All About Japan

Aussie Producer Turns Ghibli Music Hip-Hop

Ghibli Music Miyazaki

We can all agree that there’s something really special about the work of iconic anime master Hayao Miyazaki. Responsible for films Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo the Japanese director has without a doubt changed the landscape of Japanese films forever.

In order to pay respects the work of the groundbreaking director, Melbourne producer Andrei Eremin, aka Ghosting, crafted the track "One Summer (Spirited Away )" a reworking of the Spirited Away soundtrack in celebration of the film’s 15th anniversary. Featuring shimmering piano plucks interwoven with dusty, laid-back hip-hop beats, the single release gave new life the classically understated film score.

It didn’t take long after the track’s completion for Eremin to decide this was just the beginning of something bigger and soon an entire EP spanning Miyazaki’s filmography was born. As Eremin explains “I took out my keyboard on a whim, cut up the intro to the film and within four hours I’d finished the best track I’d ever made. It was a sign. From there the decision made itself: I had to sample every other Miyazaki film.”

“I’ve been a fan of the films for years but only just thought the minimalist soundtracks might lend itself to hip-hop beats. I’m sure it’s an idea thousands of people have had but you could probably execute it another thousand times and have another thousand distinctly unique takes on the idea.”

Once the tracks were done he headed to Taiwan to visit Jiufen, the alleged inspiration behind Spirited Away’s whimsical backdrop, and capture the perfect photo for the EP artwork himself. “I spent a while brainstorming ideas for artists and concepts for the artwork, most of which didn’t pan out due to deadlines or budgets. With only a couple of weeks until the release, I had a flashback to an article I read about on the supposed real life inspiration to Spirited Away. I already know how to take photos, so what seemed like a crazy idea at first turned into one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Eremin believes there are so many reasons why people fall under the spell of Miyazaki's films, but personally for him “it’s the underlying message and symbolism behind every film. The stories have genuinely made the world a better place, though it’d also be an oversight to ignore the incredible attention to detail, beautiful art direction and, of course, music scores. They’re just remarkable works.”

When asked about his favorite track on the EP, he said: “I think the one that’s stuck with me the longest is ‘78rpm’ (which samples Porco Rosso), although that’ll probably change if any artist ever wants to feature on ‘Watercolor (Ponyo)’!”

It’s almost hard to believe he’s not yet visited Japan, but it looks like 2017 may be his year. “Hopefully I’ll make it up there sometime later this year. I love Japanese culture more than anything else, about time I actually spend some time there.”

For more information, visit the Wondercore Island Bandcamp.