MARIHIKO HARA – Nostalghia


Influenced by old films shot during numerous trips abroad by a frequently travelling grandmother, and by the strange absence of reports and stories about those journeys, Kyoto’s Marihiko Hara has fathered a collection of quiet electronic pieces halfway through introspective electronica and microsound that make the most of what he calls “reflecting on a strength in the silence and the relation between sound and us”. It’s a lovely album throughout, abounding in melancholically suggestive hues defined by fragments of melody that do not include even the smallest percentage of saccharine. The instruments are not specified, yet laptop-generated synthesis and piano appear to be the whole project’s groundwork, supposedly with a measure of field recordings. The way in which these aural snapshots are presented reveals the composer’s inclination for throwing faint lights upon a single sonic subject, which he does via delicate minimalism occasionally interspersed with minor interferences. The motionless pulse of a track like “Nostalghia: Vein” and the oneiric quality of the subsequent “Lacus” are quite representative of a style that may vaguely recall certain releases from Taylor Deupree’s 12k label – and also, to a slight degree, Keith Berry’s more cinematic shades – but is so informed by elusive humanity and private traits that no comparison is actually valid. A broodingly profound record, totally compatible with the kind of isolation that keeps the germs of a man’s evolution in custody.

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