Music News


When Keigo Oyamada, aka Cornelius, performed at Austin's South by Southwest confab in 1998, he was touted as "the Japanese Beck" -- an honorific that was as dopey as it was inaccurate. In truth, Fantasma, his first recording to be widely distributed within the U.S., defied categorization thanks to its dizzying merger of pop, lounge and electro influences. The results wowed reviewers, but his work proved much too odd to click with the masses -- so he focused his musical energies on the land of his birth, where his innovations were more appreciated. Now he's back, and Sensuous, his latest recording, reflects his maturation. Rather than ape Fantasma's hyperkinetic approach, he opts for a less cluttered yet equally creative palette on tracks such as the rhythmically complex "Fit Song" and the robo-lullaby "Sleep Warm." Such elements aren't the stuff of which radio smashes are made. Still, Cornelius, joined on this bill by Holy Fuck, remains an intriguing figure who's long since transcended comparisons to Beck or anyone else.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts