Haruomi Hosono

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Before he was in YMO, he made some solo records. Is there any that you'd especially recommend?

Daniel, Monday, 19 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link


bob, Wednesday, 21 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

hey don't get us bobs mixed up now. i'd be interested to know about hosono & his happy end (not that godawful female beass band who went by the same name). fuck what that alan minter-face lopez woman has done to "firecracker" by YMO , though, i mean MOST pointless woman with a fat arse and a boxer's face in the world or what. faecal smearge on her part. whay can't she stay home instead of going to the studio with her lackeys?

bob snoom, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

three years pass...
Of his '70s albums, Bon Voyage Co., Tropical Dandy, Pacific, and Cochin Moon are all pretty great exotic pop albums. 'Hosono House,' his first album from 1973 is the only one that isn't very interesting. Overall, my favorite album of his is 'Omni Sight Seeing' from 1989, which Miharu Koshi plays on. It has a great Eastern (like Arab) vibe.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 03:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Miharu Koshi—a Hosono protege—is fantastic, I love all her 80s albums. Autoportrait is a good compilation.

I'd highly recommend Hosono's Monad Box, a collection of three of his instrumental and ambient records from the early 80s. My favourite of the discs included is Coincidental Music, which is short pieces made for advertising and promotional films. Sort of electronic Satie. Rather more delicate and strange than Sakamoto's work of the period.

Hosono's best solo song album is S-F-X, a Fairlight-heavy opus from 1984. There's a clip of one track here. And here are some pictures of Hosono, who's now a bit fatter, plays in Sketch Show, and runs the Daisyworld label.

Momus (Momus), Thursday, 12 May 2005 17:42 (seventeen years ago) link

I have Bon Voyage and Tropical Dandy and love them to death. (a friend of mine pointed out that a few tunes on these are practically randy newman progressions, which I never noticed). are the "tin pan alley" ones on par with those?

Unfortunately, getting any of this in the US is near impossible. the only other thing i've managed to track down (through dusty groove) was this bizarre early 80's record that he was apparently only partially involved with, which was a strange "top of the pops" sort of medley of about 15 60's-70's pop/disco standards and a few mediocre jazz-fusion originals.

b'angelo, Thursday, 12 May 2005 17:56 (seventeen years ago) link

I want to hear these albums very badly, especially Cochin Moon. They're close to impossible to find here.

'More delicate and strange' than early 80's Sakamoto is quite a teaser. Sakamoto's B-2 Unit and Esperanto are already fairly strange (if not delicate) records, but those were the odd ones out.

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 12 May 2005 18:01 (seventeen years ago) link

As a big YMO fan, who indeed hasn't indeed gotten to the bottom of their own back catalogue, are there any websites or articles that explains the YMO family tree and recommends any further listening?

mzui (mzui), Thursday, 12 May 2005 18:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Most of Hosono's albums are very easy to find in Japan, especially his '70s ones. The only one I own, though, is 'S-F-X'. But your best bet is www.cdjapan.co.jp I make a lot of orders from there.

I agree with Momus--Miharu Koshi is one of the greatest, most underrated Japanese artists of the '80s. She evolved from an insiginifant pop idol in the late '70s to a completely original synth-pop artist. Since the late '80s she's become a bit too idiosyncratic for my tastes ('Chanson Solaire' from '95 is probably her best from that era), but her albums are still beautifuI and I have the highest respect for her. She's due for a new album soon. I think 'Boy Soprano' from '85 is her best album--a perfect combination of her early synth-pop work and later chanson stuff. Unfortunately, her stuff is very hard to find, even in Japan. Her albums pop up on ebay, but they're always quite expensive. 'Boy Soprano' is probably the easiest to find.

One of my favorite Hosono-related bands is Chakra. They put out only three albums in the early '80s, and Hosono produced their second. They're all utterly essential exotic pop albums. Makoto Yano (Akiko Yano's first husband) produced their first album. The singer, Mishio Ogawa, put out four solo albums too, and they're also essential (especially her s/t). The last three were just reissued a few weeks ago actually, and I had never heard them beforehand. So I'm excited about those...they're very good.

Now that I'm talking about Japanese synth-pop, I'll make a few more recommendations. I recently discovered Taeko Onuki (or Ohnuki) and am completely in love. She started in the mid '70s, making more fusion-oriented pop albums, and then she teamed up with Ryuichi Sakamoto in the late '70s and started churning out one amazing pop album after the next. 'Adventure' (1981) is probably my favorite, but I have a lot that I've yet to hear!

