Hakobune – Recalling My Insubstantial Thoughts
Posted In: Brendan Moore, Hakobune, Hakobune - Recalling My Insubstantial Thoughts, Takahiro Yorifuji
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Hakobune (aka Takahiro Yorifuji) has a habit of writing himself and his thoughts out of existence within the titles of his music. The title of one of his recent releases proclaimed that he discovered himself “missing”, and now he proclaims his thoughts are “insubstantial”. On Takahiro’s first ever vinyl release, Recalling My Insubstantial Thoughts, he gives us two of his longer compositions to date, each occupying one side of the record. The overall attention to detail, from the use of the vinyl format to the longer compositions, all help make this a welcome offering to the already stellar list of Hakobune releases.
Artists who are known for writing shorter songs and make the move to longer compositions create a challenge for themselves: do you simply write songs just as you normally would, but make them longer? Or does an extended piece of music require a totally different approach? Judging from Hakobune’s approach here, the key to making long compositions work effectively is to do more with less. And indeed Yorifuji does less with more here. So much so that after hearing these two pieces, it makes other songs by Hakobune seem fast moving by contrast.
Both the A-side “Recalling My Insubstantial Thoughts” and the album’s B-side “Maps” have little movement to them, and most of that sense of movement is created by the way the each song creates a sensation of waves rolling in. The way that sensation is created is by having the music swell than fade, swell than fade, over and over. On the one hand it’s what makes the music repetitive enough that this could easily be cited as Hakobune’s most ambient work to date; still, what little movement there is does feel like movement. And considering this pattern of swelling than fading happens across all 35+ minute of the album, it does seem to be a genuine strategy to create an overall feeling in the listener.
As for the vinyl formatting, this is a perfect inaugural vinyl release for Hakobune as each song is long enough to occupy one full side of the LP. People that resist the vinyl format seem inconvenienced by the fact they have to get up to flip the record or move the needle from groove to groove to find the song. In this case, hearing one side of the LP is just a matter of dropping the needle and letting 18+ minutes of Hakobune magic consume you. Whether by coincidence or design, the decision to release this particular Hakobune collection as a vinyl edition was a wise choice that sees form and function in perfect synergy. Not to mention that the vinyl format really allows the listener to hear how well Yorifuji uses bass notes and subtle distortion to create that full almost orchestral sound that is trademark of his work.
Hakobune’s work continues to be some of the most evocative in minimal electronic music, and his ability to transform his sound to explore new ideas is something to be lauded. Takahiro’s gift as a musician is that he is able to create music so evocative without ever telling his listener what to think or feel. And perhaps that is why he is always writing himself out of his own music – to suggest that each piece of music he creates really is for the listener. Despite his works being categorically “electronic” and “experimental”, Yorifuji’s works always feel organic and meticulous. For those that have been paying attention to his development over the years, Hakobune’s albums really do feel like well-conceived gifts, and Recalling My Insubstantial Thoughts continues in that vein.
- Brendan Moore for Fluid Radio
Available through Stashed Goods