Hakobune: Away From the Lunar Waters

Kyoto-based Takahiro Yorifuji has released a number of Hakobune recordings on labels such as U-Cover, Symbolic Interaction, and his own label Tobira Records, but Away from the Lunar Waters, recorded between October 28th and November 2nd of 2010 at at Studio Kyoto in Japan, is his first full-length appearance on Hibernate following the 2009 three-inch EP Isohel. Yorifuji produced Away from the Lunar Waters' lush vistas of shimmer and sparkle using a modicum of gear, specifically electric guitars and effects pedals, plus a multi-track tape recorder for capturing his improvised ambient-drones. Certain listeners might be reminded of Klimek's early Kompakt albums, Milk & Honey (2004) and Music To Fall Asleep (2006), during those moments when Hakobune's music shudders most conspicuously (e.g., “Nebulous Path”), and the soothing setting “A Forgotten Ephemeris” calls to mind some of the more placid moments on Fripp & Eno's Evening Star, but Away from the Lunar Waters largely stakes out its own territory within the electric guitar-based soundscaping firmament. That's especially so during the album's longest setting, “The Flickering Suns,” which billows in gaseous formation for thirteen minutes. Elsewhere, fluttering guitar patterns induce a state of dream-like calm that grows so lulling during “Photometry” that the listener is jolted back to consciousness when an unexpected escalation in intensity occurs near the track's end. It's worth noting, too, that while the album exudes an overall uniformity in its sound, the tracks themselves differ from one another in subtle ways. The closing piece, “Cascading Resonance,” de-emphasizes an overt guitar sound for glimmering exhalations that seem more organ-generated than anything else. That Yorifuji's statement weighs in at a svelte forty minutes makes the release all the more deserving of its recommendation.

March 2011