But enough about that. This go â€˜round will be kept breezy and fun. And the last time I recall things being as such was in the 3rd grade. Around that time I went from feeling 9 years old to 68 in a matter of months; it has been nothing but misunderstandings and Grandpa naps since then. However, there is something inherently magical in music that can assist us all in transcending our current age, however overt the alchemy may be. In this case, the palpable enchantment arrives in the form of The Langley Schools Music Project and Yamasukiâ€™s Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki.
The Langley Schools Music Project was a sprightly idea culled from the mind of Hans Fenger, a man with a vision not to create a piece of art or collect piles of cash, but to find a way to captivate the young minds in his classroom. Recorded in 1978, on a sunny afternoon in a school gymnasium in British Columbia, Canada, the sounds of acoustic guitars, drums, bells and 110 childrenâ€™s voices float hopefully from the speakers, taking the listener further back in time to a place where optimism reigned and little attention was paid to the stresses of adult life. Fenger instilled a sense of virtue and discipline in these childrenâ€™s voices and hands, providing them with a lasting interest and confidence in a previously unexplored musical realm. A truly pleasurable listening experience throughout, it must be said â€“ there is something sanguine and spooky in the unprecedented juxtaposition of hearing a large group of kids sing David Bowieâ€™s interstellar breakdown, Space Oddity.
Tapping into our own latent, youthful capacities, Mike and I decided to retake Jack London Square. And it almost worked. We stumbled upon Home of Chicken and Waffles and admitted neither of us had ever indulged in such a combination. While we waited for our beers and chicken waffles, we talked about how maybe weâ€™re getting too old for this shit. We didnâ€™t specify what â€œthis shitâ€ stood for exactly, but we did take a moment to recognize time as a sensitivity; desire sans patience, repose within the finite. And beer. Where the hell was our goddamn beer?
Yamasukiâ€™s Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki is not susceptible to such bounded theories. A French/Japanese concept record, it has all the makings of an album that is way ahead of its time. Conjured in 1971 by French producers Daniel Vangarde and Jean Kluger as a language learning tool for Franco-children, the two learned Japanese before recording and enlisted the help of a black-belt judo master to conduct the french-fuzz/psych-rock opera.
The J-pop sensibilities are laced throughout, with the musical shoestrings double-knotted by a choir composed of French schoolchildren singing in Japanese. The results are a freaky-ass explosion that sounds something like a high school marching band cross-pollinated with a psychedelic hip-hop ninja whose penchants for sonic karate chops and funky theatrics are undeniably original. It should be duly noted that Daniel Vangarde is the father of Thomas Bangalter, one-half of the electronic duo Daft Punk; not a shock if you are familiar with the groupâ€™s lauded debut, Homework.
These youthful and supernatural moments â€“ as close or far-and-few between as they may arrive to any one person â€“ are what these two records manage to somehow suspend infinitely in time. They provide a light and carefree sound only children can help to convey. Within each of these albums, a warm innocence is magnified and projected into the ears of anyone who listens to them. I tried to inject some words into Mikeâ€™s ears while we played darts at the Albatross, but he was on his own trip: round, bubbly bass lines and Bob Dylan lyrics lingered across his face as I told him it was his turn. He snapped out of it, and for a split second I swore I saw him 20 years younger, ready to show the world how to throw a bullseye.
About Sade Sundays: Sade Sundays is a two-part monthly column written by Michael Tapscott and Joshua Rampage. A profundity has never slipped past the lips of a man who lives a life of quiet desperation. He has time for no such subtleties. So basically, Joshua and Michael have time on their hands. They spend it together one Sunday a month, dispensing boozy wisdom and violent, undefended revelries. You may listen, but you may also render their words as a call of the wild, a spear from St. George into the side of the dragon beast, or a meaningless squabble. Contact us: Sade.Sundays@thebaybridged.com