Cornelius

Full Discography

LPs
  • Point - - 2001-01-22
  • CM: Cornelius reMixes - - 1999-03-09
  • FM: Fantasma reMixes - - 1999-03-09
  • Fantasma - - 1998-03-24

Biography

 

 



Point
January 22, 2001

And now for something completely different... 

Point is the long-awaited (it’s true) new release from Japan’s most innovative and respected musician, Cornelius a.k.a. Keigo Oyamada. It is a heartbreaking work of staggering genius which forges a very different path from his 1998 US debut ‘Fantasma.’ Where ‘Fantasma’ was an exaggerated media collage which deconstructed the history of pop and reassembled it into a breathtaking tangle of sound, ‘Point’ is altogether more atmospheric, involving mood-driven soundscapes. Rather than cramming all his influences onto one record, ‘Point’ shows Keigo taking a more organic, personal approach to his art; he tells us he approached Fantasma like a 5th grader—all cut & paste—but approached this one like a grandpa, where everything has to have meaning and relate to each other. Cornelius takes his inspiration from the world around him (not always musical), creating a dizzying environmental sound. The same musical influences are still there, but toned down and mutated into a more cohesive and mature album. 

‘Point’ was a year in the making, recorded solely in a small private studio above the Cornelius office. As well as providing all of the music, Keigo also self-produced the record, joined only in the studio by sound engineer Mishima, who also helped with the programming. There are some spectacular songs such as the danceable “Drop,” the retro-Hawaiian “Brazil” (by Barosso) and the pseudo-metal of “I Hate Hate.” This is Japanese pop at its most eclectic, invigorating, and sexy. 

Cornelius, while being hailed as a genius and as the future of rock and roll by many, is also just as interested in design, fashion, video, conceptual and pop art, and live extravaganzas (there will be no less than five music videos for Point). His performances incorporate a multimedia blowout complete with 3-D lights, video and kitsch gimmicks like karate spacemen and fantasy apes. He contributed an art DVD piece from ‘Point’ to The Barbican’s JAM exhibition earlier this year which was part of London’s Tokyo Life festival. He is involved with every aspect of his own record designs as well as the abundance of other merchandise on offer (mainly in Japan) such as the limited edition DIY cardboard turntable, watches, and even a pair of headphones which was included in with the original Japanese release of Fantasma. 

It has been four years since the release of Fantasma, and during this time he has toured the world extensively and collaborated with many different artists on remixes etc. such as Blur, Beck, Sting, K.D. Lang and most recently two Australian bands The Avalanches and Gerling. Cornelius will be bringing his delirious live show to North America this spring.
 

“Brilliant—Cornelius’s innovations will definitely excite futuristic B-boys and rockers alike.” —Vibe
“Sounds like a record store’s entire contents pushed through a meat grinder.” —Spin
“A Phil Spector for the post-rave generation.” 
—London Telegraph 
“Unwittingly, Cornelius presents a challenge to American music criticism, which often sacrifices pop’s pleasure, its international language of imagination and inspiration, on the altar of portent.” —Village Voice

 

 

 

FM: Fantasma
reMixes &
CM: Cornelius
reMixes

March 9, 1999

Keigo Oyamada, a.k.a. Cornelius, has had quite a year in the States. His first US perfomance at South by Southwest early last year successfully jammed his arena-sized rock show into the 500-person Electric Lounge. Folks stumbled away ecstatically afterward, blown away by the multi-media collision deftly spanning the history of rock and pop as heard through the ears of one of its most devoted fans. It neatly set the stage for the arrival of his American debut, Fantasma, which received an avalanche of accolades and impressive sales in the year since its release. His two brief sold-out tours in the US helped establish the new Japanese rock as a commercial force Stateside, while offering visceral proof of the genius that has made Cornelius a multiplatinum superstar in his homeland.

If the remix album is the ’90s equivalent to the the powerhouse live albums of the ’70s, then Cornelius has upped the ante on the concept and delivered his Intensities in Ten Cities. Over the past year, Cornelius has been doing a series of remixes for friends and mutual admirers alike. All he asked for in return is for them to do the same with material from Fantasma.

Now, he is releasing the two separate sets of remixes as a pair of full-length albums. FM (Fantasma Mix) draws together the mixes done by other artists from his US debut. CM (Cornelius Mix) is a collection of the remixes done by Cornelius. Both releases are of obvious appeal to fans of Cornelius as well as the various participating artists.

