Hiroshi Mizuno’s Portopia ’81 quickly rose as one of my favorite synth electronic artists. After focusing on Mizuno’s later works, I decided to step back through his discography and take a look at his earliest release under the Portopia name.
Cosmic City Serenade is Mizuno’s first release under the Portopia ’81 label. This album sets Mizuno’s style up quite well and is a great introduction for those unfamiliar with him. The songs on this album are as on his other albums — celestial and otherworldly. The title track is one of the best songs with cascading synths, which invoke a feeling of hope within the listener. Almost immediately you get the sensation that this album was written as a soundtrack for one who seeks to travel between galaxies and into the unknown. Kobe Island is another great track of the same vibe, with these saucer-like sounds travelling into one ear and out the other. It is both hypnotizing and relaxing. Pop Land, a bonus song that can only be found through Portopia’s Bandcamp, is another favorite of mine. It makes me think of a planet that is comprised of an endless amusement park on the surface. The music appeals to me in that it paints this picture in my mind of never-ending possibilities — that humanity will surely leave this planet one day and it will be a journey of wonder and amazement. Albums like this I can listen to on repeat all day long. Cosmic City Serenade is an excellent tape and I highly recommend it.
Genre: Ambient, Experimental, Synth, Electronic
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Release: March 4th, 2013
1. Cosmic City Serenade
2. Kobe Island
5. Pop Land (outtake)