Sim City (album)

Sim City
Studio album by Susumu Hirasawa
Released August 2, 1995 (1995-08-02)
Recorded January – March 1995
Length 49:49
Language Japanese, Thai
Label Polydor K.K.
  • Susumu Hirasawa
  • Yūichi Kenjo (Executive)
Susumu Hirasawa chronology
Sim City

Sim City is the fifth solo album by Susumu Hirasawa.


In 1994, Susumu Hirasawa got the suggestion to try a Pink Floyd-like sound for his next solo album from his neighbor, Doll Magazine editor-in-chief Mikio Moriwaki. His original plan was to make a '90s version of The Dark Side of the Moon,[1] which would cover similar ground to Virtual Rabbit.[2]

Sometime afterward, he came up with the idea of the World Inspection Tour (万国点検隊 Bankoku Tenken Tai), a role-playing game held in an overseas country for members of his official fan club Hirasawa Bypass. It was decided that it would happen in the Thai city of Phuket, since the airplane trip would be short and it didn't have a lot of Japanese tourism; because of that lack of Japanese reference, Hirasawa took a trial visit to see if it would be a good place for the tour, his first time in the country.[2]

He had no idea what to expect and had something like the Vietnam War in mind, but on that night he attended a show at the Simon Cabaret, performed by a cast consisting entirely of the country's transsexuals, and that was formative on his impression of Thai culture.[2] He befriended them through subsequent trips to the country, through which he got fascinated with their way of being, as well as the socio-technological disparities he saw in Bangkok.[3] The cultural shock experienced with these trips affected Hirasawa profoundly, and he took to composing, writing and recording in the Thai capital.[2]

Due to the irresponsible nature of the Thai studio used and Hirasawa's lack of trust of their dealing with his gear, he only brought a small hard disk recorder to the country for work,[4] and the only material recorded there were vocals both his and from Simon Cabaret performers. Although Hirasawa is not proficient in Thai, he wrote some of the lyrics in it by cross-referencing four language guidebooks, but the meaning of what he originally wrote is completely different from what he wanted to convey.[5]

On the storyline of the album and accompanying Interactive Live Show, a futuristic Thailand is portrayed as a simulation city. Although "Sim City" is a play on "Siam City", Hirasawa doesn't actually regard Thailand a Sim City as conceived; it is a concept from within him that was inspired there. Because of this, the album is not "world music", but a manifestation of his inner space combined with cyberspace, or rather "fake" world music that provides a simulation of no particular location.[2]

The photoshoot for the album's booklet took place in Thailand and is the only one made for a Hirasawa solo album where he isn't the only person in the photos. Hirasawa and Simon Cabaret performer Miss N. are shown in nature spots, am urban area and a wat. Miss N. wears a veil made out of MIDI cables in some of the photos, among them the one used as the album's cover.

Track listing

All tracks written by Susumu Hirasawa, except "Recall", "Sim City" and "Prologue", with lyrics by Hirasawa and Miss N. 

1."Recall"  1:23
2."Archetype Engine"  4:42
3."Lotus"  4:26
4."Kingdom"  5:16
5."Echoes (CHARAN SANITWONG 24)"  6:19
6."Sim City"  5:04
7."Dark Side of the Moon" (月の影 Tsuki no Kage)6:11
8."Pacific Rim Imitation Network" (環太平洋擬装網 Kantai Heiyō Gisō Mō)3:28
9."Colony"  4:50
10."Caravan"  5:48
11."Prologue"  2:19

"Echoes" only appears with the subtitle on the album's lyric sheet.[6] Outside of the title and the Pink Floyd connection, the song bears no relation to the track of the same name from Another Game.


Release history

Date Label(s) Format Catalog Notes
August 2, 1995 Polydor K.K. CD POCH-1510
July 1, 2005 Universal Music Japan, Universal Sigma Digital Download none
February 29, 2012 Chaos Union, Teslakite CD CHTE-0058 Remastered by Masanori Chinzei. Disc 5 of the HALDYN DOME box set.
November 5, 2014 Universal Music Japan SHM-CD UPCY-6931 Part of Universal's "Project Archetype" (supervised by Osamu Takeuchi & Kasiko Takahasi). Remastered by Kenji Yoshino (supervised by Chinzei) with both original liner notes and new ones.[7]


  1. "月の影 / Tsuki no Kage / Moonlight". Hirasawa Lyrics.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Takahasi, Kasiko (2010) [1999]. 改訂DIGITAL復刻版 音楽産業廃棄物 [Music Industrial Wastes Rev.2.4] (PDF) (in Japanese). Hirasawa Side — 卓上のウロボロス [Desktop Ouroboros] (3rd ed.). Fascination. p. 22.
  3. Inoue, Mako (August 1995). 平沢進と国際電話でりんりん? [Ringing Susumu Hirasawa on an International Telephone?]. Rockin'on Japan (in Japanese). Vol. 100. Rockin'on Holdings.
  4. Hirasawa, Susumu. "ソーラー・スタジオ レコーディング リポート page 1 – 2001/07/20". Hirasawa Energy Works. Chaos Union. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  6. "エコーズ / Ekoozu / Echoes". Hirasawa Lyrics.
  7. Takeuchi, Osamu. "wilsonic works 41". wilsonic journal. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
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