 

 

 



Fantasma
March 24, 1998

Fantasma is the most surprising album we’ve heard in years. A tribute to stadium stardom by a Japanese pop idol, it unselfconsciously melds beats, guitar heaviness and orchestrated arrangements into an unbelievably catchy, joyous rollercoaster ride through rock music history.

For 27-year-old CORNELIUS (Keigo Oyamada), this history moves smoothly from 1960s songwriting outfits like the Beach Boys and the Music Machine through the Clash and Wings to late ’80s British outfits like My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream. As if that’s not enough, Oyamada sees no disparity in incorporating the hard excesses of late-’80s Japanese hip-hop and a plethora of spoken-word and soundtrack samples into this guitar-and-melody-based sound. This isn’t contrast for the sake of contrast: in CORNELIUS’s hands, all this music flows seamlessly together into a new kind of rock, a new kind of pop. He plays every instrument on the album. He doesn’t see the genre boundaries that restrict most performers in pop, classic rock or electronica alike; and after hearing this album, neither will you.

Fantasma is CORNELIUS’s third album. Released in Japan last fall, it has sold close to half a million copies in his home country, making it a multi-platinum record. Originating in the same Shibuya-kei bubblegum pop scene that spawned Pizzicato Five, CORNELIUS has now moved well beyond his origins--although he has managed to take his young fans with him

a nice young manCORNELIUS’s musical growth has been paralleled by the explosion of his own Trattoria label, whose roster well illustrates the breadth of his vision: the chanteuse Kahimi Karie, Eye Yamataka’s seminal noise band Hanatarash, the sunny pop of Bridge and the scuzzy blues of Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her. In addition, he has released such overseas acts as the Apples In Stereo, Papas Fritas, even the "Planet Of The Apes" soundtracks and the Bill Wyman back catalog.

CORNELIUS (named after the simian hero of "Planet of the Apes") recently completed a sold-out tour culminating with a riotous performance at Tokyo’s prestigious Budokan stadium. His amazing design concepts married album artwork with crazy tour production--a multimedia blowout complete with 3-D lights and video, karate apemen and a $50 concert program that featured two different kinds of 3-D glasses, Vasarely-style psychedelic acetate layouts and different colored buttons that play fizzy electronic sounds right out of the book. A local radio station broadcast an extra rhythm track simultaneously with the concert, so attendees were encouraged to bring their Walkmans and tune into 88.1 FM while watching the show. The average age of the fans? 17 or so.

 

 

Cornelius: big in Japan

 

 

 

 

Pre-blog News

News
12/14/06 New Album and Suspicious Photography
The new website for Cornelius is up and running, and it's pretty awesome too. It's mostly centered around Cornelius's latest album "Sensuous," available now as an import. Check it out at www.cornelius-sound.com

03/17/06 New Album and Suspicious Photography

Keigo Oymada writes,

"Recently there's a plan for a high-rise building being built in my neighbor so I've been protesting w/ my neighbors for it not to happen. Also I'm recording for my new album.

(1) 10 years ago when I was still a girl
3, 4) Ryuichi Sakamoto's tour w/ Ryuichi Sakamoto, Steve Jansen, Christian Fennesz and Skuli Sverinson.
6) with Mr. Caetano Veloso.


07/19/04 — Website redesign
Cornelius' website is undergoing a major face-lift (think of a young-looking for her age Jacklyn Smith) and the English-lanugage version will be up soon. Snazzy merch will be available for your buying pleasure this August.

Cornelius recently completed a remix for the Kings Of Convenience, with a September release promised.

Finally, we're told that "Cornelius will be participating in the "SOUNDxVISION 2004" exhibition which will be held in 4 prefectures within Japan. At the gallery/exhibition you'll be able to see the collaboration of Cornelius & Groovisions."

02/17/04 — Spelling correction!
There is a spelling error on the credits for the PM CD. The remixer listed incorrectly as "Masami Sakamoto" is in fact named "Masaki Sakamoto". Our apologies.

