A masterpiece from Japanese minimalist Motohiko Hamase – a record that maybe has a bit more musical variety than some of his other works of the 80s – with four different longer pieces that each have a different flavor, and a wonderfully poetic vibe overall! Two of the pieces are heavier on acoustic piano, and two are a bit more electronic – and together, they paint this amazing tuneful picture in sound – little melodies that kind of spring forth with a natural, organic quality, then unfold like little musical flowers over a longer space in time. Think of the quality as maybe a bit like Penguin Cafe, but set to more extended numbers – the pieces "Nude", "Spiral For Multiple Instruments", "Pascal", and "#Notes Of Forestry". CD
Motohiko Hamase —
Anecdote ... CD Lung/WRWTFWW (Switzerland), 1987. New Copy ...
A rare live set from Japanese bassist Motohiko Hamase – recorded right during a stretch when he was really mixing up his modes – fusing older fusion elements with some of the more electronic experiments of his studio records of the period – all in a way that must have made for quite a compelling set to see live! Hamase plays a fair bit of fretless bass – arcing and crafting these notes that are very much in the best jazz fusion school of the time – but they're mixed with keyboards, electronics, acoustic piano and percussion from two bandmates – all of which creates this unique soundscape as the trio shifts through so many different elements at once. Titles include "Duplicated Scene", "Pascal Variant", "Plateau", "Reminiscence", "Elan Vital", "Circlet", "Symptom", "Intermezzo", and "Aborigine". CD
Motohiko Hamase —
Technodrome ... CD Wacoal Art Center/WRWTFWW (Switzerland), 1993. New Copy ...
One of the more electric albums from Motohiko Hamase – a Japanese artist that we first knew for his jazz recordings, but who really has branched out by the time of this release! There's still plenty of bass in the music – but the instrument is used in fuller, more powerful waves of sound – with all these shades, tones, and textures – elements that might have been used in more subtle ways on an 80s Japanese minimalist recording, but which here take off in directions that have more of that Bill Laswell brooding sense of darkness from the early 90s. Given that aspect, there's maybe a lineage here that also is influenced by electric Miles – but with no trumpet in the mix, the sound is more along the lines described – with titles that include "Chirico", "End Of Legal Fiction", "Invisible City", "Opaque", and "Imagery". CD
Incredible sounds from Japanese composer Yoshio Ojima – music created for the Spiral art center in Tokyo – one of the most beautiful buildings we've ever visited in the city! The spot is a special blend of art and commerce – and the music by Ojima shifts between the sorts of sounds you might hear in an installation, and work that's similar to some of the environmental music of his contemporaries – all delivered with spare electronics and a minimalist mode that really shows the fantastic direction some of these Japanese composers were taking after the initial Brian Eno experiments with ambient music, particularly Music For Airports. Titles include "Mensis", "#1", "Glass Chattering", "Entomology", "Flius", "Entrance", "Float On", "Esplanade (live)", "Les Trois Graces", "Atrium", "Market", "Sealed", "Entomology (Let's Go Go)", "Parjanya", and "Orientate". CD
A contemporary record, but one that's dedicated to the older musical creations of Satoshi Ashikawa – and which has a similar mix of minimal and environmental modes! The sounds here are beautiful – like little instrumental flowers that open up slowly and tunefully – much more compelling than watered-down ambient or new age modes, and with an organic energy that's intertwined between acoustic and electric sources, so that a piano will ring out one moment, a wave of sound will flow the next – and the production style does a superb job of keeping everything in just the right space. Titles include "An Gleo", "Laistigh Den Ghleo", "Athru", "Luaineach", and "An Gairdin Uirbeach". CD