It might be easy for a synthesizer enthusiast to guess why it's called 2 0 8 0 because it's coming from the famous Roland's JV2080 synthesizer sound module. There is one preset called 2 0 8 0 in the synth & it sounds very futuristic & it exactly sounds like the year of 2080 to me. The first time I heard this sound, I was fascinated by the imagination of the sound engineer at Roland in 90s. I could picture the collapsed building at the end of the century in my mind. I made the first song 2 0 8 0 with this sound & I really liked the atmosphere of the song. I was like "Why not making the whole album with the same feeling?", so we just made it.
It's interesting for me to see the retro-futuristic illustration made in the 70s etc because people are already communicating with aliens in the year of 20xx. This kind of imagination really fascinates me. I just thought 2080 may be too close to be futuristic because it's only 60 years later from now. So I asked Pixy maybe we should switch to 2180 instead and she said: "2080 is better because this way people will be more alerted". In the end, we chose 2 0 8 0 as its title.
Q: Were there any difficulties during the production?
The hardest thing may be making the lyrics for me. I made 9 patterns of Japanese lyrics for Forest Calling, but it turned out to be all failures because it started to sound like Chunibyo (middle-school second-year syndrome, look it up). The one Pixy made in 10 min on the airplane turned out to be the best. To be honest, I really don't want to make lyrics anymore after this. It seems too much trouble for me right now.
Q: Is there some kind of story through the album?
Actually, there is. To be more specific, in the year 2080, there is a cat being forced to work in the factory. This cat & another cat will escape to the universe by the flying car. And being chased by space police & crash into another planet and so on... And at the end, the man who owns the button which can end the world will press the button & only one person will survive.
Q: The impression of this album is totally different from the previous album. Were there any changes in the production this time?
やっぱり楽器がほぼ全部シンセサイザーなのが、以前のアルバムとの１番の大きな違いですね。今回生の楽器はForest CallingのアコギとWe Are Weird Small Animalsのエレキギターだけです。でもキーボードやドラムの打ち込みは、出来るだけ編集せずにほぼ僕が手で弾いたままで、出来るだけ人間臭さみたいのを残すのがこだわりなんでしょうか。やっぱりそこはちょっと魂を売るみたいな感じなので、クオンタイズ（自動タイミング補正）みたいなのはできる限り避けてありますね。
I think the biggest difference is almost all the instruments are synthesizers this time. The only acoustic instrument is the acoustic guitar for Forest Calling & electric guitar for We Are Weird Small Animals. But I tried to leave the "human-ness" without editing too much digitally for playing keyboard & drums. I feel like selling my soul, so I tried to avoid the quantization (auto-fix for timing) as much as possible.
あと８０年代の音楽に本当にハマってまして、それも音に影響したと思います。山口美央子さんという音楽家さんのインタビューを読んでいて、情景描写が大事だと話されていて、僕も真似しようと（笑）。なので、シンセサイザーもまずイメージをもってから、情景が浮かぶような音色を作るように心がけました。もちろん冨田勲さん、うる星やつらの安西史孝さん、細野晴臣さん、Chakura、Kraftwerk, Hans Wurmanなどなど。。。他にもいろんな人たちを参考にさせていただきました。
Also, I'm into 80s music & I think it influenced the sound a lot. I was reading the interview of the musician Mioko Yamaguchi & she was talking about painting the scenery with the sound, so I wanted to follow her idea. I tried to make the sound after I have a specific image in my mind. And of course, the music of Isao Tomita, Fumitaka Anzai (Composer of Urusei Yatsura), Haruomi Hosono, Chakra,
Kraftwerk, Hans Wuman etc. influenced me a lot this time.
This song is about a cat who is being forced to work in the factory. I made the lyrics while remembering my horrible part-time in NYC. The song was previously called "Berlin Underground" & I wanted to sound like a piece of electronic music made in the basement in Berlin. I happened to make a weird sound by accident & it turned out to be a song in the end. The way the singer Jun Togawa sings in her "Takahime Sama" as if she is a bad school kid which inspired me a lot.
We Are Weird Small Animals
この曲はけっこう前からあって、"We are weird small animals"ってリピートして歌ってるだけだったんですけど、今回やっと他のパートも作って、８０年代のイタリアのポップス風（Italo Pop）にアレンジしました。猫が鳴いてるような音色など楽しんで作ってましたね。イメージとしては、二匹の猫が空飛ぶ車に乗って工場から脱出して、宇宙警察から逃げ回る、といった感じでしょうか。（笑）
This song has existed for a long time & we were basically repeating "We are weird small animals" over and over. I finally made a new part this time & arranged it into 80s Italo pop style. It was fun to make the sound of the synthesizer as if the cats are crying. In my imagination for this song is like, 2 cats are escaping from the factory with a flying car & doing the car chase with space police.
You probably heard the song before. This is the arrangement of Chopin's "Revolutionary" Etude. My sister used to practice this song at home, so it's kinda memorable song for me.
We recently visited Italy and saw a band who does the mixture of synthesizer & heavy-metal music. We liked the band, but the singer was the type who does not shout, so we were a little disappointed about that. We were like, we can make the cool synthesizer metal music that we were imagining with a screaming vocal. The day after seeing the band, I instantly made the lyrics on the train. Sometimes it's easy to make the lyrics.
This is the song that was hard for me to make the lyrics. I made the sound imagining the sunshine is coming down from the tree branches in the forest.
The very first birds sound is sampled at our Brooklyn apartment in the morning, but it was so noisy with an ambulance, drill from construction, sanitation car, airplane, the guy spitting on the street etc. It was almost a miracle that it became quiet for 40 seconds, so I could record the birds.
It's the song by Debussy. I wanted to make like the choir of the cats who were converted into robots & I was also trying to sound like it's a generated music from the sampler Fairlight CMI. The low bass sound is my sampled voice & the high sound is Pixy's. I mixed with other cat-like sounds & FM synth's bird-ish sound.
This is the song that one man is trying to make a decision of pressing the button which will end the world. And he pressed the button in the end.
In the beginning, I was only trying to re-create the bass sound of the song "Little Love" by infamous Japanese band Pegmo (means Penguin & Mogura) in the 80s. Somehow I ended up making the whole song from that sound. The song with the tempo is going faster is kinda rare, but it actually comes from one of MMW's song (was called Bubblehouse) which I always think the idea is great.
It's the last song in the album. It's connected from the previous song & it's the destroyed world after the button was pressed. But at the same time, the singer is feeling peaceful & safe. The music is also kind of Bossa Nova-ish & it has a peaceful feeling. If everyone is gone from the world, I was just imagining it might be actually peaceful to be alone. But I hope this won't actually happen to the world. I'm not intended to scare people by showing the collapsed world & stop it from happening. I was just enjoying making the song, to be honest.
So this is it for the explanation for this album. I hope you enjoy listening, Thank you! - Moro
released September 9, 2019
Pixy - Vocal
Moro - Vocal, Synthesizer, Guitar
Lyrics by PIMO
Arranged, mixed, mastered & produced by Moro
All songs are composed by Moro, except for Track #4 "Evil Woman Cult" (Étude Op. 10, No. 12 “Revolutionary”) by Frédéric Chopin & Track #6 Golliwog’s Cakewalk” Children’s Corner, L. 113 No. 6 by Claude Debussy