Tetsuo

Chu Ishikawa

 
" In Tetsuo every small metal sound is significant. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the music as heard in the movie

Ishikawa Chū is a Japanese musician/composer who is considered a fundamental voice in the genre of industrial music. Eventually, he became a composer for film with Tetsuo (The Iron Man), also scoring its two sequels and several of Takashi Miike films (the second and third Dead Or Alive).

The composer 'wrote' a score full of industrial music; a mixture of electronic atmospheric sounds and numerous metallic clanging noises. It remains astoundingly appropriate for the piece of Japanese cyberpunk that Tetsuo is, in which the protagonist´s body brutally undergoes fusion with metal. To anyone even casually interested in film music, may have numerous examples of composers offering a wealth of ideas that fit the film, but rarely is such an idea so strongly entangled with everything that defines a film. In Tetsuo every small metal sound is significant.

Another interesting aspect is found in the borderline, rapidly edited sequences with stop motion techniques, which largely contribute to the radical aesthetic piece of a brilliant headache experience Tetsuo is. In other Japanese borderline insanity films, there is the common distinction between the ones that thrive on a rather humorous concept and those, while they may produce laughter, attempt to provide a horrific experience. For the 2004 Deddo Ribusu (Dead Leaves), Yoshihiro Ike and Daisuke Asakura wrote a rather cheaply produced electronic absurd score, yet it makes no real attempt to fully match the frenetic pace of the film. Ishikawa Chū´ music to Tetuso compliments the horrific insanity of it all, including the out of this world stop motion sequence, with a rather morbid sense, illustrated by the well-chosen distinctive sounds.

At the time, Tetsuo was the monumental eye-opener for the music genre in film. To me, it is still unknown territory, but it does feel like this is genuinely coming from someone who has its roots in this type of music, considering his background. There is not a single second I enjoy separately from the film, having listened to a compilation of the first two Tetsuo scores and the full score release of all three. In context, every second is of great value in the powerful aesthetic experience.




(written 27/06/2020)
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Released by

- (music as heard in the movie 1989)