Dec 31, 2020

Hikashu - Nariyamazu (Eternal Echoes) (2020)



Hikashu - Nariyamazu

1. Nariyamazu / Eternal Echoes
2. Senbazuru No Dance / 1,000 Kurge Dance
3. Maul Meira (Bitter)
4. Arayuru Chie Kara / All the Wisdom
5. Kuroi Pan No Amasa Taruya / How Sweet It Is, Muhu Pagarid
6. Moichido Aitai / Wish Meeting You Again
7. Dokomademo Tochu / Perpetually on the Way

words - Makigami
music - Hikashu except Makigami (1, 3), Makigami and Sakaide (2)

Makigami Koichi - vocal, theremin, cornet, shakuhachi, koukin
Mita Freeman - guitar, ethnic flute
Sakaide Masami - bass
Shimizu Kazuto - piano, synthesizers
Sato Masaharu - drums

produced by Makigami Koichi
recorded in Talin, Estonia and Tokyo by Makigami Koichi and Sakaide Masami
mixed by Sakaide Masami
mastered by Ono Seigen at Saidera Mastering
released on December 23, 2020

As for everyone, 2020 is a year of suffer and accident for Hikashu. For example, this year they had to cancel the most of the appearances, including the annual christmas concert which they had been doing since 2008. But there's some emergence, and one of them is Nariyamazu, their first original album since Anguri, which was released in 2017.

Indeed, the album itself is born from accident. In March, Hikashu went to Estonia because they had been booked for a local festival. Of course, at that time, the pandemic was already rampant, but they choose to do that anyway. Fortunately, they avoided cancelling the event and managed to do a show, although shortened with limited audience.

Originally, they intended to do a series of show and some sightseeing - it was the first time for them to visit the country - but almost everything had to drop. Since unexpectedly they had a plenty of time, they tried to do something else instead. So they looked for a  studio, secured it, and did some recording. That's the foundation of this album.

Back to Tokyo, the band did some tweaking on the recording in studio, and added some tracks from recent concert as well. Mastering was done by the masterful Ono Seigen.

Cover photo is done in Estonia. The location was near historical district, and when they were there, almost nobody was around. Ordinarily the place was packed with people, but at that time, quite desolated. It seemed that it symbolized the situation appropriately, so they choose to do impromptu photo session, and the result was used for the album.

As for the music, this time the band decided to devote themselves collective improvisation heavily. There's only a few composed tracks. Lyrics is also mostly gibberish. All in all, this approach reminds us "Ten Ten," their only album devoted for improvisation and this could be described as the part three of the trilogy (There's already "Ten Ten Ten," a sequel). There are some differences between them though.

It's quite refreshing to see a 40-years band continuing to do something new. It's a troubled time, so listen some Hikashu and revive your spirit.

Available via Hikashu store or HMV Japan