HAMAYÔKO – hamaYôko 4/29


This strangely enticing, sometimes annoying, more frequently fascinating contrivance was created by Yôko Higashi, a Japanese vocalist and composer never met before by this old babbler. Noticing the participation (on mix and mastering) of Lionel Marchetti, whose work I respect, trust was granted. Indeed the welcome was not what expected: a deranged “song” with an electronic arrangement verging on dissonant mayhem, full of distorted patterns and sequences. As the subsequent pieces alternate in our ears we start to be seduced little by little, despite a few minor harsh spots and a couple of slightly “constricted” difficulties. Higashi knows what she’s doing, though. Besides pushing her less inviting vocal utterances towards the audience, at times causing them to long for something more, er, heartwarming, she literally cuts and pastes hundreds of different crumbles and snippets whose range covers drum’n’bass as heard from a distant room, looped post-rock guitar riffage, melancho-lisergic vocalism and repeated whirlwinds of modified electronics, often based on the deformation of her voice. It takes several tries to finally understand that this theatrical pot-pourri does possess its own depth, and my best suggestion could be “do not exaggerate with the volume at first”, because the multi-faceted aggressiveness of “4/29” demands a toll if one approaches it à la Frank Capra, all wonderful things and happy endings. Not so – but even the ugly components seem to carry a special meaning in this artist’s sonic poetry. Give her music time, and you’ll be repaid.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s