Tomoyasu Hotei

So I’m in full-on fanboy mode for Kill Bill, and went all over the Bay Area today trying to find the soundtrack (it wasn’t easy). My favorite track on it by far is called “Battle without Honor or Humanity” by Tomoyasu Hotei. There’s no indication in the liner notes whether it was composed for the movie or was an earlier recording. Most of the links I can find are in Japanese (which I can’t read); the few I can find in English just say that he’s a very talented guitarist. The track I’m talking about, though, isn’t as heavy on the guitar as the horn section. Does he have other stuff like that, or was that just a one-off? I’ve seen he has a greatest hits album; is it worth checking out? The only other info I could find is that he’s credited as a composer on the videogame Onimusha; I’ve played that game and remember the music as being fairly predictable Japanese folk + gothic horror.

If you haven’t seen the movie or don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the music that’s played for the last half of this version of the trailer, starting with where she buys the ticket to Japan.

Any info on this guy would be appreciated, by me and I imagine by him since I’ll probably buy lots of his albums. Anybody have advice what to buy?

Hotei’s definitely my favorite Japanese rocker. He started out about 20 years ago with the group BOOWY, and has been doing solo work for the last 10 years or so.

Most of his music is guitar based, and covers a range from hard rock to Buddy Holly-style to some pretty mellow ballads. A few years back, though, he produced his Supersonic Generation album, which was almost entirely sythesizers and not a bad piece of work at all.

For movies, I wholeheartedly recommend Hiroyuki Nakano’s Samurai Fiction, for which Hotei not only perfomed most of the music, but also starred as the villain. Looking at the trailers of Kill Bill, it seems like it may have been one of Tarantino’s influences.

Thanks for the info, Sublight. I was in J-town today and went ahead and spent way too much on a couple of Hotei’s CDs, the Greatest Hits and a recording of a live show called “Hotei Presents Space Cowboy Show” (how could you see an album with that title and not buy it?) What I’ve heard so far is not at all what I expected, but isn’t bad.

The movie recommendation is a good one, too; I see it’s out on DVD soon so I’m going to have to rent it. I read one pompous review on some website that claimed it was a reaction to Pulp Fiction, so maybe the borrowing is going both ways.

He has three songs on the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas soundtrack.