‘Mata Ne’ – LCD Soudsystem

You might forget, forget the sound of a voice
Still you should not forget, yeah, don’t forget
The things that we laughed about.

Sayonnara is the globally-known term for goodbye in Japanese but in truth it’s rarely heard. For it means a final goodbye, a farewell as you depart unlikely to meet again. It holds great formal sentiment. The usual phrase in Japan is ‘mata ne’ meaning ‘until the next time.’ Its a more inclusive term. 

When I flew out of Osaka after working there for 16 months, hearing sayonnara from the immigration officer made my heart wince. Possibly it was sayonnara when I would have preferred mata ne. I have similar feelings writing this.  I’ve been meaning to wrote this for a long while but keep putting it off. Its possible I don’t want want to let LCD go. I won’t say LCD have disbanded for they were always a project. I therefore can’t say they quit or broke up. But I have write something as a salute to one of my personal favourite bands. 

So if you missed out, I’ll quickly introduce: LCD’s disco-punk and acid beats were built on the standard music set-up (drums, bass and piano) but always felt too personal for any club. Lyricist, singer and main man James Murphy often ad-libs stories of intimate moments, missing friends, dwelling on the past and realising there is no escaping the future. Murphy’s lyrics are amusing and direct while his voice sounds real. His are stories perfect for strolling to campus, joyously celebrating life or musing over missed opportunities. 

The worst thing about LCD Soundsystem: they make you look stupid. There is simply no way to walk along listening to them without tapping your fingers or jerking involuntarily to the consternation of others around you. Your body wants to move a different way. You’d look ridiculous jogging.

So which is my favourite album? well I’d have to say Sound of Silver from 2007 containing All My Friends with its simple chord set-up and James’ ad-libbing lyrics about getting older, Us v Them reminds me of Modest Mouse’s City in the Clouds while Everything is so damn showstopping. All that said, the final album This is Happening has some killer tunes from a funny tribute to drunk girls, the lamenting I Can Change, the chillwave-inspired You Wanted a Hit and the closer to their career Home including the lyrics above.  

As I finish but refuse to say sayonnara, I’ll use their tune North American Scum to sum it up; in the battle between us and them, LCD will always be with us.


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