Hakushi Hasegawa
Bones of Dreams Attacked!


3.7
great

Review

by Johnny[Well] STAFF
June 21st, 2020 | 12 replies


Release Date: 05/29/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Something something sophomore whatever

Hakushi Hasegawa’s 2019 debut Air Ni Ni was a startling and striking kaleidoscope of jazz, pop and psychedelic sounds pulled off with kinetic flair that catered to attention spans of all shapes and sizes. It was a refreshing surprise, but its variety of ideas and intensity of performance was so dense that coming to terms with its 10-song tracklist was a demanding enough prospect in itself; considerations of how a follow-up record might pan out seemed very much secondary. Hasegawa seemed content to cruise onwards off the back of that album’s modest viral success, boosted by a slot on Porter Robinson’s virtual, mid-quarantine Secret Sky festival; he was clearly in his stride, and it was something of a surprise to see a new record appear under his name when his debut had been so recently released and, one would think, so taxing for his inspiration. All sorts of can he really do it again? and why so soon? uncertainties surfaced in a hurry.

In his own unphased way, Hasegawa opted to sidestep the misgivings and the general prospect of a sophomore slump with a short covers album, more relaxed but just as innovative as his ultra-busy debut. Bones of Dreams Attacked! is less a fireworks display and more a personable chillout; it shows his style off in a mellower but no less distinct light, proving his versatility and demonstrating an impressive amount of assurance of his sound as he traverses a broad cross-section of the Japanese indieverse. His choice of artists is appropriately eclectic, unpredictable, and, in its own way, cogent: we get a handful of numbers from scene veterans (Soutaisei Riron, Sakanaction, Sambomaster) played alongside more recent emergent artists (Soushi Sakiyama , んoon), with the Aladdin theme and one original thrown in for good measure.

It’s a curious roster and Hasegawa appropriates it creatively, carefully integrating his style into each track and drastically repurposing the tone of the original. This is particularly evident in his take on Soutaisei Riron’s “Love Zukkyun”, the pithiest number here. Soutaisei Riron’s frontwoman Etsuko Yakushimaru is renowned for her daydreamy vocal manner, her whimsical inflections almost conversational as she muses her way through evasive lyrics and quaint indie pop arrangements. It’s a far cry from Hasegawa’s often frenetic manner, and he seems to take an active delight in inverting everything that made the original such an effortlessly breezy listen into a succinct freakhouse that could never have come from anyone else. His signature chromatics are all over the shop, chopping and skewing the track’s originally straightforward rock progression into a staccato jitterfest. Under a higher tempo, Yakushimaru’s sigh-prone style comes across as outright breathlessness as Hasegawa’s hurried, exaggerated falsetto on the chorus line loses itself mid-breath in an effort feels like a wry parody, an affectionate nod to Yakushimaru’s affectation that comes off as jauntily good natured and a little ridiculous.

On the other hand, the Sakiyama cover “Tabino Nakade” and his surprisingly fragile revision of Sakanaction’s superbanger “1000 & 0” both show off a more vulnerable, reflective tone than anything we heard on Air Ni Ni. The latter in particular is a soft triumph, winding back the original’s coursing energy and buzzing hooks and finding a surprisingly moving voicing for its once momentous chorus. The sole original “Sea Change” takes this feeling in its stride, offering something gentle and more conventionally melodic than whatever we may have assumed Hasegawa’s staple sound to be; his keyboard mastery is as convincing as his strength as a quirky songwriter here.

Above all else, this release is tactful. Hakushi Hasegawa is in many ways uncompromising when it comes to preserving his idiosyncrasies, but he is accommodating and versatile in the way he presents them. Air Ni Ni was in many ways an overwhelming experience, and Hasegawa seems content to leave that one’s sound to speak for itself rather than trying to recreate it so soon. Bones of Dreams Attacked! is a refreshing palette cleanser that showcases his softer side while re-posing the question of what his full creative potential may be. Air Ni Ni once seemed like an open-closed answer to this; as things are, we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out…




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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2020


26511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Sea Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mog5DDWLDdc

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6t6nBXOiyR7Ng4o9wo40tK?si=H32Wlrv9SuS8by74M-psqQ

I've been in a slow place with reviews lately, so this is a little cursive and uninspired but since no-one else seemed likely to pounce on this, I thought whatever. It's under 30 mins, Hasegawa is a cool guy, these are cool covers of (from the ones I know) cool bands, go listen :]

Digging: Boris - NO

Gyromania
June 21st 2020


30068 Comments


good rev

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2020


26511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

thanks m'dude!

SteakByrnes
June 22nd 2020


19444 Comments


Hey JOHNNY nice review would I like this y/n also what is your pie of choice

Digging: Kaonashi - Why Did You Do It?

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2020


26511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

umm probably but check his other one if you haven't heard it, you'd defs dig and ig shepherd's pie or pecan pie depending how much I wanna feel like trash ex dee

SteakByrnes
June 22nd 2020


19444 Comments


Will do, and nice I'm a huge fan of a nice blueberry pie ya feel me

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2020


26511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

unfortunately do not feel you :[ blueberries won't leave me alone and i cannot deal

SteakByrnes
June 23rd 2020


19444 Comments


Damn it really be like that :[

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2020


26511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

i have tried i am sorry :[

GhostB1rd
June 23rd 2020


6273 Comments


What if I told you that blueberries are appreciated in Japanese culture?

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2020


26511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

if blueberries joined the ranks of the heaps of weird food appreciated in japanese cuisine i wouldn't look twice lol

Macaulay4real111
June 30th 2020


1 Comments


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