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January 4, 2005

{     United Future Organization - Third Perspective     }    

A track off this album showed up in the most recent Pixar joint (The Incredibles), and I nearly crapped trou when I recognized it. See, this disc was the soundtrack to about three years of my life, in seriously heavy rotation on every stereo I spent any time around, and this was the first time I'd heard somebody else play it for me. Well okay, not just for me, but it felt so personal- like they'd looked right into my soul to find the perfect piece of music for that scene. The track used, The Planet Plan, exemplifies the spy-movie acid-jazz themes that established United Future Organization as the reigning electro-lounge kings of Japan's Shibuya club district in the mid-to-late 90's. Comprised of two Tokyo DJs and a French ex-patriate armed with a sampler and a crate full of vinyl magic, U.F.O. promoted a sophisticated lounge lifestlye amongst Shibuya hipsters, buffeted and nourished by Japan's doomed-to-pop bubble economy. At it's heighth, the popularity of this scene allowed artists like United Future Organization, Pizzicato Five, Hajime Tachibana, Fantastic Plastic Machine and Towa Tei (among others) to acheive some international airplay, resulting in a handful of breakthrough success stories. That goes a long way towards explaining how a fat white dude from West Virginia can claim this as one of his favorite albums, but to really understand why I love Third Perspective, you need to hear it for yourself. These cats weren't exceptionally talented DJs in the traditional sense, you'll find no real turntablism to speak of in their work. What they did master was an incredible ability to layer tracks upon one another while dropping samples and beats in with uncanny precision, serving to recontextualize the material used into something altogether new. Their love of jazz led to some wild tempos and song structures, while also keeping their sound moored in something much more organic than the typical club-DJ material. The Gainsbourg-meets-Bond in Paris-via-Tokyo sound had me hooked immediately, and it has lost absolutely none of it's appeal in the seven years following its release. You can hear some clips at the links below, and can pick up a copy of your own if it strikes you as profoundly as it did me. (NOTE: Amazon offers the best listening, but doesn't currently stock the album)

     » Buy it (of all the fucking places!) at WalMart.com
     » Listen at Amazon.com

Comments

Isn't that my CD?

Posted by: Lindsey at January 7, 2005 12:54 AM

That depends-

Are you the stupid metal-head who put it in the Davidson's cut-out bin in December of 1997 because it wasn't the new Type O Negative piece of crap?
Because that's where I bought it for 33 cents.

I do still have a bunch of your shit, though. I've been systematically ripping it all to my iBook, so you just let me know if you want it all mailed to you, or if you'd rather wait until the next time you're in town.

Thanks, Chachi. Your copy of that Mike Ladd album has been taking me back to the old Shannon's Way apartments.... in a good way.

Posted by: Adam at January 7, 2005 3:02 AM

Yeah well, finders keepers man.

Posted by: Lindsey at January 12, 2005 3:02 AM
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