METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

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METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby Annoying Twit on Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:16 pm

I've searched, but I can't find any mention of Metafive on this forum. This is a Japanese supergroup including frequent Steve collaborator Yukihiro Takahashi.

Takahashi assembled a supergroup to back him on a Japan tour in, I think, 2014 as "Yukihiro Takahashi + METAFIVE". However, they the continued the band as just METAFIVE, meaning that despite the name it has six members.

Members are:

Yukihiro Takahashi from Sadistic Mika Band, YMO, The Beatniks, Pupa, Pulse (with Steve) and more.
Cornelius from Flipper's Guitar, work with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono band and more.
Towa Tei from Dee-lite, work with Sakamoto, and more.
Yoshinori Sunahara from Denki Groove, and more
Leo Imai, solo artist and London University/Oxford University graduate
Tomohiko Gondo from pupa, anonymass, and more

Everyone writes, it's mainly Imai and Takahashi singing. They've released an album, a mini-album, and a live album.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned them here. Either that or my google-fu has failed me. If anyone would like to see what they are doing, then I think one of their songs from their recent (October last year) mini-album METAHALF called "Musical Chairs" works as an introduction. Definitely some YMO style keyboards here. If I had to describe it, perhaps a more funky Stay Close updated for 2016. IMHO, It's a good introduction to their other music, of which there's a fair bit now.

I'm really happy that Takahashi is, after all these decades, still getting involved in new things and producing lots of product. I think that his two post-Sketch Show electronic albums Page by Page and Blue Moon Blue are among his best solo works too. Life Anew is a bit normal for me.

I don't know how to post youtube videos here properly. So, here goes nothing as far as posting their video for Musical Chairs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91DqAOAx2tU I couldn't get the [youtube] tag to work, so here it is as a URL.
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby Annoying Twit on Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:26 am

There's a description of how Steve came to play live with METAFIVE here: http://natalie.mu/music/pp/metafive03 Admittedly, google translate makes a bit of a hash of it.
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby inkinthewell on Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:21 am

Thanks for posting this. Had never heard of the group and, of course, had missed Steve's connection.
Heard a few things and all sound very good (listening to a live version of Maisie's Avenue right now).

P.S. I tried to translate that page in english and then italian but both version have left me wondering what the Jersey they are talking about. :lol:
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby Annoying Twit on Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:36 am

The more I listen to Metafive the more I like their music. I really like their visuals and style too. The videos. Everything.

I was thinking of maybe translating that page as an exercise. I've recently decided that my Japanese skills are rusty and I'm working to getting them back to where they were when I lived in Japan. However, almost nobody in the West appears to have heard of Metafive, so I didn't know whether anyone would read it if I translated it.

Metafive's most recent release is a five track EP. It's 4 quid on Amazon as a download, which is a refreshingly reasonable price. Compared to some other Japanese CDs I've bought.

Metafive has reintroduced me to Towa Tei, and I'm liking his recent work. I just wish that I could buy it. Here's a 'Towa Tei as Metafive' track from his most recent CD. There isn't much Japan (the band) connection, but the Takahashi-bot makes an appearance and I think that's Takahashi singing part of the backing vocals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lgUz4t9fJw Though, Takahashi (in both real and robot form) makes a bigger appearance in the song 'Love Pandemic' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elc8bll7CHk and Hosono makes an appearance as well, though he only sings one word (repeated) in the song.

I hadn't heard of Leo Imai before Metafive, but he has a solo career. The most recent album of his on Spotify is 'Made For Nothing' and the second half, in particular, is IMHO very good and worth a listen.

'Maise's Avenue' is my favourite song on the first album, though I like several on the EP more than it.
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby inkinthewell on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:29 am

Annoying Twit wrote:I didn't know whether anyone would read it if I translated it.


I will. :D
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby Annoying Twit on Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:35 pm

I've wanted to translate things. I've realised that decades after I left Japan (foreign student there) my Japanese is very rusty. So, I've really been working on it recently.

