noble label’s 2010 era will kick off with “strangeness”, the new album by kazumasa hashimoto.
The sounds of kazumasa hashimoto are defined by an elegant and fantastic sound woven by his ingenious talent and sophistication of the classical music he has learned since early childhood. hashimoto’s musical endeavors cross overseas with the artist featured in Europe’s largest Sonar festival in Barcelona in 2007, followed by a successful tour visiting through six European cities in 2008. His first film score in Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Tokyo Sonata” received the jury prize in the Un Certain Regard Section of the 61st Cannes Film Festival, steadily establishing his career as a musician.
Aside from the “Tokyo Sonata” soundtrack, this album will be hashimoto’s newest work since “Euphoriam” released in December 2007 as an original album. His newest work, the first ever album to be centered on “song”, invites Gutevolk on all vocal pieces featured. Gutevolk has a voice that even made the famous Akiko Yano say, “I wish I were born with a voice like that. Could we trade?” Furthermore, the artist plays all the instruments such as the piano, Mellotron, guitar, base, and drums. The analogue feel of the album which brings out the best of the shimmering and distorted sounds unique to live instruments is another characteristic of the album, resulting in a masterpiece which insatiably pursues the universality of each number and its “strength” as pop music.
The sophisticated and beautiful melody that rings throughout the entire album, the soft harmony, and arrangement like a kaleidoscope is like rich vintage sounds often found in 8mm film. This, combined with the sweet and nostalgic voice of Gutevolk makes listeners drift to a different world, a psychedelic and dreamy world above the clouds. An album that is new yet nostalgic…nostalgic yet new. It’s just what the title says, it’s a strange but speechlessly sweet time made especially for your enjoyment.