Mystery Music March

Intro / Tokyo -- Richard Beggs

The chime of a gong, prattle of cars in a street, a confusion of language and advertising, the electronic bing bong of an announcement, a drum beat and a mess of guitar and vocals – the opening of the soundtrack to Sophia Coppola’s Lost In Translation does not just seek to remind of the film but almost envelope you in it, the sounds of Japan (assuming you’re wearing a decent pair of headphones) surrounding you, letting your imagination fly through the Tokyo cityscape.

This isn’t though merely a single recording of the kind that crops up in projects such as Peter Cusack’s Your Favourite London Sounds. Its been engineered and mixed from various noises, with sound designer Richard Beggs including three tracks from the band Yellow Generation overlapping and playing into one another. Like the characters in the film itself, it’s almost as though we’re experiencing the culture of Japan from the margins.

The soundscape returns later in album producer Brian Reitzell’s own moody track Shibuya in which we’re slowly plunged into the subway as a train reaches a station and the Japanese equivalent of destination announcements and warning to mind the gap mix with the hum of the carriage, adult chatter and the cries of a baby. As a commuter relaxation device it’s perfect for those city dwellers among us who simply can’t find comfort in bird or whale song but might prefer instead the transporting sounds of a different city far away.

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