The Pacific Visions of Martin Glass

Exiled in Taiwan working on a deal that never gets done, an American businessman falls under the hypnotic spell of the Pacific. His is an Asiatisch fever dream – seaside lovers, translucent virtual vocalists, glass-y ’80s synthesisers and multinational muzak. It’s an ode to Pacific bubble decadence, beamed from a lilo or a roof garden (or both)… all fizzing arpeggios, melancholy marimba symphonies and sunken yacht karaoke.

The music on The Pacific Visions of Martin Glass is innocuous enough, but there’s something unsavory about the way it’s packaged that casts a pall over what would otherwise be a pleasant listen. This is an album of paradise pop indebted to ‘70s and ‘80s Japanese lounge lizards like Haruomi Hosono and Midori Takada, whose music slyly subverted Western perceptions of the East as some sort of Shangri-La.

Martin Glass is an alias. The name suggests a combination of Martin Denny, the father of exotica, and Philip Glass, the father of sequencer abuse. It’s also one letter from “martini glass” and sounds a bit like George Glass, the fake boyfriend in The Brady Bunch and Bridesmaids. The character is presented to us as an American businessman seduced by an “Asiatisch fever dream” while on vacation in Taiwan. The titles drip with exotic cues, none of which have the slightest thing to do with Taiwan: “Okinawa Fantasia,” “Nippon Pavilion” and “Glasshouse at Izu.”



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