Cornelius in concert at Royal Festival Hall tonight. Staying off the beaten path and diving into (potentially) lesser-known territory (although fans would beg to differ, and rightly so).
Cornelius, or Keigo Oyamada is a dyed-in-the-wool practitioner of Shabuya-kei, that genre of music that can only be described as purely Japanese and he’s been doing it since the late 1980s.
His first claim to fame was as a member of the pop duo Flipper’s Guitar, one of the key groups of the Tokyo Shibuya-kei scene. Following the disbandment of Flipper’s Guitar in 1991, Oyamada donned the “Cornelius” moniker and embarked on a successful solo career. He chose his pseudonym in tribute to the character of the same name from the film Planet of the Apes. He commissioned a song, about himself, on Momus’ 1999 album Stars Forever.
The music of Cornelius could be described as experimental and exploratory, and often incorporates dissonant elements alongside more familiar harmonically “pleasing” sounds. This tension, plus his practice of bringing in sounds and samples from mass culture, pure electronic tones, and sounds from nature (such as on his Point album), lead him to being sometimes characterized as an “acquired taste”. American music journalists often describe Cornelius’ musical style as being similar to Beck’s, whom he acknowledges as an influence along with the Beach Boys, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and the Brazilian band Kassin + 2, among others.
Cornelius has recorded music for Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, scored the anime mega-film Ghost in the Shell Arise, performed as the backbone of Yoko Ono’s reformed Plastic Ono Band, played the Hollywood Bowl with Yellow Magic Orchestra, and co-wrote and produced the Japanese artist salyu x salyu.
Relax, crank it up and enjoy.
As you know, we’ve suspended indefinitely our ads in order to make Past Daily a better experience for you without all the distractions and pop-ups. Because of that, we’re relying more on your support through Patreon to keep us up and running every day. For as little as $5.00 a month you can make a huge difference as well as be able to download all of our posts for free (news, history, music). You’ll see a banner just below. Click on that and become a subscriber – it’s easy, painless and does a world of good.