Fabulous soundtrack from what is still one of the best anime films ever, in my opinion. It's scary to think that this came out in 1988. From the opening peal of thunder on 'Kaneda' this is spine tingling stuff, as a chorus of beautifully musical drums and wooden percussion introduces some brilliantly arranged choral work. It's pretty unique and breathtaking, and one of my favourite tracks ever. The themes are reprised with variations on the epic last track 'Requiem', which adds some serial/minimal keyboards, and even more layers of awesome choral lines. The whole album is a brilliant exploration of what can be done with tuned woody percussion, bells, drums and voices, with some additional sampling and sequencing - the almost techno explosion of rhythm that is 'The Battle Against The Clowns', with voices chopped in, and tiny beacons of melody. There are also the more traditionally synthy sounds on 'Winds Over Neo Tokyo', and the whole album blends these styles in a perfect balance, and the result is a unified suite of almost modern classical composition.
I always thought Geinoh Yamashirogumi was a person, but it's a musical collective. So I'm off to search the web for some more of their output, and I think another viewing of Akira is in order.
There is a shorter Akira soundtrack; this one is the 9 track, 56 minute one.