Moon Riders are another of my favorites. They've been around since the '70s as well and, in my opinion, reached their peak in the early '80s with 'Mania Maniera' and 'Tokyo wa...'. They've spanned a lot of different style, but never put out a bad album.

Perhaps my favorite is Masami Tsuchiya's 'Rice Music' album (1982) and his follwing Ippu-Do album 'Night Mirage' (1983). Members of the band Japan assist on those two albums, as well as the fretless great Percy Jones. Bowie-esque vocals, experimental, angular guitar work (plus Bill Nelson doing his e-bow thing), completely out of control bass playing, steel drums, layers of synths, etc. Basically it's a hilariously awesome rhythm section with great songs too. I couldn't recommend these two albums more. It's too bad that 'Night Mirage' was never released on CD and 'Rice Music' is impossible to find on CD.....

Oh, and P-Model is another synth-pop great.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:13 (seventeen years ago) link

And, addressing that last question, these two sites are by far the best out there on Japanese synth-pop.



That second one appears to be currently down for some reason....

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:16 (seventeen years ago) link

I just listend to Cochin Moon today!

Dominique (dleone), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Hey Leone, I was going to send you an email earlier about how I appreciated you Wha-ha-ha review. In the review you said the singer goes by Mishio...well that's Mishio Ogawa that I was talking about up there. Check out Chakra! You should dig them. I much prefer them to Wha-ha-ha, who are a bit too off the wall for my tastes.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:42 (seventeen years ago) link

By the way, if anybody wants any of the stuff I recommended (or any other J synth-pop that I might have) just send me an email and I can hook you up.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:46 (seventeen years ago) link

I think I must do that

I love Wha-ha-ha

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 12 May 2005 20:27 (seventeen years ago) link

I still can't get over how those Wha-ha-ha albums are getting this much (though minute in the scheme of things) attention. I mean they're good, but they're just so obscure. I can think of so many things that should logically receive attention before those. I'm not criticizing anything, I just find it odd. Is there some connection to this band that I'm missing? Any non-Japanese players on it?

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 04:33 (seventeen years ago) link

ReR put out a Wha-ha-ha compilation in the 80s that exposed them to Westerners (albeit ones into avant-prog and experimental music). I haven't really seen a lot of other reviews for them, but I'm guessing that some people just remember that LP.

Also, apparently Mishio was in Killing Time, so I need to check her out.

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 13 May 2005 11:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Ah okay.

Yes, I've been looking for Killing Time for a long time. Please let me know if you get a hold of their stuff.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 11:38 (seventeen years ago) link

There's also an album by Love, Peace & Trance from the '90s. Mishio is "Trance," two women I'm unfamiliar with are the "Love" and "Peace" and Haruomi Hosono is the "&". The cover is kind of funny in that way. It's from '94 I think and kind of worldy...a bit more ambient too. Worth checking out.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 11:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Bon Voyage and Tropical Dandy thirded or whatever. yes the Randy Newman progressions, but they also remind me of James Taylor or something equally soft. which may be a compliment since Don Cornelius called him the funkiest white man ever.
and yes to Cochin Moon (placed it on my Pitchfork list of the 70s), but it's completely different. never familiarized myself with YMO though.

Beta (abeta), Friday, 13 May 2005 15:14 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, there is definitely a strange smooth singer/songwriter vibe to them- for some reason I kept thinking Van Morrison, but that might be more vocal style/phrasing than anything else. How would you characterize Cochin Moon as different? curious because it is one of the few things hypothetically US-available, albeit w/a $40+ price tag

b'angelo, Friday, 13 May 2005 15:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Cochin Moon is about the furthest possible thing from a singer-songwriter vibe: imagine a tropical space world where all matter flows in and out of states, and everyone uses Tangerine Dream's keyboards. "It's a trip."

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 13 May 2005 15:54 (seventeen years ago) link

sounds like a good place to be, then. Is that the one that tadanori yokoo had some sort of involvement with?

b'angelo, Friday, 13 May 2005 16:05 (seventeen years ago) link

yes, apparently the cover design was yokoo's. Check it out:


Dominique (dleone), Friday, 13 May 2005 16:11 (seventeen years ago) link

where do you find it for $40?

Beta (abeta), Friday, 13 May 2005 19:16 (seventeen years ago) link

making out a yesasia order for Cochin Moon todays. not sure whether to order the 2nd or 3rd album or a copy of S-F-X... are the 2nd and 3rd albums very similar to the first?

