blues for one
Hisato Higuchi’s late-2004 debut EP, She, and this year’s Tokyo Flashback 5 contribution, “Cluster of Lights,” were ripples of a distinguished guitarist and singer preparing to roll in. 2004 11 2005 4, Higuchi’s full-length, issued on his own Ghost Disc label is the clarion beacon of his arrival. The six pieces, clocking in at 35 minutes, flicker from vibrant and barbed lines to haunting verbal aches. Info wise, not much has filtered through on Higuchi, though without doubt Loren MazzaCane Connors’ ghostly blues distillation is a direct reference – from creaking chairs and rustling of feet to a wavering cassette haze book ending each piece. Though the limber, dancing notes of cloudy guitar Higuchi coaxes from six-strings pours from deep within its own core. A slow-dance pace carries each meditation on its hovering path of melodic allegory.
Higuchi’s partial English/Japanese croon nears a smoky, after-hours call of loss. The vocals and corresponding guitar on “Hate” is where his form of nocturnal blues vibrates in its own discrete method. Nearly cajoling the notes with each purr, Higuchi settles back with a lingering procession of lone notes cascading one after the other. Joined by Sadafumi Suga (sampler) and Yoshihisa Suzuki (drums), on alternating tracks, the two refrain from the band role instead opting for a transparent layer on Higuchi’s canvas that dissolves into muted sine waves and snare tapping. While the first five pieces echo a hard pinned transcendent and hushed blues the final “Manazashi” roars into an engulfing feedback finale of Haino-proportions, that surely points to a new beginning.
Hisato Higuchi - Borei