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An hypnotic, lush and beautiful album of sound and lilting voice from Japanese vocalist and electronic experimenter Haco (After Dinner), seven songs of subtle sophistication that create dreamlike environments of floating tones and invoking voice, refined from decades of experimentation and investigation to yield this enchanting album.
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Label: Someone Good / Room40
Catalog ID: RMSG 016CD
Squidco Product Code: 24727
Packaging: Cardboard sleeve, sealed
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• Show Bio for Haco
"Vocalist/lyricist-composer/multi-instrumentalist/sound-artist. At her studio, Mescalina, in Kobe, Japan, she has created numerous recordings both as producer and engineer. As a musician and sound-artist, Haco has also given performances and created live installations throughout Japan and the world. With her unique sensibility, Haco has developed her own genre of art based on principles of post-punk, electroacoustics, the avant-garde, improvisation, post-rock, environmental sound, and technology. Haco also frequently lectures and gives workshops on various sound-related topics. In 2005, her CD Stereo Bugscope 00 was awarded a prize in the digital music category at Prix Ars Electronica in Austria.
In the 80s, Haco formally studied acoustics, electronic music, and recording technology. She earned a large following for her recorded work and performances as the composer/lyricist/vocalist of After Dinner (1981-1991), one of the first Japanese indie bands to tour abroad. In 1990, Haco appeared in the film Step Across the Border, a documentary on Fred Frith, which was selected as one of the top 100 films of all time by Cahiers du Cinema. One of Haco's songs, which she played on piano, was also included in the soundtrack CD. A DVD version of the film was released in 2003.
In the 90s, Haco worked as a sound exhibition and installation curator at Xebec, an innovative hall and presentation space for computer music and sound art, which was profiled by the writer David Toop and others. In 1995, Haco released her first solo album. Around the same time, she began performing improvisations with compact samplers, self-produced electronic units, electric mandolin, percussion and toys along with voice. Her "howling pot" performances, which make creative use of feedback, have been compared to sound art. Since her first solo tour of Europe in 1996, her live performances have been hugely successful at the LMC Festival (London), Le Weekend (Scotland), Vooruit Geluid Festival (Belgium), Isole Che Parlano (Italy), and other events.
In addition, she is involved with the guitar improvisation duo Mescaline Go-Go (Christopher Stephens), the odd-song unit Happiness Proof, and the all-female collaboration Hoahio (Yagi Michiyo: koto, Era Mari: percussion, and Sachiko M: sine wave). She has collaborated on recorded work or in performance with numerous musicians, including Ash in the Rainbow (Hiromichi Sakamoto), Yesterday's Heroes (Terre Thaemlitz), Kam-pas-nel-la (Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Samm Bennett, Zeena Parkins), Peter Hollinger, Pierre Bastien, Carl Stone, Seiichi Yamamoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Ikue Mori, Aki Onda, Martin Tétreault, Diane Labrosse, David Toop, Fred Frith, Chis Cutler, Yoshimi P-we (OOIOO, Boredams), Gurun Gurun, and Stefan Schneider. Her original style of vocalizing, experimental pop sound and improvisation surpasses conventional genres and national borders, and continues to attract new listeners.
In a sound-art context, Haco established the "sound collection and observation organization," View Masters, an environmental sound project which seeks to select, extract and define sounds from daily life. In 2002, she began to curate and produce a four-year series of View Masters lectures, concerts and workshops at Aka Renga Soko (Red Brick Warehouse) in the Osaka Port area. In the first installment, she premiered a performance of "Stereo Bugscope," which captured oscillating sounds emitted by the circuitry of an electronic device, and thus, established herself in a new genre of art. In 2003, she gave her first performance using the "Pencil Organ," an instrument created from a home electronics kit that uses test leads (+/-) to produce sound, at the Festival Beyond Innocence in Osaka.
In 2007, she released a whispering vocal-based solo album with acoustic instruments and electronics called Riska. This was followed in 2011 by Forever and Ever (on Disk Union's Arcangelo label), a solo album centering on laptop electronica (including ambient sounds and glitch noises) and vocals. In 2015, her sixth solo album, Secret Garden was released on the Japanese label, Nuovo Immigrato. This internationally acclaimed album includes long-distance collaborations with Marcelo Radulovich (USA), Stuart O'Connor (UK), and Sigbjørn Apeland (Norway). ReR Megacorp offered this assessment: "Haco continues to plough her unique furrow. Small sounds, electronics, distant choirs and floating strands that coalesce into islands of harmony and song before they break apart again. If there's a secret Japanese underground, this is it. Handmade and always inventive, but light as gossamer." Since 2004, she has used voice and self-programmed electronics as an "organic method" in her performances, sometimes accompanied by video images shot and edited with Mariko Tajiri."-Haco Website (http://www.hacohaco.net/haco/bio_english.html)
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1. Kusui 06:30
2. Tidal 08:17
3. White Letter From Heaven 06:01
4. Circle 09:23
5. Seiren 06:07
6. Anesthesia Love 06:18
7. Shooting Stars In Your Eyes 06:02
sample the album:
"Weightless, not so much a voice from heaven but a voice that swirls in liquidity, water spirit, a world and a time in which humans, plants, animals and weather could communicate in multiple tongues through the barriers that separate living entities, the world of Apitchatpong Weerasthakul's Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, in which a catfish with erotic powers speaks to a princess, a world in which spirits could be heard whispering in forest glades, in spider's webs and waterfalls, from the hidden places of bright tiled rooms filled with emptiness and the yellow fizzing of neon strips. Henry J. Farny painted The Song of the Talking Wire in 1904: a Lakota Sioux hunter stops in the snow, pressing his ear to a telegraph pole to listen to the humming of its wires. For his model, Farny sketched a religious man named Long Day or Long Dog, who spoke about hearing spirit voices over the wires, an experience he then used to bolster his claims to being a spiritual leader. One hundred years later, Haco listened through contact microphones to the spirit voices inaudibly (to unaided human perception) emanating from CD-R drives, mobile phones, wireless routers and similar sources of electromagnetic waves, enacting the cyborgian reworking of nature and culture of Donna J. Haraway's A Cyborg Manifesto. "Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves," Haraway wrote. "This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia."
The siren song is weightless, blissful, but also flightless - always connected to the body whose aurality must be blocked to survive its seduction. This tender voice calls from far away yet from a place we all know, stretched on filaments strung through clouds of condensation, the clinking jigsaw of melting ice, soft flows of breath and dawn mists that speak through water insects and dreaming."-David Toop
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