Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Haruomi Hosono - Philharmony (Yen Records, 1982)

Another one I've been searching for for quite a while. 

If I had to sum it up in one word - make that two: "Sports Men." 

This was my introduction to Hosono's solo career (via the excellent root strata mix). As I listen to it on repeat while writing this, the song's got to top anything YMO ever put out. This is a non-argument, like when Freud says it's a manifestation of your unconscious.

Released in '82 on his and Yuki's Yen label, this is a freewheeling, joyfully disorganized record, with aforementioned pop tunes rubbing shoulders with a cover of a well-known 19th century Italian song, takes on traditional Japanese percussion ("Luminescent/Hotaru"), and one-man choral pieces ("Philharmony"). Some of the sonic risks he takes on numbers like "Birthday Party" remind me of Ryuichi's dance soundtrack "Esperanto" - or some of the MIDI play employed by contemporary sound artists like Oneohtrix Point Never or Demdike Stare. A joy to listen to.

So, enjoy!


  1. This is going to sound profoundly uncool, but I also downloaded those two Root Strata mixes, and my reaction was, basically, 'What the fuck IS all this stuff?" (In the best possible in I had, like, no frame of reference for what I was hearing.) And then, just now I was checking out that Basho's Pond record on the old Ghost Capital site, wherein you left one of those ubiquitous "feel free to check out my blog" comments and, well, here I am...and profoundly glad to be here. Thanks for the supremely well-curated site.

  2. this is definitely one of his best along with s-f-x. do you happen to have any of his f.o.e. releases with friends of earth?