pieces, the Thai samples and Asian sound make it stand out from anything in electronic music or pop music I've listened to.
The guest singer/cover model Miss N's gown has MIDI or XLR cables attached to it, which is either cool or disturbing. My favorite album of 1995
1996? DVD reissue 03.11.26 CHTE-0027
Live tour video for the above album.
Siren1996 Teslakite/Columbia cd: COCA-13571
This album showcases all sorts of vocals. This is a second but quite different album inspired by a futuristic Thailand. Besides Hirasawa's own singing (often doing backing vocals also) there are opera vocals, Thai vocals (including Miss N), found transmissions and sampled choirs. He plays on the double meaning of "Siren" as in an air raid siren and the mythological singing mermaids. Compared to his prior solo album he now has crunchy distortion on the drum parts and orchestrates with synth strings and choirs reminicent of (European) classical, whereas the last album had more winds and brass along with some strings and choirs. Pulsating sequences are featured too. Fine listening.
SAIREN *Siren*1996 Teslakite/Columbia cd 3": CODA-1012
Means 'How about SADNESS' . This is a 'chain letter tape' passed between the two. One musician would create the starting material and the other embelishes it. Mixed results but some great moments.
Some cool newer electronica tracks by Kenji Konishi in .ogg audio format. http://enngawa.jp/sabba
(follow the link for more tracks)
BERSERK -Forces-97.11.1 Nippon Columbia/Teslakite cd3: CODA-1383
4 mixes of a theme song for an episodic TV anime program based on a popular though violent manga. The backing music to this theme sounds like a new arrangement of the Take the Wheel melody from Aurora with new lyrics. A driving military theme song.
(@) 1997 VPCG84639
This the the album version with just one version of the above "Forces" theme and 8 instrumentals. Also included are a pair of unintentionally funny or not very good depending on your point of view songs sung in English which are not by SH!! I point this out because its not clear in the credits if you watch the American DVDs that he did not do those tracks. So I'll point it out here, Susumu Hirasawa's own songs are interesting and different than the typical rock ballad songs by 2 other bands used over the titles and end credits of the anime series.
Yuko Miyamura a voice actress for the anime version recorded some songs produced by SH after he did the soundtrack.
Berserk - Millennium Falcon: Chapter of the Lost Flower
This is different music to the game. 8 of the 13 tracks are by Susumu Hirasawa. The cover text is in Japanese. I suspect copies made in Taiwan are counterfit
Kyu sai no Hou houtranslates as techniqueof salvation
98.08.21 Nippon Columbia/Teslakite COCP-30019
An album of strong and beautiful music. Memorable melodies, great for repeated listenings. The songs are songs proper, nothing odd or extended. No songs are very hyperactive either (like Day Scanner on the last album, not that it wasn't cool), on the other hand this leads to a fine smooth listen. The album ends with a piece along the lines of what Mike Oldfield does. Lots of exotic sounds and fine singing (even journeys into Roy Orbison heights!)
This is a theatre score that runs about 21 minutes. Very dramatic. Kayo Matsumoto sings soprano on many tracks. SH also sings on the main theme vocals. A number of instrumentals.
KENJA NO PROPELLER00.10 ChaosUnion/Teslakite CHTE-0001
A new album of songs. Relates quite well with earlier albums like Aurora and Sim City and tries out new things like layered self made backing choruses. Quite a few Thai and Asian vocals being interacted with. A bit more calm which highlights the beautiful moments.
there is "another version" sold only via .mp3 on the net. This version changes the song order and quite a few songs appear in slightly different mixes, added or subtracted parts, etc. this version as far as I know is only available for net sale in Japan. Please note that some other .mp3 projects are available for overseas purchase.
