St. GIGA - Tide of Sound Archive (90's Japanese ambient/new-age/house radio)

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St. GIGA - Tide of Sound Archive

Someone has uploaded a huge treasure trove of recordings of the 90's Japanese satellite radio station St.Giga, which specialized in ambient music, field recordings, smooth jazz, and chillout deep house. The station based their broadcasting schedule on the day's tide charts, with the music's intensity rising and falling with the tide. They often layered original field recordings under the music they were playing, and they frequently interspersed original poetry readings from minor Japanese celebrities. These recordings are extremely varied in tone and genre. They're such a joy to listen to; this stuff has been soundtracking my work days for the past two months.

These recordings took the ambient thread by storm, so here's a thread of their own! I'd recommend starting with the first recording on the list, A Dream Shade Falls. It's a good one, and it's got a little of everything.

Some of the other recordings really specialize in their own particular genres. Here are a few I'd recommend:
Coral Reef - Jazz
Spacey Night - World music, jazz, deep house
Down by River - New agey smooth art pop
Music of Heavenly Body - 4th World ambient, African folk, chillout house/techno
Cool Water - Field recording/ambient. Ocean sounds with light synthesizers. Sounds like Hiroshi Yoshimura

OneSecondBefore, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 14:10 (one year ago) link

bookmarked, thanks

thinkmanship (sleeve), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 14:47 (one year ago) link

I'm listening to this this morning. It's like a gift I didn't know I needed.

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 15:11 (one year ago) link

cheers for this, looking forward to diving in this weekend

nxd, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 15:53 (one year ago) link

Interesting article here in the Twitter thread from the person who released all the music

St. GIGA is all but your usual radio station, the programming was based on the tide table, very ambient and pretty much ASMR compatible. Probably too niche for the time, but nonetheless very interesting.

I have found this article about St. GIGA in detail:

— Yakumono (@LuigiBlood) January 19, 2022

groovypanda, Thursday, 7 April 2022 08:02 (one year ago) link

great article, thanks

thinkmanship (sleeve), Thursday, 7 April 2022 14:23 (one year ago) link

What a wonderful and unexpected treasure trove.

Did anyone recognize the following two songs?
1. The very first one in A dream shade falls-A
2. The one at the end of Angel Stream-A / beginning of B (before Raphael's River Seeks the Deep)

jimmy2times, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 18:05 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Morning of Light-A is a really nice zoned out lush beach vibe

Evan, Friday, 3 June 2022 17:13 (one year ago) link

very whoa, thank you
i need more time

meisenfek, Friday, 3 June 2022 17:18 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

still aoty

LaMDA barry-stanners (||||||||), Friday, 23 December 2022 18:42 (one year ago) link

yep, listening right now in fact

sleeve, Friday, 23 December 2022 18:45 (one year ago) link

yeah this was the music event of the year for me

flopson, Friday, 23 December 2022 19:59 (one year ago) link

Listening to the first hour. It's good, maybe a little too "new-agey."

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 29 December 2022 21:29 (one year ago) link

give it time, lots of variation within the template

Healing In Dream is my current fave

sleeve, Thursday, 29 December 2022 22:04 (one year ago) link

Thanks for the revive, going to fire up some of this here in a bit.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 29 December 2022 22:29 (one year ago) link

what I really want is for someone to put the uploaded archive into the proper tidal order, as per the article linked above:

As part of Yokoi’s concept the St. GIGA broadcasts followed no externally fixed program schedule. It was not based on a solar calendar week, where a certain show would recur every Sunday at 7 PM. Instead Yokoi had the genius to base the transmissions around a tide table. Themes for broadcasts were based on a cyclical motif and tried to approximate the current tidal cycle according to the Rule of Twelfths throughout a 24-hour day.

The Rule of Twelfths is an approximation to a sine wave curve. The formula can be used as a rule of thumb for estimating a changing quantity where both the quantity and the steps are easily divisible by 12. It has been typically used for estimating the height of the tide. The rate of flow in a tide increases smoothly to a maximum halfway point between high and low tide, before smoothly decreasing to zero again. The rule is also used to make predictions on the change in day length over the seasons.

Tidal changes are non-linear. This means that in the first hours of a tidal shift the tide might not rise or fall very much, yet as the cycle progresses the rising or falling will accelerate through the mid hours. The Rule of Twelfths applies to the semidiurnal tide - a tide having two high waters and two low waters during a tidal day, which is exactly what happens in most locations. The semidiurnal tide period lasts for a period of 12 hours and 25.2 minutes from low to high tide, and then repeats back to low tide again. The full and new moons also have effects on the tide, as do the first and third quarter moons.
The transmissions of St. GIGA followed this pattern in a unique way, mimicking the swell of the tides and the course of the moon. With his “Tide of Sounds” broadcasting process the end of one show and the beginning of another was not demarcated or clearly defined as folks are used to hearing on the radio. Instead, gradually, using the Rule of Twelfths songs of one genre would flow into and intersperse with songs and material from the prior genre until the new genre, just like a high or low ocean tide, became predominant. Yokoi designed it this way so that listeners could relax into waves of sound "like a baby sleeps in the womb." These "Tide of Sounds" broadcasts operated under the awesome principle of "No Commercials, No DJs, No News Broadcasts, No Talk." If only more radio stations would follow this principle and ethic. Of course this absence of commercials and talk was only possible because the service was subscription based.

sleeve, Friday, 30 December 2022 00:19 (one year ago) link

Is the City-2 St. Giga label in any way associated with the radio station?

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 30 December 2022 00:27 (one year ago) link


sleeve, Friday, 30 December 2022 00:30 (one year ago) link

I'm glad people are enjoying these recordings! This was definitely the music event of the year for me too.

