Fantastic Plastic Machine, aka Tomoyuki Tanaka (no, not that Tomoyuki Tanaka of Godzilla fame, the other Tomoyuki Tanaka) provides us today with music to cover pretty much any mood. It’s lounge crossed with electronica crossed with dance crossed with retro crossed with crossed with cool crossed with I think you get the idea. And how cool is FPM?
I don’t think things could get cooler than that guy right there (especially if you see his picture on the front page of his his website – that one in particular just EXHUDES coolness!). To me, FPM is like natural pop music – nothing really artificial here!
It’s hard to describe the songs overall, though. They can’t be tied down to one particular genre, but overall they’d be considered somewhere between pop and electronica. You can really tell the difference between Tanaka’s early works versus his later ones too… the overall tone is much more mature, so it may be possible that you don’t enjoy earlier works as opposed to later or vice versa.
My main complaint about FPM is that too many of songs all seem to sound the same in the end… there’s only a few particular songs I can place to their titles, and those are generally my favorite tracks as well (“Take Me To The Disco” from Beautiful; “Theme of Luxury”, “Honolulu, Calcutta”, “He Became A Beatnik”, “Lotto”, “I’ve Forgotten My Fagotto”, “The Girl Next Green Door”, and “MPF (Mezzo Pianoforte)” from LUXURY; “L’aventure Fantastique”, “Dear Mr. Salesman”, “Bachelor Pad”, and “First Class ’77” from Fantastic Plastic Machine). These songs all really have something major (some hook, or lyrics, or even just how cheesily retro they are) to distinguish them from one another. Everything else eventually puts me to sleep because of their unremarkableness, but I suppose that could be a good thing in the case of a cd selection for soft party background music. It also took a few listens for some of the other tracks (some of my favorites, in fact) to grow on me – I wasn’t sure if I liked them or not until I gave them a few listens so I could think them over.
Other than that, I think FPM is a rather good listen. It’s as if 60’s pop/dance music were still being made today! See what you think!