Interractive Live Show 2000 DVD
This is a live concert video of the album tour and includes many vocal-less backing tracks and music video besides the excellent concert. Kenji Konishi is a guest performer.
information on ordering is on the www.chaosunion.com site (CHTE-0003 is the cat#)
|A Susumu Hirasawa track called Moon Plant One is on the Netherlands released compilation World Wide Kind (Groove GR-045). It was put together by the Intellegentsia Network during the year 2000. Intellegentsia toured as a special guest of SH in late 2000. Other artists on the compilation include Nicholas D. Kent (thats me) and this site's sponsor, the spootcore band ArtSkool. more info here|
01.10 ChaosUnion/Teslakite CHTE-0004
This is a concept album that re-configures a secection of previous Hirasawa solo works into a sort of 21st century version of P-MODEL. Its still a solo work but the style is intentionally all high speed and blippy like P-MODEL. Then the whole thing ties in with renewable energy sources and conservation in that it both recycles old material :-) and was recorded using solar energy to power the studio.
There is a live DVD of the album's tour (*) CHTE-0023
(@) 02.09.06 CHTE-0022
This is a soundtrack to a highly acclaimed anime feature. It's sometimes called Chiyoko, Millennium Actress (after the lead character).Some of the tracks are arrangements of older tunes but ther are substantial new themes too. Some singing, though the voices are used more as if they were an instrument. It's a great anime with great music. It just occured to me that while the story is original, it has a structure sort of like "Citizen Kane"
Includes a short 3D animated .mpg video that visualizes one of the tracks independently from the anime. Interesting and quite a contrast.
Dreamworks will release the movie theatrically in larger North American cities on September 12, 2003. The U.S. DVD was released on October 28, 2003. No overseas soundtrack albums. The Japanese release on Teslakite is the official soundtrack. Material on Taiwan labels is counterfit.
can order the official soundtrack CD here - in English with a credit
(buy the OST, support independent labels! )
I'd say this new solo album progresses from the previous sound with more Asian sounding elements and electronic rock sounds and a little less Western classical style.
You can download mp3 of the main track, Ride the Blue Limbo here!
03.11.26 CHAOS UNION (TESLAKITE) CHTE-0026 DVD
This is the live tour video. The concert is very well captured. While prior live concerts I've seen have a theme and a linking of material this concert goes further with a full and elaborate story making it in many respects like a musical drama. It comes complete with optional plot subtitles (that I helped work on) to help you follow along in English. (NTSC All regions)
2003 purchasable mp3 only
This is a collection of 8 new and alternate arrangements most of which were initially created for the LIMBO-54 tour of 2003. If you buy all 8 you get 2 more exclusive tracks as a bonus. These are studio recordings
These tracks are available with a
credit card from overseas with English instructions and explanations.
04.01.10 Teslakite CHTE-0028
New and old songs newly arranged centering around Thailand. Sung in Japanese and Thai, it's a tribute to 9 Katoy friends who passed away in recent years.
Free MP3 here http://www.s-hirasawa.com/WORLDCELL/e/
Japanese cover art
Paranoia Agent (OST)
2004 CHTE-0029, U.S. released in 2005
Soundtrack to a new animated series by Satoshi Kon. Includes a theme song and a selection of often edgey instrumental tracks - as the title implies!
A free album track + a collection of bonus tracks that didn't make it onto the album are available in mp3 format here
US cover art
shun II(*) 1985 Model House P-2
shun III(*) 1985 Model House P-4
shun IV (*) 1987 CSV SHU-1201
"House sound collages" 1984-87. taken from the above LPs. They have beats and sometimes lyrics but are more experimental in nature. refered to as "fossils". Quite a good listen to for variations and predecessors to the P-Model sound.
A 20 minute video version of the 4 tracks from Shun IV
Four ambient tracks. Fractal in origin. Fascinating atmosphere with enough substance to become real compositions. Perhaps too textural for some, though. Hirasawa sings along in the finale a little.
Means "Mother" in Thai. A follow up to Landscapes. Trance-like but with a good amount of melody. Some vocal work in Thai. In the womb music that does become rather driving. Hypnotic. (and much more to my tastes than the prior one)
a big thanks to Susumu Hirasawa, Kenji Konishi, Hajime Fukuma, Sato-ken, Hikaru Kotobuki
Official Susumu Hirasawa page
Susumu Hirasawa personal page
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