Albumen Records


Nagasaki/3am Blacked Out

ALB002 | Ignatz Höch, 2006

For Nagasaki, Ignatz Höch recontours the surface of the Fats Waller record with white paint. The stylus is then applied and reapplied to the painted sections, eventually finding part of the original recording.

“In reality, the song has little to do with Nagasaki, other than as a reflection of the Western image of exoticism (eroticism?) associated with Pacific ports-of-call. It could just as easily have been called "Shanghai" or "Honolulu"--and, indeed, Warren later wrote melodies about these cities as well. The song's value lies not in its accurate portrayal of Nagasaki in 1928, but in the insights it offers concerning the development of music in America during the years of the Great Depression.”

from Back in Nagasaki

There was a time when it was believed that the atom was a tiny indivisible unit of matter. Man made something smaller than the atom by splitting some. They also made something very large and complicated.

This song was written by Warren and Dixon in 1928. Fats Waller first released a version in 1935. Nagasaki was the location of one of two nuclear attacks in 1945. This record was pressed in 1984.

Hiroshima was not planned to be bombed in 1945. The targets were Nagasaki and Kyoto. Kyoto was changed to Hiroshima as the former had been the location of a US Air Force officer's honeymoon.

The trivialisation of the complicated and the horrorific seem vitally relevant to the polarisation of scale involved in the mechanics of an atomic explosion.

  — Ignatz Höch


  • Edition of one (vinyl, white paint)
  • Sleeve art (gif, 56KB)