Hoshina Anniversary returns from forever for a majestic dance. This is his second offering for the ESP Institute. Side A’s Karakuri contains all the elements of Hoshina’s signature sound; bouncy staccato bassline, minor chords and organ stabs, a Chick Corea-inspired Rhodes that walks all over the place, all tracked along sparse bits of Japanese percussion and cymbal that juxtapose organic texture with precision-machined timing. The lead keys feel at first as if they’re freeform, however, Hoshina’s obsession with order becomes apparent as the bars develop and his systematic control and repetition is revealed. On side B’s Michinoku, we’re treated to a deep and slow burner. A roller of a beat based on 808 toms and a pishy snare sets the somewhat bumpy base for this groove, and again the meat of the rhythm is built with dirty chords, this time on the upstroke, in an almost Reggae style. What the flipside taught us about Hoshina’s controlled chaos, is here again the lesson and perhaps even moreso. The voice of the track remains the Fender Rhodes, played in brief but wild phrases and arranged into patterns upon which Hoshina builds layers over some 8+ minutes. There is a deep and dark mood throughout both sides of the record, but perhaps more sultry than devilish, and one that listeners educated in the stoned arts will appreciate. These two songs have built the end into the beginning.
Published: 1st February 2021