Track of the Day: 'Makkuro Kurosuke'

More

Past TracksToday's song is brought to you by Michael Aaron Dishner, the producer who records as Gejius. Dishner, lately of Portland, Oregon and currently based in Tokyo, built this song around a dialogue sample from the 1988 Hayao Miyazaki film My Neighbor Totoro; the voices you hear are two young girls calling to the "makkuro kurosuke" who inhabit their house--small, black, puffy sprites, like animate dust bunnies with big googly eyes. ("Makkuro kurosuke" evidently translates as "pitch-black blackie.") If the captioning seen in the music video is reliable, here's what the girls are shouting: "Makkuro kurosuke, come on out! If you don't, we'll pull you out by your eyeballs!"

Dishner sets this ultimatum to music, layering on a few piano chords - now ominous, now twinkling--and a loping hip-hop beat that grabs you and slams you around, like a big dog that's happy to see you. It's hard to say why the song works as well as it does, but it's got something to do with the extremity of emotion in the vocal sample. If you don't speak Japanese and haven't seen My Neighbor Totoro, all you'll hear is some people screaming in a foreign language. But are they fearful? Excited? Ebullient? Angry? It's possible to hear all these things at once, and so the song becomes a whirlwind tour through the spectrum of feeling.



On iTunes: Gejius / "Makkuro Kurosuke"

new track button.png
Jump to comments
Presented by

Alex Eichler is a reporter at The Huffington Post and a former staff writer at The Atlantic Wire.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Where the Wildest Things Are

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In