Here's what I've done so far. I'll post more when I do it. I think this section has most if not all of the discussion about Steve.

高橋幸宏、小山田圭吾、砂原良徳、TOWA TEI、ゴンドウトモヒコ、LEO今井という豪華メンバーによって結成されたスペシャルなバンド、METAFIVE。今年1月に1stアルバム「META」をリリースしたのちさまざまなフェスに参加し、8月にはライブ映像作品「METALIVE」を発表するなど精力的に活動してきた彼らが、早くも新作「METAHALF」を完成させた。今回は5曲入りのミニアルバムだが、どの曲も勢いに満ちていてハイクオリティ。メンバー全員がバンド活動を通じて刺激を受けていることが伝わってくる。11月からは初めてのワンマンツアーも控えている中、高橋、砂原、ゴンドウの3人に新作について話を聞いた。
取材・文 / 村尾泰郎

METAFIVE is a special band formed by Yukihiro Takahashi, Keigo Oyamada, Yoshinori Sunahara, Towa Tei, Tomohiko Gondo, and Leo Imai.

Their first album 'META' was released in January, they've participated in a number of festivals, in August a live video 'METALIVE' was released, they've been very active. Now they've completed their new released 'METAHALF'. This time it's a five song mini album, but each song is full of power and is high quality. All of the members demonstrate how highly motivated they are with their work on the album. On a pause from the 'One Man Tour' (his first) that started in November, Messers Takahashi, Sunahara, and Gondo talked to us about their new release.

Notes: I don't know whose one man tour it was. There is no subject in the sentence.

Section Heading: 「君に、胸キュン。」とスティーヴ・ジャンセン

Section Heading: Kime ni Mune Kyun (song) and Steve Jansen

──「METAHALF」の話を伺う前に、今年の「WORLD HAPPINESS」の話を少し。METAFIVEのステージで、幸宏さんが「君に、胸キュン。」を歌うというサプライズがありましたが、歌うことを勧めたのは砂原さんらしいですね。YMOファンとしては「よくぞ勧めてくれた!」と感謝したいところなんですが、どうしてあの曲を?

Before talking about METAHALF, let's talk a bit about World Happiness. It was a surprise that Yukihiro sang 'Kimi ni Mune Kyun' on stage with METAFIVE, and it I've heard that it was Sunahara's idea to do this. as a YMO fan I wish to thank him for promoting that idea. But, why that song?


砂原良徳 夢の島で「WORLD HAPPINESS」をやるのが最後だったんで、これまでを総括できるようなものをやったらいい、やらなきゃいけないかもなって思ったんです。「胸キュン」って特別思い入れのある曲というわけではなかったんですけど。ただ、あの曲はYMOもやってなかったし、「YMOだとやりづらくっても、メタだったらなんとなくサラッとできるかな?」ってことで提案させてもらいました。

Sunahara: The WORLD HAPPINESS concert at Yumenoshima was the last one, and we though that we must do something that would be a bit of a recap. 'Mune Kyun' isn't a song that has a particular emotional attachment. But it's a song that YMO themselves hadn't been doing. So, there was a suggestion that 'Even if YMO had trouble doing that song, META should be able to just do it.'.

Notes: Not sure that YMO had trouble with this song. The word I translated as having trouble has more meanings.

高橋幸宏 あれはテレビで口パクでしかやってないんで。あ、フルバンドで生でやったっけ?

Takahashi: We'd only lip-synched that on television. So we thought let's do it fully live with a full band.

砂原 やりましたね。TBSで1回、テンポが速いやつ。
──でも、1回しかやってないんですね。そんな「胸キュン」を今やることに抵抗はありませんでした?

Sunahara: Yeah, we did it. Once on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television). At a fast tempo.

--- But you only did it once, didn't you. Wasn't there some resistance to doing Mune Kyun now?

高橋 ありました(笑)。「ええーっ?」とか言ったんだけど、そしたらスタッフのみんなが「ほかのフェスでもやりましょう!」とか言い出したから「それはやめよう」って。

Takahashi: Yes (laughs). People said things like 'WHAT?!?!', but our staff said 'Let's do it at some other festivals as well' and things like that. So, we said 'stop that'.

