Author Topic: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?  (Read 3819 times)

9dragons

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Thanks to the Hypnos forum, I've found out about a musician by the name of Takahiro Yorifuji, who under the name Hakobune is rapidly becoming one of my all time favorites. There is a kind of focused purity and stream-lined essence to this music that has so deftly and instantly drawn me in. The first Hakobune album on the U-Cover label is entitled "Sense of Place", and I think this perfectly sums up how I feel about the music. It evokes so strongly a place I have deep in the back of my mind, a place where I have been, or want to go to again; it is undefined however, and could be a dream location. More like a sensation possessed of, or adorned by, the qualities that attach us emotionally to a physical environment. What blows me away about Hakobune is that the music is so emotionally driven, but so detached, distilled to an essence; There is no obvious defining emotion, it seems to hover near joy, nostalgia, melancholy, longing, while not being bound by any of these definitions. The mind floats freely on it. I feel like I am right there, in the place where the musician is making the music, the place he wants me to see and experience, without even having to define that place concretely. Such a strange and wonderful evocation! He is showing us a place that could be right outside his own door, or even the view from his window, but it merges with the magic of places we dream of in our own private hours.

One of the important things about Hakobune that makes it more powerful, I feel, is the "cropping" that is performed by the artist. In the realm of ambient, I am just beginning to realize how crucial this is. The songs of Hakobune are generally either short on the two full albums he has, or if long, comprise part of a relatively short mini cd. So either way, we are given an exacting and shaped expression of sound. The songs seem to end at just the right time, leaving the listener uplifted and dreaming. These songs never seem to overstay their welcome, giving just enough to achieve the full expression, then drawing back.

But listening to the music of Hakobune has really made me examine the nature of ambient. Do I like this music so much because it strikes a special chord with me personally? Does it seem to evoke the country of Japan itself, a place that I find so mysterious and full of wonders, places I want to explore?

Whatever it is, I am feeling extreme enjoyment from these sounds, and have collected all the Hakobune I can find. I think I've found them all: Sense of Place, Wandering Toward What Was Unsaid, Melting Reminiscence, We Left the Window Open Sometimes, and on the way is the artfully packaged double 3" split release with David Tagg on http://eedmusic.squarespace.com/, which appears to have sold out quite rapidly.

So, since my knowledge of the guitar ambient world is limited, I am curious to know how Hakobune might fit into it. How unique is his sound in this realm, and do you feel that he merits the acclaim that I give him?

Undershadow

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Re: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 03:59:31 PM »

So, since my knowledge of the guitar ambient world is limited, I am curious to know how Hakobune might fit into it. How unique is his sound in this realm, and do you feel that he merits the acclaim that I give him?


Well, along with Vegetarian food and seasonal changes - not to mention David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mark Rothko, and Salvador Dali - I note that he includes in the ‘Influences’ section on his myspace the following: Monos, Mirror, Darren Tate, Andrew Chalk, and Paul Bradley (as well as Brian Eno and Harold Budd), so the lineage of the UK dronemeisters (recall the thread on this forum earlier in the year?) is strongly signalled there.
Funny that, 'cos when I reviewed his releases on U-cover last year, I didn’t pick up on this so much as on echoes of the early Kranky label ‘space rock’ (that ‘rock’ is redundant there) tradition of SotL and Windy & Carl (throw in Labradford too, but not the whole Chicago shebang of Auburn Lull et al.), as well as a sprinkling of the Jeff Pearce and David Tollefson Hypnos school. (Oh, and by the way, he also mentions Koda, who was discussed here a few months back in the Infraction thread - I actually thought at the time that Sense of Place wouldn't have been out of place on Jason's label).
Anyway, there’s a link on the Hakobune myspace to mini-reviews, including my own, as well as to those of Keith Moliné in The Wire and Ron Schepper of Textura.

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=1000345079&blogID=364383811

These appraisals suggest that Orifuji is something more than just the sum of his influencing parts, and merits, if not the extremly fulsome praise you (9dragons) lavish upon him, then at the very least a high regard for his realisation of a coherent musical vision of  a certain integrity and beauty. I think he sits nicely next to the likes of David Tagg and Jason Sloan (who, no coincidence, have remixes on Hakobune's latest album) in the new wave of (here goes...) post-shoegaze ambient-space guitar-drone (a field, incidentally, I've sought to document - along with its precursors - in the assemblages I've posted elsewhere in this forum).


Joe R

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Re: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 04:44:14 PM »
I agree that Sense Of Place is a drop-dead gorgeous CD. There's something something so intoxicating in those multi-layered humming sounds...  I mean to get the new one, just haven't taken the plunge yet.

Joe R

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Re: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 07:21:37 PM »
Well I've taken the plunge, and I now have Hakobune's We left the window open sometimes. This one's even better than Sense Of Place, and that says quite a lot. It's sadder and slower paced, and with a softer sound, but has the same gorgeous shrouds of guitar fog that we've all come to know and love. Also more complex emotionally, and will take several more listens to appreciate fully.

But still, the greatest Hakobune song remains "Ice Blue", from Sense Of Place. That could be stretched into a 60 minute headphone marathon without ever getting monotonous -the depths of that track seems almost infinite.

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 06:00:42 AM »
I was so impressed with the David Tagg/Hakobune split, I decided to pick up two of the Hakobune CDs, including the new one.  Looking forward to more in the same vein.

Perhaps this is the wrong forum spot to ask, but does anybody know of where I can get a Tagg's Waist Deep Seas of Milk?  I have a downloaded copy and I always regretted not purchasing one officially before they sold out.

Undershadow

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Re: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 08:30:42 AM »

Perhaps this is the wrong forum spot to ask, but does anybody know of where I can get a Tagg's Waist Deep Seas of Milk?  I have a downloaded copy and I always regretted not purchasing one officially before they sold out.


Brian, I got my copy via the second sun website: http://www.second-sun.net/CDcat_ssrcd_07.htm

But you're right - it appears there as being sold out. The only other thing I'd suggest is to email David (via his myspace perhaps) and ask him if he has any copies left.


solyaris

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Re: A New and Avid Fan of Hakobune: What Makes the Music So Exquisite?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 06:03:30 AM »
yes, I'm just listening new compositions of my friend Takahiro sent to me as gift!
I love his music and I think is one of rare musician create great soundscapes using the "usual" ambient guitarsist tools;
just a step forward.

giorgio