Sendo Senshi - Alessandro ‘Saseko’ Motojima (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
WHEN film and TV composer Alan D. Boyd (Day of the Triffids, Alive) was asked to write a piece of music for Nottingham artist Video Mat’s London original film poster exhibition, Boyd not only delivered the perfect accompaniment but decided to take things a little further.
The composer thought it might be more fun and creatively fulfilling to develop a full score, along with a ‘fake’ film trailer, and adopt an appropriate pseudonym inspired by ’70s B-movies… thus, Japanese/Italian composer Alessandro ‘Saseko’ Motojima (which loosely translates as ‘Whore Boss’) was born.
Though sleazy sounding it gives an idea of the attention to detail offered on this record which has been lovingly produced with the panache of a contemporary John Barry or Lalo Schiffrin; indeed former John Barry 7 guitarist Ray Russell has given it the thumbs up for authenticity in its sound and delivery.
Working from just a film poster for a movie that never was, Motojima has let his mind run wild over a supposedly epic tale of Yakuza revenge, dropping in kick-ass martial arts instrumentals to offset the more romantic moments.
He also has recruited a fantastic line-up of celebrated musicians, including one-time Ennio Morricone collaborator Eliza Marshall, to create the sound he was seeking.
The result works extremely well in spite of the absence of visuals (well, save for the fake trailer below). This is the sort of collection that should effortlessly appeal to anyone who has got their soundtrack kicks from Tarantino or RZA, as well as the likes of Morricone and Schiffrin.
The sound of the ’70s permeates throughout, incorporating jazz funk, soul and more besides.
Highlights include the album opener Tokyo Tourai, which sets you up for the ensuing listen well, Yakuza Showdown (which is a pure funk workout set around lively percussion and thrilling horns), Lonely As Death, which is alive with strings and flutes, Meet Me At The Asakusa Shrine (which has a heightened sense of anticipation, while building towards something special), and the slick Don’t Mess With Sendo (who sounds like a movie character we’d really like to meet!).
Put together, it’s a real throwback, a true guilty pleasure and something that’s effortlessly cool. You should indulge yourself.
Download picks: Tokyo Tourai, Yakuza Showdown, Lonely As Death, Don’t Mess With Sendo, Meet Me At The Asakusa Shrine