Patrick; Dleone's correct about the ReR connection, I grew up as a Recommended Records fanboy, buying anything they'd put out... Though I didn't finally hear Wha-Ha-Ha until researching backwards from the first Haniwa All-Stars record, which blew my mind in the early 90's. My interest in Senba's early Haniwa records & Wha-Ha-Ha is precisely because they're so eccentric & hard to figure out. I don't imagine they're particularly representative of early 80's JPop.

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 13 May 2005 19:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Milton, I NEED those Haniwa albums!! Is there any way I can get a hold of those from you? Please let me know. I can hook you up with the Chakra albums or whatever else you need.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:19 (seventeen years ago) link

milton.parker@gmail.com -- I've got all four of them and would love to trade for Chakra, solo Mishio, anything else

the yesasia site is listing this album in hosono searches, the title is killing me... have you heard it?


milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes, I have that one. Though it's probably not as "bizarre" as you'd think. Moon Riders are fairly accessible by our standards. Their earlier albums are superior in my opinion. I'm a huge fan, and have most of their albums ('Amateur Academy' from 1984 is the one I really need). I'll email you.

The easiest way for me to get this stuff to you is through Soulseek. My name on their is Magazine, so message me if you use that program. The only other way I can think of is YSI, which will take a little while (though it's not too much trouble really).

B'angelo has some requests too. Whatever you guys request, I'll get it to you some time this weekend (or now if you have slsk).

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Basically, the ideal music for me is early '80s exotic Japanese synth-pop with fretless bass and steel drums.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Cochin Moon recently has been reissued on CD in Japan. When I was in Tokyo in April, Tower had at least a half dozen copies. Don't sleep--this is an all-time classic of next-level exotica, abounding with bizarre synth tones and textures.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Saturday, 14 May 2005 00:04 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...
Has he done any more stuff along the lines of SFX? I enjoyed that very much...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 17 June 2005 17:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Reissue of Cochin Moon sounds great btw.

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 17 June 2005 18:52 (seventeen years ago) link

still need to hear SFX, but thanks again to patrick for setting me up with that massive trade.

Cochin Moon, way closer to mid-70's Cluster than I would have ever expected (though I do prefer Cluster). A surprise, even given Dominque's Tangerine Dream reference -- definitely in the 70's trance/synth records pantheon.

Bon Voyage & Tropical Dandy much more tin-pan-alley than electronic, but Paraiso is off-kilter, lays the way out for the first YMO. Omni Sight Seeing, thumbs up if you like late YMO. I like Hosono's solo mainstream pop records much more than Sakamoto's, no contest.

Miharu Koshi's Boy Soprano, wow.

And the Mishio Ogawa & Chakra stuff is eye-opening after a lifetime of Haniwa fandom. Chakra's much more straightforward / less quirky, but I'm very happy just to be able to place Haniwa in context with, well, _anything_.

Boy Soprano, the Mishio Ogawa debut, & Cochin Moon are the three I ordered online after hearing the mp3's.

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 17 June 2005 20:18 (seventeen years ago) link

five months pass...
Cochin Moon is very enjoyable -- if not particularly immediate, which makes it perhaps a little odd how universally admired it appears to be (Best of the 70's lists and all). I confess it only really impacted me when I went through a heavy analog phase. Also, I'm only hearing the early Cluster '71 in the "Malabar Hotel" sections, really -- I do enjoy how mutilated all the vocals are, however...

Am I correct that this has Sakamoto on it?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 21 November 2005 03:11 (seventeen years ago) link


Dominique (dleone), Monday, 21 November 2005 15:58 (seventeen years ago) link

I did eventually get S-F-X, and I like it okay -- side one is his tin-pan-alley songwriting poured into super clunky mid-80's j-electro, and side two are abstract quiet instrumentals. 'Alternative 3' is a very disjointed cut-up track that sounds like where Holger Hiller ended up on As Is about six years later, and 'Androgena' is a duet with Miharu Koshi and I heart Miharu Koshi.

