Hakobune ~ Looping Around The Forest I Thought I Remembered

loopingEver so faintly she glows, radiating her slow moving light outwards with a gentle yet sure intensity, all the while descending in flight. It is a beautiful free fall. Hovering, or perhaps levitating, above the ground and over the treetops, the drones whisper their promises of deep contentment and serene meditation as they evoke the secrets of the heart. Prisms of light play across the soft loops and sunken harmonies. Falling for the music is easy when you gaze into her eyes. When you come face to face with the music of Takahiro Yorifuji, you remember it well. 

Looping Around The Forest I Thought I Remembered is an emotional journey that exhales with hope, sadness, longing and reflection. It’s beautiful. The opening drone of “Mizunara” unravels in a soft soupy loop, drenched in the deep end and swaying as it meanders through the music. Yorifuji’s notes dapple the music like daubs of paint, tracing thin melodic lines over deeper, blossoming harmonies. “Bodaijyu” conjures up a cool mood that borders on the overcast, but even without the presence and the healthy warmth of sunshine there is still beauty to be found, and it is a gorgeous loop.

In times of trouble, music is the medicine. And just as we find ourselves chained to the struggle, the drones come to soothe, relieving the pressure and lifting up the soul once again. Notes sink into one another so deeply that without the loop to tie them down and haul them back they would likely never return. It is a brilliant blur, a place where the music is more dreamscape than dronescape. Yorifuji’s drones have an ethereal air to them, something spectral that goes way past the conduit of music and into the spiritual. Thoughts slow down, as does time. Although each track clocks in at five minutes precisely, it feels much longer, as if we had really been gone for days only to discover we’re suffering from a strange case of missing time. In reality, the shorter tracks help to shake the body out of the trance, but despite the shorter length Yorifuji’s music is just as deep as ever.  As the music continues, Yorifuji enacts his graceful, controlled ballet. “Buna” is a mystery that remains in the deep,  with no real melody in sight. Instead, the drone floats along with only a couple of buried notes for company. Elsewhere, though, thinner sheets ripple against the deeper, guitar-led drone. The natural attack of the string is not only dampened but extinguished entirely, processed to the point where it is as soft as an eyelash.

The music of Hakobune lingers in the memory, and like a drone’s thin tail it wisps slowly through the subconscious, leaving behind symmetrical sky-lines in its wake. “Nire” travels sedately, too. The loop is thicker in substance, and a darker drone comes to claim the last of the light. The loop is so perfect you’re never sure where it begins or ends; it’s only an endless sprawl of cloudy light. Yorifuji’s music has a sensitive soul, descending like a thick band of fog but just as quickly vanishing, as a frozen puff of February air disappears forever. (James Catchpole)

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