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?