I dunno though... even though his pop is weirder than Sakamoto's, Sakamoto's pure experimental albums (B-2 Unit & Esperanto) are 1000% more bizarre and advanced than Hosono's, those albums are timeless.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 21 November 2005 23:06 (seventeen years ago) link

First time I heard Cochin Moon was while tripping on acid with members of Vas Deferens Organization. I wish I could freeze that moment in time forever; it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. I owe those guys a huge debt of gratitude for introducing me to that album and many other obscure psychedelic classics.

original plagiarist, Tuesday, 22 November 2005 01:47 (seventeen years ago) link

hey dominique


(this should probably go on the noise board's wha-ha-ha thread but too late)

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 01:43 (seventeen years ago) link

oh hell they deserve their own thread anyways

Kiyohiko Senba and his Haniwa All Stars

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 02:19 (seventeen years ago) link

SFX has some fantastic Fairlight stuff on it, though. And enough listens to Cochin Moon have at least motivated me to think he's every bit as advanced/sophisticated/whatever as Sakamoto.

BTW, what exactly did Andy Partridge do on B-2 Unit?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 28 November 2005 02:34 (seventeen years ago) link

definitely the rhythm guitar on "6 o'clock News", and there are other little plucks & screeches on other tracks that could be him, maybe. If you listen to the Mr. Partridge Take Away solo album from around the same time you can hear his basic vocabulary of weird guitar sounds

I dunno Matthew, you heard Esperanto?

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 03:02 (seventeen years ago) link

r. stevie moore's 1980 review of take away

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 03:09 (seventeen years ago) link

definitely the rhythm guitar on "6 o'clock News"

You mean that electric guitar in the right-channel that's barely audible and sounds as if it's unplugged? If so, that's...odd.

I dunno Matthew, you heard Esperanto?

Most of it — I just re-listened again this morning (have about 6 tracks downloaded). Assuming they aren't remixes, I'd say it's good but no B-2 Unit — lots mallet-y textures and ambience. But if you think I'm missing something, maybe I should re-download to verify that I'm listening to the right tracks.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 28 November 2005 16:58 (seventeen years ago) link

First time I heard Cochin Moon was while tripping on acid with members of Vas Deferens Organization

ha, I first heard it with "members of the Vas Deferens Organization" too. My member was Eric

news you can use: japanese CDs are too damned expensive

Dominique (dleone), Monday, 28 November 2005 18:51 (seventeen years ago) link

track 1 of Esperanto should be called "a WONGGA dance song" and it's anything but ambient...

I am beginning to miss the days when people were relatively certain they were talking about the same record. A few days ago at a dinner party someone put on something interesting, and when I asked what it was he said it was the new Boards of Canada. He didn't believe me when I told him that it wasn't, he just brought over to his iPod to show me the tags.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 19:30 (seventeen years ago) link

brought me over etc. & I know you're not like that Matthew, I'm just feeling ancient

I put on Omni Sight Seeing last night, that is definitely my favorite Hosono pop album, every song...

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 19:35 (seventeen years ago) link

First time I heard Cochin Moon was while tripping on acid with members of Vas Deferens Organization

And I first read that as "tripping on acid with members of Van Der Graaf Generator.

I am beginning to miss the days when people were relatively certain they were talking about the same record.

No kidding — but I think Dom's "news you can use" is the culprit in this instance. And actually, that's one of the 2 tracks I don't have. Still, p2p's are great for finding rarities...

Is there a good Hosono comp, btw?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 28 November 2005 20:26 (seventeen years ago) link

ha, I first heard it with "members of the Vas Deferens Organization" too. My member was Eric

I had both Matt and Eric in the room, with running commentary and interpretive facial expressions. THAT is a proper introduction to Cochin Moon, let me tell you.

original plagiarist (Da ve Segal), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 04:50 (seventeen years ago) link

BTW, Jon -- since it was on a separate EP that was only added to CD issues of SFX, have you heard the Hosono track "Non-Standard Mixture"? Just askin', b/c it's a great little Fairlight jam, me thinks -- not the clunky electro to which you referred above...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 01:16 (seventeen years ago) link

to the YSI machine then!

Beta (abeta), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 02:21 (seventeen years ago) link

in case the two auto-generated vids i posted above are blocked outside of japan, here they are again. song is "hashire usagi" ("run rabbit") recorded by yuko kanai and miharu koshi respectively


missingNO, Monday, 18 October 2021 03:37 (one year ago) link

i was unaware of the yuko kanai version... it's great.

visiting, Monday, 18 October 2021 03:43 (one year ago) link

still think sandii's "zoot kook" is hosono's most impressive outside production job. so advanced with that sinuous, proto-acid synth sequence ... such a ridiculously lush chorus to boot


missingNO, Monday, 18 October 2021 03:47 (one year ago) link

love the amorphous synth clouds that levitate the final chorus ... so glorious. he's listed in the credits so i'm guessing this part was played by sakamoto on the prophet 5 as it has that dense, detuned ensemble chorus quality he was fond of at the time

missingNO, Monday, 18 October 2021 04:19 (one year ago) link

Has anyone heard the unreleased album he produced for Dynasty singer Linda Carriere in 1977? I just found out this exists, and it's kind of blowing my mind. Songs by Hosono, Tatsuro Yamashita, Minako Yoshida, Akiko Yano, and Hiroshi Sato. I can only find three full songs from it on YouTube and nothing on Soulseek, so if anyone has a rip of this let me know.

