Review Summary: Simplistic beauty.
Music transcends boundaries. It does not matter where you are from, how old you are, or what you have experienced in your life; music has the ability to speak to each and every person listening. Every so often a piece of music comes along that reaches straight for the heart of the listener, touching their inner soul. Tokyo based puppeteer-turned-musician Hisato Higuchi has crafted such a work. Simply entitled Dialogue
, over 35 minutes of self recorded music Higuchi pulls at your heartstrings with just a guitar and an amp. Just like a puppeteer uses characters to tell a story, Higuchi uses his guitar as his puppet, and the notes to tell his story.
is about as simple as it gets. At the surface, the music seems like a man just noodling on his guitar-- but each and every note is carefully placed to gain a desired effect. That effect is simplistic beauty. Just like a classical composer, Hisato has one goal: to allow you to connect with the music and feel
it. While many bands try to connect with the listener using either flashy technique or genre busting musical brilliance, Higuchi creates music at the ground level. "Experimental Guitar" would be the most common tag for Higuchi's music, but it is much more than that. The 13 tracks on the disc could have easily been one long song, but for the ease of the listener they have been broken up. By doing nothing more than lightly strumming out chords and sustaining single notes, Higuchi creates magical compositions. In 5 of the tracks ('Himitsu', 'Manazashi No Saki E', 'Hajimari No Bamen', 'Kizuto', 'Breath #2'), wordless vocals are added. Going from a whispered sigh to a soft moan, Higuchi uses his voice in the simpliest way possible, leaving no lyrics to interpret, no epic conceptual story to tell, no made up or foreign language to listen to; just calming breaths to set you at ease.
Higuchi's playing can be shortly described as blues. The scales are there, but they are broken and watered down to the bare minimum to a point where technical interpratation would be over analyzing. On short numbered pieces aptly named 'Guitar', Higuchi shows his playing ability in a more forward direction. While you may think a song titled 'Guitar #3' will be filled with pretentious guitar soloing, it is quite the opposite on Dialogue
. There are 4 of these 'Guitar' pieces, giving the listener a small dose of excitement in the midst of a very slow and ambient work. While there is no fast finger tapping or self-indulgent showoffery, Higuchi simplifies his approach yet again. 'Guitar #3' being the most exciting, Higuchi stomps on his fuzz pedal and turns up the volume (albeit from 0 to 1), and wails out blues chords over ambient guitar similar to the other tracks on the record. These tracks fit perfectly in the whole of the album, and adds to the full listening experience.
It is said that Higuchi would come home from a long days work and write his music-- which makes perfect sense. Coming home from a long day at work, Dialogue
will be the record to put you in a trance like state of calmness. Not just limited to that, however, the album can be a go-to for whenever you need to relax or clear your head: after an argument, during homework, after the gym, before bed... the possibilities are endless. This is what makes Dialogue
a modern classic, it's ability to be played repeatedly and still hold it's magic in any situation. The soft sighs that start 'Himitsu' immediately calm your head, letting the mind drift away, forgetting any stress prior to listening. By the time the short 35 minutes have passed, Dialogue's
work will be done, and life will carry on.
Hisato Higuchi has created a piece of music that tears down the musical wall dividing listeners of this genre or that genre, and speaks to everyone of them. It is impossible to deny the beauty of Dialogue
. Closing your eyes and letting your mind wander while Higuchi plays will be a rewarding musical experience like no other. Every track is flawless, each of them adding to the overall mood of the album. The 'Guitar' tracks do a wonderful job keeping things interesting, while stunningly beautiful tracks like 'Manazashi No Saki E' and 'Mitsumeau Sekai Ni ' set the perfect mood. Dialogue
is an album for anyone who is willing to devout the time to sit back and listen, and allow it to take them to another world. It will be well worth the time spent.