Jun Fukamachi – Fantastic Suite – A Dream on a Spring Night Based on “The Tale of the Heike”「春の夜の夢」
Jun Fukamachi – Fantastic Suite – A Dream on a Spring Night Based on “The Tale of the Heike”「春の夜の夢」is one of the most underrated electronic albums to have ever been released from Japan. People overlooked this album during the time of release. Now this Jun Fukamachi album leans more towards an electronic sound than jazz as is the case with many of his albums.
Jun Fukamachi plays a calming synthesizer throughout the entire album as he did on his The Soundtrack “Mishione” (海潮音) album. This album also has that traditional Japanese sound with the woodwinds and percussion. His whole album is based on medieval samurai fiction and literature.
The Tale of the Heike (春の夜の夢) is a war tale based on an account compiled from the 1200s of the struggle between the Taira clan and Minamoto clan for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century in the Genpei War (1180–1185). The medieval age of Japan began in 1185 with Taira’s defeat and the establishment of a new warrior government by the victorious Minamoto clan. Prior to the new warrior government established by the Minamoto clan, the Taira clan members occupied so many of the major government positions in Japan. Over half of the provinces of Japan were under control by the Taira clan prior to 1180. The theme of “conquer and defeat” prevalent in The Tale of the Heike.
Sound on this album can get very loud at certain times in some of these songs. So a wise suggestion would be to turn down the volume of your speakers so the sound does not tear them up or distort them.
The tracklist is as shown below.
祇園精舎の章 [The Bell Of The Gion Temple]
栄華の章 [The Prosperous Heike]
落日の章 [The Sinking Heike]
修羅の章 [The Scenes Of Bloodshedding]
水底の章 [The Heike Sent To The Sea Bottom]
水霊の章 [The Specter Of The Destructed Heike]
The album starts off with a prologue hence the title 序章 [Prologue]. The opener 序章 [Prologue] is a cold chilling atmospheric opener backed with flutes, synths, and traditional Japanese instruments. This song is atmospheric and chilling due to the wind blowing in the background. Jun Fukamachi plays dark notes from his synthesizer throughout the song. Jun Fukamachi plays a synthesizer throughout the entire album as usual.
祇園精舎の章 [The Bell Of The Gion Temple] is one of the more electronic songs on the album. Jun Fukamachi plays some loud thick notes from his synthesizer throughout the song. Notice how thick and loud the synths are playing during this song.
2/6ths into the song is where things start to clam down and unwind into a much calmer sound and vibe. Jun abruptly cuts off those synths and a flute starts playing. Halfway into the song is where his synthesizer comes back with that same loud presence. It is truly amazing and staggering how he can make his synthesizer sound very much similar to a flute.
This song gets very loud. So one wise suggestion would be to turn down the volume of your speakers so the sound does not tear them up or distort them.
栄華の章 [The Prosperous Heike] is one of the louder songs backed by a piano. This song is much different from the rest of the songs due to the presence of a loud electric Yamaha piano and quadruple-layered instrumentation. Now here is what the quadruple-layered instrumentation consists of: an electric Yamaha piano, a drum kit, synthesizer, and flutes. The Prosperous Heike represented the Minamoto clan taking control of Japan.
This song is extremely loud due to the quadruple-layered instrumentation. So one wise suggestion would be to turn down the volume of your speakers so the sound does not tear them up or distort them.
落日の章 [The Sinking Heike] calms down the mood for this album with a much more relaxed mellow sound, tone, and vibe. Electronic synths can make a song extremely calming depending on how the instrumentation arrangement is laid out.
Jun Fukamachi does beautiful work on the synthesizer as this song is very relaxing. He never fails to disappoint with his synthesizer. The woodwinds and synthesizer are is what give this song a calming vibe. 落日の章 [The Sinking Heike] is an example of fine electronic music from the 1970s era.
修羅の章 [The Scenes Of Bloodshedding] is where things start to pick up again and get dramatic as this song is where the war begins. Things start to get bloody and gory here. Notice the foley effects? The same electric Yamaha piano is used on this song as was the case with 栄華の章 [The Prosperous Heike].
修羅の章 [The Scenes Of Bloodshedding] represents the war aspect in The Tale of the Heike. The song also is based on and represents the death of Atsumori. Kumagai Naozane came into war as a combatant militant warrior with the intention of intercepting one of their great captains Atsumori Tsunemori. He ends up killing young captain Atsumori Tsunemori at the end of this war.
水底の章 [The Heike Sent To The Sea Bottom] symbolized the defeat of the Taira clan and melancholy of war. Taira no Koremori, grandson of Taira no Kiyomori, threw himself into the sea and downed to his death after being defeated in war by the Minamoto clan. 水底の章 [The Heike Sent To The Sea Bottom] is one of the more relaxing songs that has a calming vibe which is sad and mournful at the same time. Sadness is the theme for this song.
水霊の章 [The Specter Of The Destructed Heike] is one of the shorter songs representing the defeat of the Taira clan and rise of the Minamoto clan.
終章 [Epilogue] is the dark closure for this album. The song uses thick multi-layered electronic synths from a synthesizer. The song is another representation of the melancholy of war. Jun made a perfect choice by selecting this song to be the last song for this album.
I rate this album 5/5*****!!