"Esoteric Red"

Tao (aka London-based Masayuki Ishikawa) produced the mysterious "Esoteric Red" album in 1997 for the Language imprint. Among the many comparisons used by the media to describe this music (see press quotes below), one of the most telling is " the soundtrack of a movie which would be a mixture of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Blade Runner"...

One of the album's tracks was a cover of Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Riot In Lagos", which also came out as a vinyl 12" single, including remixes by Plaid and Buckfunk 3000.

Press quotes

“...off-kilter isolationist tribalism and unhinged percussive freeforming...five tracks of intricate density which are as mystical as the Orient and as clean as the snow on the top of Mount Fuji”   (Muzik  - UK) 

“A very personal album... Tao invents a new world... the tracks push the beat outside of current pigeonholes (techno, drum ‘n’ bass, abstract hip hop)...
‘Esoteric Red’ is a fusion of two worlds which has rarely been matched. Undoubtedly one of the records of the year”. (L’Affiche  -  France)

“Surprising debut album...  many listening-tracks, but also some chemical beats...each track has a unique sound.... freaky and funky”   (Bassic Groove  -  Holland)

“The album distinguishes itself by an astonishing rhythmic and melodic diversity... a graceful mix between Japanese sound culture and Western technology.." (MoFo   -   Belgium)

“This album is absolutely amazing and naturally fascinating. The London-based Japanese musician composes a dense musical ideogram... unclassifiable and very personal, his music unites traditional Japanese sounds and technoid energy.
TAO controls his rhythms and his atmospheres...very sophisticated and daring... very rich material.” (What’s Up  -  France)

“Funky deconstructions are the base for electro-ambient musings...very interesting and personal” (Rumore  -  Italy)

“Love at first listen. This collection of fourteen mystical, mysterious, mashed up trip hop downbeats, grungy drum & bass and ambient melodies is not only powerful, but tells an audio tale of a musical adventure few have had to experience.  Futuristic eletronic jazz funk that mentally motivates the senses and resonates the mind. Masayuki Ishikawa is a man who understands the future of electronic music and where it can go. His production and song content is a refreshing treat, amongst today’s lifeless tracks. Check into the 21st century, check out of reality, check your senses and certainly check this disc out”. (XLR8R -  USA)

“A dream-like vortex... beautiful like very few albums are....transcendent and visionary taste...This record has the potency of a dream !  Splendid ! (Rockerilla  -  Italy)

“Extremely efficient beats... Comparing is betraying, but if we had to describe Tao’s music, we could say that it sounds like The Orb plus The Chemical Brothers produced by King Crimson on Bill Laswell’s label. Hum-Hum... Let’s try again: a perfect marriage between the irresistible efficiency of Red Snapper and the quasi-religious take-offs of Subsurfing... OK, one last attempt: Tao is like the soundtrack of a movie which would be a mixture of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Blade Runner’... You have understood by now: ‘Esoteric Red’ is unclassifiable and deserves your best attention..."   (RifRaf  -  Belgium)


TAO - Esoteric Red
Esoteric Red
TAO - Riot In Lagos Remixes 2 (future Forces Inc. / Tao)
Riot In Lagos Remixes 2 (future Forces Inc. / Tao)
TAO - Riot In Lagos Remixes 1 (plaid / Buckfunk 3000)
Riot In Lagos Remixes 1 (plaid / Buckfunk 3000)
TAO - Jinn