Nov 25, 2015

"a sonic explosion from another world" - Hikashu in Copenhagen 2015

Hikashu at Kocertkirken, Copenhagen on October 31, 2015. photo Lars Bjørnø

Hikashu has just completed a foreign tour. This time the band performed in Russia, Lithuania, Germany, and Denmark. Notably they broke into west europe at last, although this is not the first time ever -  they played in Berlin and Hannover in 1991 shortly after recording the "Hanauta Hajime" album at Hansa Ton Studio in Berlin.

Anyway, the result is very encouraging - it seems that the reception is quite well everywhere they performed. The following is one of the evidence - the review of G((o))ng Tomorrow 2015, the avant-garde music festival in Copenhagen. The original is in Danish (of course) and the excerpt is quoted here with the help of the mighty Google Translate.

A blow for tomorrow's music or an echo of the past?
Reportage from G ((o)) ng Tomorrow 2015
by Simon Christensen

With the name change from Wundergrund to G ((o)) ng Tomorrow desired festival organizers to strike a blow for tomorrow's music. This showed from the speech at the opening concert in the Concert Church, after which the pretty amazing percussionist Marilyn Mazur struck festival officially gong with a cozy newly composed piece (for gongs in different sizes), and so the name was sworn in with the stylish 'Selbst bewusstheit'.

The festival of new, experimental music and sound art was held this year for the tenth time, and compared to the previous one must say that special focus on international artists this year has grown on this ever-curious event. Not just came musicians from Beirut, New York, Zagreb, Tokyo and Sydney via Berlin, but they also brought their own local expression instead of playing out of the universal beaten track. The festival is also event like shuffling cards for modern composition, rhythmic music, performance and noise with new commissioned works from current musicians and composers from the Danish scene. And it is an event which in its basic form is to open the experimental composer music often easier esoteric scene up by including Copenhagen's most evocative special venues and a few half-tacky tricks from experiential handbook like. slow food, crossover art and receptions beer.

(...) humorous ended G ((o)) ng Tomorrow the concert with the legendary Hikashu, which was formed in 1978 and then followed the Western zeitgeist inspired by both rock and early electronic music and synth-pop à la Kraftwerk. The concert was Hikashu's first ever on Danish soil, but the group's frontman, extreme vocals and theremin player, Koichi Makigami have been several occasions in recent years, where he has both performed solo and in The Living Room with Torben Snekkestad and the aforementioned Søren Kjærgaard.

2015 edition of Hikashu is, however, entirely on its own feet in a style of music, ranging from avant-garde of complex compositional positions and Makigami's vocal experiments to the decidedly prog-rock groove. Hikashu were found to be in great shape with a rather interesting instrumentation with sound effects from childish toy, rustling plastic bag in guitar pickups, bamboo flutes and theremin games in expressive style. So far as is known, the material was a mixture of new and quite old stuff, and although I could not decipher much of the themes was quite humorous and well-executed way to end the festival on a sonic explosion from another world.

G((o))ng – Et slag for morgendagens musik eller et ekko af fortiden?

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