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Big Orange Crayon

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Takako Minekawa
Fun9
Emperor Norton Records


The title of this album is pronounced "funk." This sort of sets the stage for the confusion I experience whenever I listen to a new Takako Minekawa disc. That's not to say confusion is bad, however, it's just the experience of being completely out of your element as music that sounds like nothing you've ever heard before comes out of your headphones. At the beginning, it's like "Fun9? Pronounced 'funk'? Sure... now what is that noise?" then, after a few listens, it became "Ok, maybe the 9 is kind of like a 'q' and then it could be said like that... hey I really dig 'Plash'." From there it grows. I still really feel weird playing this CD when other people are around, but that's just because it's so unconventional that you can't expect other people to listen to it. You have to listen to it by yourself and figure it out on your own and eventually you come to love it. No matter what you think the first time you play it, it makes sense. Really.

Some of the more immediately likeable tracks are the afforementioned "Plash" and "Spin Spider Spin", both of which are the result of Takako's collaboration with Keigo Oyamada (aka Cornelius) and are both attractively electronic and funky, and "Fancy Work Funk" which is absolutely bizarre. There is a lot of moog-iness going on through the album, so if you don't like that analog synth sound, you've been warned. I like it though. I want one.

So yeah, if you're in the mood for music that takes a bit of effort to get into, Fun9 is worth it. It's definitely not for everybody and you'll probably repulse a few people by playing it on your stereo, but screw them.

Total score: 618 out of 618