Colored Music – Colored Music, 1981

Anomalous! A collaboration between Atsuo Fujimoto and personal hero jazz pianist and vocalist Ichiko Hashimoto, this was Colored Music’s only official release, though apparently they scored a 1984 movie called Kougen ni ressha ga hashitta (高原に列車が走った)–if anyone has a copy of this, I’d really love to hear it!

Sinister and strange throughout, Colored Music defies genre, ranging from the scronky, free-jazzy “Anticipation” to the spaced-out, reverb soaked “Sanctuary” to the more explicitly new wave “Too Much Money,” flirting briefly with progressive rock along the way. Vocals include a haunted, warbling mermaid choir, sputtering Broadway theatrics, and faraway pirate chants buried deep in the mix. The standout is the shimmying, agitated “Heartbeat,” held together by a warped and weird house beat that gets shredded in half by an almost unlistenable piano meltdown. A little challenging, but totally worth it.

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