09/18/03— DVD plus 'Point Mixes' CD 
On January 20, Matador will be releasing the Cornelius DVD, Five Point One by Cornelius, From Nakameguro To Everywhere, featuring the following videos for the following tracks:

1) Point Of View Point
2) Smoke
3) Drop
4) Drop - Do It Again
5) Another View Point
6) Bird Watching At Inner Forest
7) I Hate Hate
8) Fly
9) Tone Twilight Zone
10) From Nakameguro To Everywhere

The Five Point One DVD will be packaged with a 12 track CD, PM (for 'Point Mixes'). Said CD features the results of the contest hosted by Cornelius-Soundand Matador last autumn in which participants were invited to remix the tracks from 2002's Point album.

11/13/02 — Cornelius - remix contest
Cornelius' official site has launched a contest in which the individual tracks from 'Point' are being offered as source material for you, your friends, whoever, to remix. Winning entries might end up on a future Cornelius release (at least that's the idea). For all the rules and entry details, go here.

In other Cornelius news, there's talk of a series of US shows early next summer, including an appearance at the Matt Groening-curated LA edition ofAll Tomorrow's Parties. More news to follow.

07/03/02 — Cornelius returns to the United States with a brand-new stage show based on his new album 'Point'. An extravagant affair hitting major markets. All dates except NYC now with South. Don't miss it! Check out theTour Update and get your tickets now -- because these shows will sell out.

04/26/02 
— Forget the Oscars, the Grammies, the Emmys and the Slammies. It’s all about the SXSW video awards. Did you hear that Cornelius’ video for “Drop” received the Special Jury Award for Music Video? This is true. See why it deserves such an honor. And see not just the winning video but three others, all songs from his new album.

Cornelius is currently warming up for his US tour, planned for August. We don’t have dates yet, but don’t you worry your pretty little heads. We’re anxious to see his new live experience, too.

In the meantime, he’s touring practically every city in Japan and will head to Europe to do shows in London, Paris, and Amsterdam in early May. 

03/21/02 
— The new album ‘Point’ is receiving much worldwide attention. A second MP3 and an interactive video version of the song “Tone Twilight Zone” (compliments of Cornelius) will soon be available on the site. 

02/12/02 
— ‘Point’ is now available in North America and most of Europe (UK release date is 25 February). Go to the video section to check out the Cornelius interview where you can hear and read (with subtitles) what inspired him to make his latest masterpiece. To top it off, you get a chance to stream five different commercials and music videos. We’ve also decided to extend the contest until 2/28 since we just got a package from Cornelius’ label in Japan. They’ve generously offered special promotional items to add to the winning grab bags. These are not for sale and manufactured in Japan so they’re hard to come by, folks. Give it a try.

Apologetic note: this contest is limited to US and Canadian residents. If you think that is unfair, look at the bright side: outside of those countries no one is stupid enough to play Creed records on the radio. 

Keigo Oyamada and band are currently rehearsing in Tokyo for their upcoming world tour. Japan dates have been announced (check tour sectionfor details). As of now, it looks like he will play a few showcases in the UK in May (these dates will be up shortly) and head over to the states in June. 

01/31/02 
— Also! Enter the Cornelius contest and win multiple prizes. We’re extending the deadline into February. 

01/31/02 
— Final commercial added to the site, as well as four videos from ‘Point.’ In addition, we’ve posted a video interview we did with Keigo this past December.

01/09/02 
— We’ve got 5 television commercials for Point, which we’ll be posting every few days until January 22. The first is up now. Also stay tuned for 5 full length videos, starting with “Drop” on January 29 and followed by one addition video every week. 

12/05/01 
— Keigo just completed US and UK press trips to publicize the January release of ‘Point.’ Next up, he’ll be rehearsing for live shows, gathering his touring ensemble and perfecting yet again his impressive synchronization of video and song, making this tour one of next year’s most anticipated live events.

Be on the lookout for a Matador exclusive Cornelius video interview (uploaded soon) along with a series of music videos from ‘Point,’ commercials, and his own web games! His official website has recently been translated to English so you can actually read it aloud. For some of us, we won’t have to spend so much time cut and pasting text in JDIC.

11/01/01 — Getting to the Point (Already) 
At a press conference attended by some (but not all) Matador staff, Claus Von Bulow, and former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton, the label proudly announced that January 23, 2002 would be the North American release date for the new Cornelius album, ‘Point.’ 