砂原 それは僕も止めました(笑)。

Sunahara: And I contributed to stopping that as well. (Laughs)

高橋 なので、「それはワーハピだけにしよう」ってことになったんです。その後、スティーヴ(・ジャンセン)が日本に来てたんで、ワーハピの3日ぐらい前にごはんを食べたとき、「なんでワーハピに来ないわけ?」って聞いたら、「呼ばれてないもん」って(笑)。「いや、正直言うと次の日に京都でコンサートがあって前乗りしなきゃいけないから無理なんだ」って言うから、「いいから来てよ」って頼んだら、「じゃあ、京都には当日行く」って。

Takahashi: So, we decided 'let's just do it at WAHAPI [short for WORLD HAPPINESS]'. After that, Steve (Jansen) came to Japan. About three days before WORLD HAPPINESS while eating, we asked him 'Aren't you coming to WORLD HAPPINESS?' to which he replied 'No-one asked me to come.' (laughs). To which it was said 'To be honest, there's a concert in Kyoto the next day but it's impossible because I'd have to go there ahead of time.' But we said 'It'll be OK, just come.' To which he replied 'OK, I'll go to Kyoto on the day.'

Notes: There isn't a single grammatical subject in this entire paragraph apart from Steve coming to Japan. As an English speaker, this is too much for me. I'm not 100% sure I've attributed statements to the person who said them.

砂原 幸宏さんが「たぶん、スティーヴがワーハピに出ます」みたいなことをFacebookに書いたので、それを見て「えっ!?」と思って、急いで「STAY CLOSE」っていう幸宏さんとスティーヴ・ジャンセンの曲を打ち込み始めたんです(笑)。打ち込み始めてしばらくしたら、スタッフから「『胸キュン』でスティーヴがドラムを叩きます」っていうメールが来て、「あ、じゃあ、これやんなくていいんだ」ってやめたという。
──「STAY CLOSE」も生で聴いてみたかったですが、実際に「胸キュン」をステージでやってみていかがでした?

Sunahara: Yukihiro had said on Facebook 'I think Steve will appear at WORLD HAPPINESS'. When I saw that I thought 'WHAT?', and started programming up Yukihiro and Steve's song 'STAY CLOSE'. (Laughs). Just after I started that, I was told by staff that an email had arrived saying that Steve would be drumming on 'Mune Kyun'. So, I said 'This won't be needed' and stopped theprogramming.

– I wanted to hear STAY CLOSE played live, but how was in having Steve playing on 'Mune Kyun'?

高橋 あとで映像を観たら、最初のほうでちょっとスティーヴが緊張していたみたいだけど、演奏はまったく問題ありませんでした。
ゴンドウトモヒコ そうですね。

Takahashi: When we watched the video afterwards, Steve looked a bit nervous at first. But there were no problems with the performance at all.

Gondo: Yeah (agreement).

砂原 スティーヴ・ジャンセンが来てくれるってもっと早く知ってたら、ほかの曲を用意したのにって思いましたね。ちょっともったいない気がして。

Sunahara: If I had known that Steve Jansen was coming much earlier, I think I'd have prepared some more songs. I feel that there was a bit of a wasted opportunity.

高橋 「CUE」とかのほうがよかったかもね。

Takahashi: It would have been great if we could have done songs like 'CUE'.
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby Annoying Twit on Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:24 am

Takahashi: It would have been great if we could have done songs like 'CUE'.

Subheading: 完成度は高いけど過渡期のMETAFIVE
Subheading: While their 'level of perfection' is high, METAFIVE is still in transition.

──でも、かなり貴重なステージになりましたよね。そのステージで「METAHALF」から「Chemical」も演奏されましたが、あの時点でほかの曲もできあがっていたんですか?

--- However, that was a pretty impressive group on stage. You played 'Chemical' from METAHALF. At that time, were any of the other songs finished?

