Susumu Hirasawa – Interactive Live Show DVD 2000

2 out of 5

Label: Teslakite / Chaos Union

Produced by: ?

Stemming from Philosopher’s Propeller-era Hirasawa – expansive, big sounds; keys and effects over booming digital drums; chanting vocals – this capture of the 2000 ‘interactive’ live show is interesting to get an understanding of what that interactivity means, but… beyond that, it’s definitely not the most impressive live show to just watch, with rather reverbed sound quality that makes it not the best listen, either.

The concept is cool, although it seems limited: a walkthrough of a simulated environment is projected on a huge screen behind Hirasawa, and based on audience participation – often applause at various points – the next song which is performed is chosen.  There are some other cues I’m certainly not getting due to not being able to read Japanese, but this is the most frequently used shtick in the show.  There are a couple of points where it seems that Hirasawa is “directly” manipulating things on screen, but the effect feels delayed and kind of off; perhaps more impressive when in the crowd.  There’s also a giant, physical propeller prop on stage which is neat, but most of this – which is appreciably a fair amount of material – is just the dude standing relatively static behind a keyboard.

Also included on the DVD are the ‘un-selected event’ tracks – tracks I assume didn’t get “chosen” by the crowd, and these are at CD fidelity, accompanied, again, by similar (unanimated) graphics from the show.  (Which, this being 2000, are like Myst-level visualizations.)  It’s a nice bonus, but, y’know, probably not the best way to listen to this stuff.

There’s also a subtitle-less explanation of the show by Susumu, in which he reads and pauses as though he’s going off of cuecards.

Interesting, but even if I spoke the language I don’t think this would merit much playtime past the initial spin to see what’s what.