Oct 31, 2009

New Album

Yesterday, on twitter, Makigami announced that he and Sakaide are currently mixing the forthcoming album. It's called Ten Ten Ten, a sequel of the Ten Ten album. So, naturally, it's pretty likely that it's going to be based entirely on improvisation. He said it is slated to be released on December. Can't wait.

Oct 28, 2009

Three Encores

Hikashu @ Club Quattro, Shibuya, Tokyo on October 26th, 2009
opening act: Juicy Half


Although the storm was coming and the weather was not good, Hikashu did a relatively short (probably due to time restrictions) but impressive set. All the three composition from the new single, Carps and Gaspazio, were performed. The audience was hot and enthusiastic, demanding more and more, and after the main set, the band had to back to the bandstand three times!

Juicy Half, the opening act, performed nicely. Iriya and Takagi, the original members, played solid and steady, and one could clearly see the two young musicians were really dedicated. The atmosphere was certainly there. Their repertoire was renowned for complicating chorus, and the re-formed band well replicated it. (Remember, they are a self-contained group.)

After the concert, Hikashu did an instant autographing session. There was a long line, asking for the new single...

Related Entries:
Opening Improvisation
Nyuunen Video

Oct 22, 2009

Carps and Gazpacho (2009)

Hikashu goes Latin.

I'm not kidding. The title track of their new single, out this October, is strictly latin, both lyrically and musically. You could hear lots of latin percussions. Of course, it's Hikashu song so it's not only pretty good but being quite "different". Lyrics? How to make a Gazpacho, a cold Spanish tomato-based soup.



Hikashu - Carps and Gazpacho (maxi single, 2009)

1. Carps and Gazpacho
2. Singular
3. Melancholy in Global City

words - makigami
music - mita (1, 2), sakaide (3)

The coupling tracks are straight rock tunes. Singular (Chin Mu Rui) is fast, driving, and complicated number. Makigami's lyrics and vocal work on this tune is not only humorous but also contains some vocal wizardry. Melancholy in Global City is about the loss of humanism in so-called flattened world, and the will of people who wants to connect each other, despite of hardship. Vocals are entirely altered, which is quite rare for Hikashu or Makigami (he once said he doesn't like using effects on vocal), but this time it succeeds. Also he sings flat, emotion-less here on purpose, and it's quite effective, I think.

Actually those compositions are quite old - first recorded in 1997. Originally, it was intended for immediate release but never materialized for some reasons. This time, lots of over-dub (and discarding) were made by current Hikashu members and Makigami's son, Kaichi.

Hikashu in 1997 consisted of Makigami, Mita, Sakaide, plus Nomoto Kazuhiro (reeds), Torsten Rusch (synthesizer), Yoshimori Makoto (keyboard), and Niida Kozo (drums). There is no available info for over-dubbing but Makigami revealed he has re-done all vocals and Mita's guitar is not replaced. The sounds of snare drum is apparently different than Sato's so those were played by Niida, presumably.

Overall great works. Highly recommended.

Available via HMV Japan.

2009 Fall Tour

Commemorating a release of their new single, Hikashu will envoke 3 cities tour.

October 20th - Club Quattro, Nagoya
October 21st - Club Quattro, Osaka
October 26th - Club Quattro, Tokyo

Juicy Half will perform as an opening act for the October 26th concert. Juicy Half is a quartet, including of Iriya and Takagi Toshio, the original members of early 1980s New Wave act, Juicy Fruits, of the "Jenny Wa Gokigen Naname" fame (hence the name). Juicy Fruits has some connection to Hikashu. Their producer was Chikada Haruo, and the drummer Takagi played on early Hikashu albums. Juicy Fruits disbanded in 1984 and the vocalist/guitarist Iriya stopped performing on public for long time. But in 2009, Iriya started playing again and formed Juicy Half with Takagi and two young musicians.

Promoted by Smash.

