Headline June 12, 2018/ ''' *YOUTUBE -MIKORI TAKADA- YOU!WOW!* '''


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YOUTUBE IS KNOWN for shining a spotlight on viral stars, but sometimes it can get more like a hip record store clerk, digging in the crates.

Rescued by an algorithm. YouTube directed viewers to an obscure 1983 LP, giving its creator a brand new life and honors.

Five years ago, if you clicked on a video for Brian Eno. "80s new age or spiritual jazz, the site's recommendation algorithm directed you next to an obscure and mysterious pick :
A Japanese modern classical album from 1983 titled ''Through the Looking Glass.''

It was the work of the Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada, and while little was known about her in the United States, the video soon topped over two million views. [It has since been taken down over a copy right violation.]

Original vinyl copies of  the album started fetching over $1,000.

''I didn't know about her music when I grew up in Japan, said Miho Hatori of duo Cibo Matto, who first learned of Ms. Takada from that  YouTube  algorithm. ''But Midori's music has the energy of the spirit of the early '80s, when music and culture was changing in Japan.''

Such a renaissance was news to Ms. Takada.

''I didn't know about that YouTube video, because I don't do social media; even a PC, I didn't have one.'' the musician, 66, said on  telephone from Los Angeles, where she was about to embark on her first United States tour.

[She made her New York solo debut some two weeks ago.]

''After recording, 'Through the Looking Glass, 'I knew that my music was not popular, so there was no offer to make a new one.''

The intervening years has changed Ms. Takada's fortunes.

''Anything ambient, Japanese electronics or vaguely related was linking to this video,'' said Jacob Gorchov, who runs the Palto Flats label and reissued Ms. Takada's enigmatic album last year in conjunction with the Swiss Label WRWTFWW Records.

It became the No 2 selling album at the online retailer Discogs for 2017, behind only Radiohead's  ''OK Computer''.

In the wake of the YouTube video's popularity, Ms. Takada has toured Europe multiple times, and her other albums have been reissued in the last year; next month. a re-issue of her short-lived first band, Mkwaju Ensemble, will be released as well.

Classically trained as a percussionisst, Ms. Takada originally performed in the Berrlin RIAS Symphonie-Orchester at the start of her career, in the mid 1970s, but soon found herself dissatisfied with the Western classical music tradition.

''If I continued to play westernized contemporary music, it needed many more instruments like an orchestra,'' Ms. Takada said.

Instead, she gravitated to the Minimalism of composers like Steve Reich and Terry Riley. And much like these composers, she was also interested in African drumming and Indonesian gamelan.

In these unfussy world music sounds, she heard something far more abundant.

''People say it's poor, but from very few materials, they produce rich sounds just using their body and hands,'' she said.

''How to make a worldly sound by your body and with simple materials was an important thing to me.''

Unable to learn much about African music in Japan, Ms. Takada instead studied African drumming by a way of two albums of field recordings, from Tamzania and Zimbabwe.

''I copied from the vinyl, writing down the rhythm structures, and tried it by myself,'' she said of her rigorous daily practice to learn polyrhythms, likening to to daily mantra. ''It changed my body.''

So why did the sounds of  ''Through the Looking Glass'' connect with listeners recently?

''Midoro Takada's music sounded so pure and new that despite it being three decades on, her sense of rhythm and space tricks all of today's boxes,'' the BBC radio host and D.J. Giles Peterson said in an email.

Ms. Takada said new audiences in the West didn't change her approach. ''Whether in Europe, Africa, Asia, or U.S.A., it doesn't matter, each person is important,'' she said. ''My vision is to give individually my sound to everyone.''

She added that she named the album after the famous Lewis Carroll book not because of the protagonist, Alice, but because of the story's reversal of time.

''I made this album as a perspective of sounds, so when this new generation listened, they felt something different recognizing the space,'' she said. ''Nowadays it's easy to play it by electronics, but I played it myself by hand.

Even the staff at the studio couldn't understand it. I was misunderstood.''

With respectful dedication to Great Artists, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of Japan, and then the world.

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