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Go Hirano - Corridor of Daylights

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Artist: Go Hirano

Album: Corridor of Daylights

Label: PSF

Review date: Apr. 18, 2005

Word has it that Japanese musician Go Hirano once worked with psych-rock revivalists White Heaven. That is a surprising discovery, as Hirano’s music diverges wildly from White Heaven’s starburst rock. Hirano’s first album, 1993’s Distance, evoked the laminar drones of outfits like Organum, and his subsequent recordings have revolved around bucolic meanderings and whispered wisdom far removed from the volume overload of Japanese underground rock.

Many of the songs and instrumentals collated on Corridor of Daylights are based around pellucid piano wanderings. Hirano’s melancholy from a child’s clutch of notes sometimes brings Harold Budd to mind, but he is closer in spirit to other Japanese artists like Tori and Reiko Kudo of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, with whom he also shares a love of chance elements and open systems. When he sings along to his tiny melody spools, as on “Windy Shores” and “Heartstone,” Hirano sounds as though he’s using his voice to will the songs into being, following the refrain to map his way through the internal logic of his own compositions. When he turns to windchimes, bells and thumb piano, Hirano imbues his aleatory, drifting improvisations with a benevolent glow. These works are oddly reminiscent of the solo recordings of Limpe Fuchs from Anima-Sound.

Go Hirano’s music is possessed of a great fragility. It often borders on the limpid, and occasionally veers too close to tweeness. Yet it takes a great deal of dedication, and a stoic belief in one’s creative impulses, to create a music so unendingly frail it could dissolve like sugar-glass at any moment. Therein lays the success of Corridor of Daylights: the translation of internal obstinacy into music of brittle candor.

By Jon Dale

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