Tour notification page (by Smash)

Drive To 2010

Drive To 2010 is an concert series of New Wave, Techno, Jazz and Free Music acts, which is going to be held on October 15th to 25th at Shinjuku Loft, Tokyo. And Hikashu performed on October 17th.

This event has long history, spanning 30 years. First time it was Drive To 80s, held in 1979. Hikashu appeared on Oct 20th. At that time, they were recording their first album.

Then, there was Drive To 2000, which held in 1999. That time Hikashu was the last act of the last day. Maybe this choice was somewhat related to their debut single, At the End of the 20th Century.

Having performed at Drive To 2010, Hikashu became the only band appearing all the three events.

Drive To 2010 official site
Drive To 2000 commemorating site

Everything is decided on bandstand

Hikashu prepares no setlist. That's their policy. They decide what tune they gonna play, on bandstand. Somebody plays an introduction or a fragment of composition, they would do that. Sometimes more than one member start different song at the same time, then "the battle of which song we'll play" would begin. And they do lots of improvisation. Really a lot. That's why there is no the same Hikashu concert.

Discography

Regarding in-print titles, here I put links to HMV Japan (English page). They provide English service and accept orders from outside Japan. Hope this helps.

album

Hikashu (1979) HMV Japan
Natsu (1980) HMV Japan
Uwasa No Jinrui (1981) HMV Japan
Hikashu Super (1981) - compilation, including non-album tracks HMV Japan
Nihon No Egao (1984) - 12-inch mini album HMV Japan*
Watashi No Tanoshimi (1984) - music for fashion show HMV Japan
Mizu Ni Nagashite (1984) HMV Japan*
Soba De Yokereba (1985) - music for ballet troupe
Nanimo Kamo Odore (1987) - issued on cassette tape
Ningen No Kao (1988) blog entry HMV Japan
Live (1989)
Teicho Na Omotenashi (1990) HMV Japan
Hanauta Hajime (Humming Soon) (1991) HMV Japan
Acchi No Me, Kocchi No Me (1993) blog entry HMV Japan
Fushigi o Mitsumete [Orguss 02 OST] (1993) - soundtrack for video animation series HMV Japan
1978 (1996) - remaster of early demo blog entry HMV Japan
Kawatteru (1996) - sort of the best album, all the songs are completely re-arranged and re-recorded blog entry HMV Japan
Hikashu History (2001) - compilation of live tracks, demo, tv advertisement, et al. blog entry iTunes amazon mp3
Ten Ten (2006) blog entry HMV Japan
Ikiru Koto (2008) HMV Japan
Ten Ten Ten (2009) blog entry HMV Japan iTunes
Uragoe (2012) blog entry HMV Japan
Bankan (2013) blog entry HMV Japan
Hikashu Super Two (2014) HMV Japan a compilation of rare singles and unreleased recodings
Ikitekoi Chinmoku (2015) HMV Japan

single

20 Seiki No Owarini (1979) aka At The End Of The 20th Century blog entry
Shiroi Highway (1980) "White Highway"
Glass No Dance (1980) "Dance On Glass"
Pike (1981) blog entry
Cho Shonen (1981)
Model (1982) - cover of the Kraftwerk song, Japanese lyrics
Watashi Wa Baka Ni Naritai (1983) "I want to be like a fool"
Ningen No Kao (1988)
Nyunen (2007) - maxi single, contains 3 tracks blog entry HMV Japan
Carps And Gazpacho (2009) - maxi single, contains 3 tracks blog entry HMV Japan
Nikoseron Part 3 (2011) blog entry HMV Japan
Chakra Biraki (2013) - 5 track mini-album featuring Charan Po Rantan blog entry HMV Japan

other projects

Makigamisantachi - Tompal (2004) blog entry HMV Japan

* "Nihon No Egao" and "Mizu Ni Nagashite" are available as 2CD set for the 2008 reissue.