Top 20 Releases of 2012: No.8 – Hikashu – Uragoe

This is another one where I’ve already said everything I really want to say about it in previous posts so please check those out if you haven’t seen them already. My Japan Times review of this album is online here and my brief additional comments are here.

Hikashu are pretty much my favourite band in Japan — certainly my favourite that I haven’t actually released myself via my label. On Uragoe, they spend about a third of the time on messed-up avant-pop and the rest is just completely fucked up avant-garde jazz weirdness. Koichi Makigami’s voice is such a versatile instrument, and he uses it to make some unbelievably odd sounds, but the sense of fun that pervades the album means that it never descends into navel gazing self absorption. I find them very difficult to describe or discuss because there just don’t seem to be the words to do justice to what a unique thing Hikashu are. Sadly, I couldn’t find any audio of video clips of the stuff on this album, so here’s a live clip of them from a couple of years back, deconstructing the hell out of their own song, Pike:

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