Via some indirect links following an email tip from Sam Grawe, I stumbled on this collection of ambient music “mostly emanating from the corporate infrastructure of the 1980s asset bubble. FM synthesis, prefab ‘lifestyle’ soundscapes and the illusion of nature in a hyper-urban environment.”
It’s music as the icing on the space—a sonic introduction to new forms of interiority, smoothing your transition into supermodernity—or soundtracks for architecture in an age of capital accumulation. New Age meets non-place. Imagine a room that makes no sense until you play the right music in it.
While you’re listening, however, don’t miss this album composed by digital music pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura for a “commission by the Shiseido cosmetic corporation to promote a forest-scented perfume (the LP comes in a plastic bag sealed with its scent).” The nested layers of representation and artificiality here are amazing.
Perhaps someone should write a thesis on the ornamental evolution of the New Age interior, moving from the Spaced Out drop cities of Alastair Gordon’s book to a sparsely furnished apartment somewhere in the sprawl of 1980s Tokyo where an insomnia-wracked executive stares at a bleeping digital toy in a state of Zen-like concentration, the sound of synthetic rain forests playing on hidden speakers embedded in the wall.