Hakobune (Takahiro Yorifuji) from Kyoto in Japan returns to the Hibernate label with this new album after his earlier 3″ CDr release “Isohel” in 2009.  His previous works released since 2007 on labels such as U-Cover, Symbolic Interaction, Waterscape Install and his own label, Tobira Records, all revolve around the intricate layering of heavily effected guitars to create carefully honed ambient and experimental soundscapes.   

The label blurb for the release mentions that all six tracks were recorded in just five days between 28th November and December 2nd 2010. This kind of brash statement always seems risky to me because it could give the potential buyer the impression that little thought went into the creation of the music and that it was knocked out really fast for a quick release. Fortunately Hakobune has the talent to back up that swaggering remark and none of the finished pieces give the impression of a cursory attention to detail.

The improvised guitar performances on these tracks have been run through a series of effects units and then finally recorded to a multi-track tape recorder. Everything you hear apparently originates from guitar sounds which is quite remarkable given the range of sonic textures on display here.

Throughout Away from the Lunar Waters guitars skitter, jangle, hum, rasp and shimmer away over varying background drones. Melody is buried deep and sparse amongst the ambient layers, but does occasionally break through. The longest track on the album “The Flickering Suns” just really works on every level for me with glittering constellations of guitar dusted notes suspended on a background of throbbing bowed drones that envelop then fade to reveal more sustained strings and lighter resonances at the end – a beautiful piece! 

This was a great way to start the reviewing year and I am sure this release will be a great success for Hibernate and Hakobune as they re-unite once more. 

Hakobune: Away from the Lunar Waters. Hibernate Records HB24. Released February 2011 in a limited edition of 200 CD’s and as digital download. 

Hibernate: http://www.hibernate-recs.co.uk/releases/hb24/hb24.html

Hakobune – Myspace http://www.myspace.com/hakobunemusic