I listened to all 81 hours of those St. Giga recordings and made:

a big spreadsheet!

I listed each recording with its predominant genre(s) as far as I could tell, as well as a very subjective description of it. I also color coded some of the episodes, along this key:

Green = A+ episode, will go back to this one frequently
Yellow = Standout episode, worth going back to
White = Just another recording, nothing that stands out
Red = Unlistenable due to poor recording or other technical issues.

Again, very subjective here, but you may find it useful for navigating this enormous cache of material.

OneSecondBefore, Friday, 30 December 2022 01:02 (one year ago) link

just as an example of the madness that goes on in these broadcasts, here is my breakdown of Healing In Dream A:

00:00 Paul Winter - Air (plus field recordings)
4:55 ???
10:05 ???
29:40 William Aura - New Dawn (idk this piece, listed as 23 minutes but it's unclear if this is an edit)
35:29 Solitudes - Desert Awakening (environmental record) plus ?? same as above??
39:10 ?? guitar w/effects
45:04 Paul Winter - Morning Echoes
47:40 ??
54:30 Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Wildlife

this was after multiple Shazams, many of which were false

sleeve, Friday, 30 December 2022 01:15 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

vibing out to Seaside Walk-A now. It sounds exactly like how you'd think

Evan, Friday, 13 January 2023 15:30 (one year ago) link

highly recommend - so transportive and peaceful

Evan, Friday, 13 January 2023 16:05 (one year ago) link

Whisper in afternoon-B

extremely zen; amazing

this is a bottomless pit of beautiful audio

Evan, Friday, 20 January 2023 18:47 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

I still listen to this archive a lot at work. It looks like the station put out a few records:

INDEPENDENTS DAY BY STEVEN SPILBERG (President Keyes), Tuesday, 7 February 2023 19:45 (one year ago) link

They put out 12 of those ambient soundscape cds. Really nicely recorded and by far my favourite nature sound releases.

There are 7 of them available online if you know where to seek them. Hopefully one day the other 5 will turn up.

I am using your worlds, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 20:44 (one year ago) link

I search for the other five almost daily! Hopefully they’ll pop up at some point. They’re gorgeous recordings.

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 21:16 (one year ago) link

already in my Discogs wantlist but if anyone wants to ILXmail me details on where I might seek those, it would be awesome

sleeve, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 21:17 (one year ago) link

Are the official releases just field recordings? Nothing against field recordings, but I'd love to get some of the actual music from the archive on a proper physical format

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 21:32 (one year ago) link

loving the archive in the original post

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2023 21:52 (one year ago) link

The mixes; the thematically focused flow of music and field recordings overlapping in the archived station broadcasts is museum quality.

Evan, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 21:52 (one year ago) link

it really is

sleeve, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 23:39 (one year ago) link

and yeah the official stuff is all their custom made field recordings that they mix in (which, interestingly, seems to really fuck up the auto-song ID apps like Shazam)

sleeve, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 23:40 (one year ago) link

there's also this st. giga-adjacent thing:

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Wednesday, 8 February 2023 16:51 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

THANK YOU I am a billion percent there because of course but also because I'll be heading to Japan soon afterwards! What perfect timing.

But his face would not turn into hot Kirby (Evan), Monday, 7 August 2023 18:39 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

Show was great! Only planned on the first night - had a wonderful time.

Evan, Thursday, 28 September 2023 14:04 (four months ago) link

Could you tell me a little more about it? I'm probably not going since i have tonsilitis, it's far away, it's expensive and i start work at 11pm... but i've been thinking about going for weeks, idk

Easter underwear (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 28 September 2023 16:59 (four months ago) link

(it's bacterial, i'm not contagious)

Easter underwear (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 28 September 2023 17:00 (four months ago) link

Well there was an interview with Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano about the origins of St. GIGA which was interesting - nothing mind blowing - but nice to hear about their philosophy behind the concept and the timing, meant to calm anxieties of the Japanese people at the time, the conceptual programming that was intentionally trying to sync up with the tides and the moon etc.

Then Strugglin' came on, did an interesting musique concrète performance that was very good, followed by Visible Cloaks + Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano playing their material they collaborated on in 2019 which I actually had not listened to before. They had experimental imagery projected behind them as they played and yes they sounded fantastic. Picked up the LP afterwards and got it signed by Yoshio & Satsuki.

Yeah it was expensive for sure but I felt like I had to go due to the obsession with the archives and my trip coming up in a WEEK.

Evan, Thursday, 28 September 2023 17:58 (four months ago) link

went to this last night too. that summarizes it well tho I personally wish there wasn't an opener, just to keep things moving.

I'd say go if you can. I mean, how many times is something like this gonna happen?

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Thursday, 28 September 2023 20:30 (four months ago) link

thanks Evan! i didn't make it out there but that record (which i didn't know about) is very nice- none of the FRKWYS releases i've heard disappointed me yet

Easter underwear (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 September 2023 01:38 (four months ago) link

just got out of this — lovely. opener ucc Harlo was really great too

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Friday, 29 September 2023 02:18 (four months ago) link

I'd say go if you can. I mean, how many times is something like this gonna happen?

yeah now that i'm aware of Ojima's and Shibano's role in the original broadcasts, i'm sorry i didn't go. would have had to leave at least 30-40 mins early tho, going on the timestamp on churl's post

Easter underwear (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 September 2023 16:50 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

^digging into their collaborative discography today and it dovetails nicely with my recent Satie obsession.

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 16 November 2023 23:03 (three months ago) link

Shibano's 'Rendez Vous' my immediate favorite but it's early

Deflatormouse, Thursday, 16 November 2023 23:05 (three months ago) link

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