高橋 完全にできてましたね。

Takahashi: Yep, they were all completely finished.

砂原 曲順も決まってミックスも終わってました。

Sunahara: The song order was decided and even the mix was completed.

──そもそも、今回ミニアルバムを出そうと思ったのはどうしてなんですか?

--- Why did you decide, from the start, to release a mini-album?

高橋 Blu-rayの「METALIVE」にボーナストラックで新曲を2曲くらい入れようってことになりまして。「じゃあ、手が空いてる人で作ろうか」ってことで、まず僕とゴンちゃん(ゴンドウ)で作り始めたたら2曲できちゃって。小山田くんもCorneliusのアメリカツアーに行く前に1曲作って、これで3曲。その後、TEIくんも作って4曲になったので、これはもうミニアルバムだねってことで、最後にまりん(砂原)が1曲書きました。

Takahashi: The original plan was to record two songs as bonus tracks for the METALIVDE Blu-ray. 'Let's make something with everyone who's available. Originally it was just me and Gon-chan (Gondo) who had started two songs. Oyamada created one song before going on tour in America as Cornelius, which made three songs. After that TEI made a song, giving us four songs. Finally, Marin (Sunahara) wrote a song.

──あれよあれよという間に5曲?

–- And in the blinking of an eye, you had five songs?

ゴンドウ わりとそういう感じでしたね。

Gondo: Yep, that's what it felt like.

砂原 たぶん、「META」を作ったときの余力が残っていたんだと思います。

Sunahara: I think that perhaps it was leftover energy from making 'META'.

高橋 もし、次の作品をリリースすることがあったら、きっと違うコンセプトを考えて作るだろうね。

Takahashi: If we are going to release anything else, then it'll likely be a different concerpt.

砂原 そうなると時間がかかると思いますね。今回は「META」っていう前提があったから作りやすかったっていうのもある。

Sunahara: It that happens, it'll take time I think. This time, because we had the precedent of META, it was a pretty easy process.

──じゃあ「METAHALF」は、ある意味「META」の続編?

– So, METAHALF can be described as a continuation of META

高橋 そういうことでしょうね。完成度は高いけど過渡期のMETAFIVE。次があるかどうかわかんないのに、過渡期っていうのもあれだけど(笑)。

Takahashi: Yep, that's it. While we've reached a level of perfection, METAFIVE is in transition.

──あってほしいです(笑)。今回も「META」と同じように、曲のアイデアをデータでメンバー全員に回して作り込んでいくという手法をとったんですか?

--- Looking forward to that (laughs). This time, similar to META, will you use the strategy of distributing song ideas to all members digitally and then start working on them?

高橋 そうですね。ただ歌詞とメロディはLEOくんの比率が高くなってますけど。

Takahashi: Yes. However lyrics and vocal melodies are mostly handled by Leo [Imai].

──それは自然に?

--- Did that just happen naturally?

高橋 彼は歌詞を書いて仮歌を歌ってくれるから、すごく前進するんですよ。で、スタジオの中で微妙なメロディとか譜割とか歌詞の微調整もやってくれる。ボーカルパートも「ここは幸宏さんが歌ってください」って指示してくれますから。

Takahashi: Because he writes the lyrics and sings the demos, he gets in there before us. In the studio he works on subtle aspects of the melody, song editing, and fine tuning of the lyrics. He also tells us 'This is where I want Yukihiro to sing'.

Note: 'temporary song' must mean demo, I think. Not in my dictionary.

──テキパキと仕切ってくれる。

---- The tasks are very quickly divided up.

高橋 助かってます。

Takahashi: It saves a lot of trouble.
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Re: METAFIVE (including Yukihiro Takahashi)

Postby inkinthewell on Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:09 am

:smt038 Well done! Now it is understandable.

Annoying Twit wrote:Notes: There isn't a single grammatical subject in this entire paragraph apart from Steve coming to Japan. As an English speaker, this is too much for me. I'm not 100% sure I've attributed statements to the person who said them.

That explains why the automatic translations for that sentence were so unclear.

Thank you very much.
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