Cornelius – Ghost in the Shell: Arise

Flying Dog/Victor Entertainment

Cornelius may have largely slipped off North America’s radar since his last studio album 2006’s Sensuous but that doesn’t mean the Japanese electronic guru hasn’t kept busy. Keigo Oyamada dropped regular instalments of his CM mix series in Japan put out his standup Design Ah soundtrack early this year and now closes out 2013 with yet another soundtrack release for the anime reboot Ghost in the Shell: Arise .

Stepping away from the playful electroacoustic tones of Design Ah Cornelius gets his Tron on good and proper for Ghost filling its 19 sci-fi-loaded tracks with an elegant electronic ambience that runs the gamut from meditative synth pieces to crushing arcade-styled techno tracks to more abstract avant-garde pieces and guitar-fuelled freak-outs. But no matter where the album turns it’s always immediately Cornelius packed full of his graceful yet manic style.

But while the album is largely instrumental it’s inevitably the few “song”-based vocal tracks that steal the show. The contributions by female vocalist salyu x salyu are quirked-up electro/chamber-pop gold while Cornelius’ sky-scraping “Arise” title theme may be the most infectiously gorgeous song he’s ever written.

With Arise emerging as not only a great soundtrack but a simply great electronic album the only disappointment with the record is that it’s yet to get a domestic release.