Saturday 22 July 2017


Inhabiting a place caught between two different worlds, one of lightness, human reality, softness, flesh and blood, heartfelt emotions, and one of gravity, fear, something inhuman, irregularity, hardness, mechanics, uncontrolled urges, Japanese musicmaker illion (solo project of Yojiro Noda, lead singer of rock band RADWIMPS) croons his way through gentle clouds of aching cello and piano chords, creating a wholly balladic feel in 'BANKA'. Beneath this soft surface, where real feeling is told in washes of watercolour with these traditional instruments and with illion's lilting vocals, lies something darker: acceptable emotions and "normal" ways of expressing them cover the bricked-up well of inner turmoil, of the rarely discussed and unspeakable.

So it is that the choked secrets of 'BANKA' bulge beneath the pop ballad beauty, wholly at odds with the delicate piano, this internal conflict begins with indistinct rumbles glossed with sandy abrasions and grows throughout the song, elements of glitch and breakcore and noise infused in these sudden fragmented outpourings of grief and despair—the twinkling piano is cut short at 3:59 for just under 10 seconds of unadulterated chopped sounds with rollicking percussion and grinding distortion gnashing its teeth before the song's crescendo, illion crafting a legible beat, layering vocals that echo strong, awakened, in this final showdown of sound, the culmination of these combined elements now working in harsh heartfelt harmony.

  • πŸ”” Though taken from illion's 2016 album P.Y.L, 'BANKA' is the theme song / lead track taken from the soundtrack to the live action adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul. Based on Sui Ishida's manga of the same name, the film hits theatres worldwide on 29th July. This hyperlink leads to a trailer.
  • πŸ”” The limited edition album P.Y.L [Deluxe Edition] will be released on 26th July via Warner Music Japan—get it here.
  • πŸ”” The video featured in this post is around half the length of the actual version; stream and purchase the full-sized 'BANKA' by illion on various platforms via this link.

illion Internet Presence ☟
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