After this announcement, we didn’t have much to say, so we turned the dias over to Mr. Tarkenton who graciously offered to do a live reading from his best-selling audiocassettes “Failure Is Not A Terminal Disease” and “What Losing Taught Me About Winning.” The presentation came to an abrupt halt when SEC investigators rushed the stage hoping to have a word with Fran. Displaying many of the scrambling skills with which he set many records as the field general of the Vikings, Tarkenton somehow slipped away through a fire exit (though not before collecting his speaker’s fee). We’ll have more Cornelius news of a more substantiative nature very soon. 

08/29/01 — The video for “Star Fruits Surf Rider” has been added to themusic & video section.

07/12/00 — Cornelius — Putting the “power” back into “puff.” 
Cornelius has contributed a new track to the Powerpuff Girls soundtracky CD that Rhino are about to release. Other featured artists include Devo, Frank Black, The Apples In Stereo, Shonen Knife and of course Bis. The King of Men, Fred Blassie, could not be reached for comment (because we don’t have his phone number). 

04/14/00 — 2000 is the year that Cornelius will be taking a break from the fray of being an international cultural emissary and focusing on the making of his new album and book documenting the craziness that has been the Fantasma campaign. Sure, there will be the occassional live performance in select global locations and remixes to bide the time. I can’t tell you EVERYONE he’s remixing because, well... you’d think I was making it up if I told you. One piece we can divulge is the recent release of his remix of Beck’s "Mixed Bizness," which is out now on the G.A.S. / DGC / Geffen / Universal / Seagram’s / Microsoft / Worldbank label. And if you squint really hard, it sounds like Cornelius was remixing Prince or something.

02/10/00
Some guy claimed his dog ate hisCornelius CD and wanted to know if he could have another. "Your dog has very good taste!", we told him. OK, that's a total lie. We told the guy we'd send him a replacement if we could get a photograph of the Cornelius CD in his dog's mouth. Clearly, we were asking for too much. Please, don't get any ideas, if we have to issue replacement CD's every time one of these vicious creatures gets hungry, we'll be out of business faster than you can say "Casablanca." And yes, that's the real story behind that classic label's demise. All the stuff you've heard about the cocaine and the prostitutes is just puffery designed to make them look like high rollers in retrospect. The truth is, they were such nice people, replacing all the Kiss, Donna Summer and Village People albums that dogs were chewing on, that the company could no longer turn a profit. We're not going out like that!

 

 

 

12/05/01 
Keigo just completed US and UK press trips to publicize the January release of ‘Point.’ Next up, he’ll be rehearsing for live shows, gathering his touring ensemble and perfecting yet again his impressive synchronization of video and song, making this tour one of next year’s most anticipated live events.

Be on the lookout for a Matador exclusive Cornelius video interview (uploaded soon) along with a series of music videos from ‘Point,’ commercials, and his own web games! His official website has recently been translated to English so you can actually read it aloud. For some of us, we won’t have to spend so much time cut and pasting text in JDIC.

11/01/01
Getting to the Point (Already) 
At a press conference attended by some (but not all) Matador staff, Claus Von Bulow, and former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton, the label proudly announced that January 23, 2002 would be the North American release date for the new Cornelius album, ‘Point.’ 

After this announcement, we didn’t have much to say, so we turned the dias over to Mr. Tarkenton who graciously offered to do a live reading from his best-selling audiocassettes “Failure Is Not A Terminal Disease” and “What Losing Taught Me About Winning.” The presentation came to an abrupt halt when SEC investigators rushed the stage hoping to have a word with Fran. Displaying many of the scrambling skills with which he set many records as the field general of the Vikings, Tarkenton somehow slipped away through a fire exit (though not before collecting his speaker’s fee). We’ll have more Cornelius news of a more substantiative nature very soon. 


08/29/01
The video for “Star Fruits Surf Rider” has been added to themusic & video section.
 

07/12/00

Cornelius — Putting the “power” back into “puff.” 
Cornelius has contributed a new track to the Powerpuff Girls soundtracky CD that Rhino are about to release. Other featured artists include Devo, Frank Black, The Apples In Stereo, Shonen Knife and of course Bis. The King of Men, Fred Blassie, could not be reached for comment (because we don’t have his phone number). 


