FANTASMA" has been reissued on Matador Records and a
Cornelius remix album "CM : FM", featuring remixes and
contributions from BECK, DAMON ALBARN, MONEY MARK, Buffalo
Daughter, SEAN O'HAGAN and UNKLE, has already been released.
is Keigo Oyamada. An Cornelius has a tendency to paint
his musical fantasy in theme park proportions:
"When I play I like to create an atmosphere like
Disneyland. It's all about creating an atmosphere, creating
my own world."
The recent album Fantasma is part collage, part dreamscape,
part electronic sketch-pad. Influences are everywhere
from Mozart to Planet of the Apes (Cornelius was the
intelligent, sensitive ape) to Pet Sounds.
Comic, curiously landscaped,breathless, surreal, the
album is the sound of a man pulling the strings of a
cross-genre puppet and breathing life back into body
of pop psychedelia. It's crazy and mixed up yes, but
it's never without deliberate and mindful structure.
The obvious parallels, however, to Brian Wilson are
convincingly destroyed by Keigo's unwillingless to always
please on a melodic level.
"I really like Brian Wilson and "PET SOUNDS" in
particular and have been influenced by him in many ways,
but I think that "FANTASMA" is similar to a more perfected
version of "Smile" maybe. I don't just enjoy the Beach
Boys for what they are, I also enjoy people who enjoy
the Beach Boys. People like Sean O'Hagan (The High Llamas)
who play on the album. More importantly, my musical
inspiration comes from life itself. If there's a TV
on in one room or a thumping drum 'n' bass CD next door,
if they somehow synch together they become the inspiration."
the son of a Hawaiian slide guitarist, rose from Tokyo's
pop quarter in the Shibuya district. Since the conception
of Cornelius in the early-Nineties, he has sold well
over half a million records in Japan.
At a recent concert played to 20,000 people at the
Budokan, headsets playing extra rhythm tracks transmitted
from a local radio station and 3D glasses to enhance
the onstage visuals were offered to the audience.
Dazed by media overload soem people were reduced to
At a recent show in New York we were spellbound by
the harmony of visuals and sounds."Again it's all
about the atmosphere. I take a lot of pleasure in the
lights and syncronised videos, but my main focus is
always on the music. I want to perform a good show for
the people that come out to see us. Touring is fun.
Going to so many new places and experiencing new things
are interesting. My music is influenced from going to
all these places. It is global. I suppose music in general
has become more global. But it could be a lot more global."
Rumour/myth has it that Keigo's own label Trattoria
has released a Linford Christie version of "Keep On
Running" and Bill Wyman's entire back-catalogue.
Don't you monkey with the monkey. It could well be true.