Cornelius Reveals ‘Sensuous’ Side

January 26th, 2008: As seen on SPIN (PDF)

Sensory overload met beatnik jazz yelps as the Japanese Beck kicked off an exclusive five-date extravaganza at the Windy City’s Metro last night (Jan. 23). A strobe flashed “The Cornelius Group…Sensuous…Synchronized Show!” across a giant white silkscreen, and a fuzz-heavy riff off the Mario Brothers‘ theme song teased fans before Cornelius, a.k.a. Keigo Oyamada, opened things up with “Breezin’,” a cut from his latest LP, Sensuous.

Spawned from crisp and clean studio magic, the latest addition to Cornelius’ oeuvre was recorded on the highest bit possible, 96 kHz, which made for interesting live adaptations, notably the album’s title track, which was used as the set’s capstone, while the pop-noise tech genius simultaneously plucked and detuned his guitar as the strings slunk off.

But similar to Cornelius’ career, most of the near 20 songs performed were technicolor beasts of morphing genres — one minute it was a raving discothèque, the next a heavy metal thrasher; Cornelius skewed electro pitches on the baton-clink hymn “Like A Rolling Stone” (not the Dylan song) before putting the kibosh on the dizzying spectacular with a campy, synth version of Dean Martin’s crooner, “Sleep Warm,” sans the top-secret tech tricks.

We asked: On Sensuous track “Toner,” Cornelius threads a song from a noisy ink-jet printer. If forced to make a song from an unconventional item, what would you rock and why?

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