South of The Border is the third installment of my Cassette Memories album series. All field recordings were taped in Mexico, a country I’ve had a special fondness for since I was a little child. My first memory was watching photographs and Super-8 films my father shot in Mexico City from his time there during the 1968 Summer Olympics, where he competed as a member of the Japanese national hockey team. It made me realize there is a place completely different from Japan, and I started dreaming about “another world.” When I was a teenager, I encountered Alejandro Jodorowsky’s seminal film El Topo, which shocked me with its surreal images and strong mysticism. That experience
shaped my primal image of the country, although I wasn’t sure if it was true reality or pure imagination. Finally, I made my first visit to Mexico in 2005. I was amazed that everything was as I had envisioned. Mexico embraces extreme wealth and poverty, highly contemporary and primitive lifestyles, intellect and superstition, and any sort of polarities all in one. Somehow, in this chaos, the boundary between reality and imagination disappears. In this way, everything is possible, and that’s what I believe.
Technical notes: I had three cassette walkmans to make field recordings while I was traveling in Mexico. Two became broken due to tape head and motor wear, but I continued using them. Some of the beautifully messed-up sound collages you will hear were produced accidentally due to the imperfect condition of the recorders.
Additional notes: The first and second Cassette Memories albums, Ancient & Modern and Bon Voyage!, were both released in 2003.