Hoshina Anniversary is conquerer of the mind, creating the most beautiful sound, other than silence. This is his first offering for the ESP Institute. Side A’s 'Sagano' is fairly representative of the Hoshina sound — raw organic samples and instrumentation, of traditional Japanese origin, mercilessly bent and tweaked to suit the needs of his obsessively precise arrangement. Midway through the track, we’re bewildered by his demonic breakdown on the Rhodes, which daringly tags the bassline and strings into a synchronized trio of jazz-funk noodles, and he even throws in a key change before dropping us back into the main hook for the duration of the dance. It's a major flex, and indeed makes an impression. On side B’s 'Haru Wa Akebono', Hoshina displays an alternate and equally significant side to his songwriting, merging optimistic twinkles and arpeggios with slightly detuned dry percussion for an overall uneasy vibe, not dissimilar to early video game aesthetics or circuit-bent toys. Across both sides, there lies an unhinged overtone, such that we feel one small step from spiraling deep into a demented quicksand, a freak-out where hallucinations get the better of us. Initiating a breadth of releases planned with the ESP Institute, this single summarizes a few of Hoshina’s most compelling modes, and though there is a whole circus yet to unfold, we hold his cards close, no spoilers before the main act. These two songs will have you drinking moon juice and dancing naked at the Mardi Gras.
Published: 14th November 2019