04/14/00
2000 is the year that Cornelius will be taking a break from the fray of being an international cultural emissary and focusing on the making of his new album and book documenting the craziness that has been the Fantasma campaign. Sure, there will be the occassional live performance in select global locations and remixes to bide the time. I can’t tell you EVERYONE he’s remixing because, well... you’d think I was making it up if I told you. One piece we can divulge is the recent release of his remix of Beck’s "Mixed Bizness," which is out now on the G.A.S. / DGC / Geffen / Universal / Seagram’s / Microsoft / Worldbank label. And if you squint really hard, it sounds like Cornelius was remixing Prince or something.

02/10/00
Some guy claimed his dog ate his CorneliusCD and wanted to know if he could have another. "Your dog has very good taste!", we told him. OK, that's a total lie. We told the guy we'd send him a replacement if we could get a photograph of the Cornelius CD in his dog's mouth. Clearly, we were asking for too much. Please, don't get any ideas, if we have to issue replacement CD's every time one of these vicious creatures gets hungry, we'll be out of business faster than you can say "Casablanca." And yes, that's the real story behind that classic label's demise. All the stuff you've heard about the cocaine and the prostitutes is just puffery designed to make them look like high rollers in retrospect. The truth is, they were such nice people, replacing all the Kiss, Donna Summer and Village People albums that dogs were chewing on, that the company could no longer turn a profit. We're not going out like that!


11/19/99
Tune into HBO, those of you who have it: Cornelius will be on "Reverb" November 23rd (11:30 ET/PT) with Moby and Calexico. Reverb broadcasts live footage, backstage interviews, swooping cameras, all that good concert stuff.

 

I know we told you this a while ago, but it’s out now: Cornelius remixes Blur’s "Tender" on the b-side of their latest single. And finally, a Cornelius remix of Beck is looking like more of a possibility, though we don’t know if we’re going to hold it hostage until we get our Beck remix of P5.

 

10/08/99
Gerard Reports: At 3:30am I get a phone call from Nicole, telling me that Cornelius and band have been screwed out of their hotel rooms by the knuckleheads at the Hotel Pennsylvania (note to all travelers not named Bush: don’t stay there. The rooms are filthy, the bugs are huge and Scott Kannberg’s room was poorly decorated). Using my powers of persuasion, I convince the manager of the Chinatown Holiday Inn that the Cornelius entourage are traveling biochemists who must secure rooms or they will be unable to solve the West Nile mosquito virus sweeping the city. The manager doesn’t know what the West Nile virus is, so I have to go into this whole Yul Brynner impersonation about the frogs and the locusts and the death of the first born, etc. One $500.00 deposit later and the rooms are reserved. Only problem is, Nicole never calls back and no one from Cornelius’ band shows up. On the bright side, I now have 5 additional hotel rooms, so if I feel like storing many different things (like kittens) in each, no one can stop me.

05/21/99
Attention, British! CorneliusMogwai, and Pavementrecorded live at the recent Bowlie weekender and will be aired on Steve Lamacq's show on BBC Radio 1 this Monday, May 24th from 8pm - 12am GMT. You can expect to hear Cornelius' set around 9pm. Or if you live in the States, you can expect to hear none of this. 


05/07/99
The new Rolling Stone promo compilation, "Editors Picks" (which is sent to new subscribers who subcribe over the web) kicks off with Cornelius' "Count 5 or 6". The track was REALLY picked out by the editors of Rolling Stone, who then ACTUALLY put the track to open the record. 


03/12/99
Cornelius has a new remix on the Manic Street Preachers single, a radical re-construction of "Tsunami." Nils went so far as to call it the best thing he's ever heard but then backtracked. 

01/09/99
News: Ninja Tune is broadcasting the Cornelius remix of Coldcut's "Atomic Moog 2000" on their website. This puppy will be on one of two forthcoming Cornelius remixes albums due out in March, one of which, FM (Fantasma Remixes), consists of various arists' remixes of songs from (guess). Basically, this all came about after several people--Money Mark, Buffalo Daughter, Coldcut, etc.--asked Cornelius to remix their songs. Instead of getting paid, Cornelius asked whoever to do the same in return with a song from Fantasma. Thus, FM....

 

And CM (Cornelius Remixes), which is a compilation of Cornelius's work on other artists' material. Coldcut's "Atomic Moog 2000," for example. We'll have some more clips ourselves soon....