The songs I've heard sound a lot like the city pop of that period (e.g. Yamashita's SPACY and Go Ahead), though the marimba on "Laid Back Mad Or Mellow" nods to Hosono's exotica stuff. Apparently it wasn't released because the record execs thought the vocals were weak, and it looks like a demo copy was sold once on Discogs for $2,000. It's true the vocals aren't the greatest I've heard, but the production is sick.



J. Sam, Monday, 18 October 2021 16:11 (one year ago) link

if you're interested in HH's work writing and producing other artists, this massive boxset compiles a ton of it:


it's not comprehensive - there are some Jun Togawa tracks he wrote that don't appear here, and god knows what else. it is a near-endless source of treasure though. several of these tracks I've encountered in the wild and thought "it's gotta be him", idk what it is exactly but both his melodic and rhythmic sense are very recognizable to me

frogbs, Monday, 18 October 2021 17:32 (one year ago) link

god knows what else

Includes 144 page book with additional info including a list of all(most?) songs written by Haruomi Hosono prior to 2009.

Kim Kimberly, Monday, 18 October 2021 17:40 (one year ago) link

I’m surprised no sandii albums have been reissued recently afaik

brimstead, Monday, 18 October 2021 18:55 (one year ago) link

co-signing "Zoot Kook", hard to believe that predates Computer World even

afaik the "lost" YMO track "Indo" also surfaces on that Sandii album, can't remember what it is though

feels like an album that ought to be re-evaluated soon

frogbs, Monday, 18 October 2021 19:08 (one year ago) link

Zoot Kook is song of the day, pass the word

typo hell 13: crypto in insidious, though (Karl Malone), Monday, 18 October 2021 20:50 (one year ago) link

i can't get to the rest of the album because i keep listening to Zoot Kook, the song of the day, on repeat

typo hell 13: crypto in insidious, though (Karl Malone), Monday, 18 October 2021 20:52 (one year ago) link

hah, I've had the same experience

found this idol knock off of it recently, it's pretty blatant


(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Monday, 18 October 2021 23:07 (one year ago) link

spinning Medicine Comp tonight, such an incredible and chill record. its music for the sensory deprivation tank. it sounds quite unique as this New Age/Enigma stuff is the one electronica movement that's never really had a resurgence - it's always been so terminally uncool - so when someone does it well, it almost feels like unexplored territory. that said the more you listen the more you hear Hosono's fingerprints, in fact it was probably the most natural direction for him to go in at that time

frogbs, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 03:11 (one year ago) link

that one took off for me recently, beautiful stuff

brimstead, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 03:57 (one year ago) link

i can't get to the rest of the album because i keep listening to Zoot Kook, the song of the day, on repeat

― typo hell 13: crypto in insidious, though (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 19 October 2021 05:52 (eight hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

honestly the rest of the album is just ... ok. it has a nice version of yukihiro takahashi's "drip dry eyes"! idk i feel like many of the ymo affiliated albums usually have one or two really stand out tracks and then a lot of filler, likely an unavoidable consequence of being so prolific at the time. like masami tsuchiya's rice music for example, it has sakamoto's incredible "kafka" but the rest of the album is disappointing given the calibre of the supporting musicians (night mirage by ippu-do [tsuchiya's main project] fares a bit better in this regard)

frogbs, supposedly the tracks "shantith" and "oinori" are versions/interpolations of "indo"

missingNO, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 05:39 (one year ago) link

underrated masterpiece of early-80s outside ymo productions: mari iijima's rosé, produced by sakamoto in 1983. it's pure, unadulterated, exuberant city pop / boogie (of the kind that's not necessarily to every ymo fan's taste) but the chord sequences and arrangements are so good

missingNO, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 05:58 (one year ago) link

Yeah Rosé is a good album.

Kim Kimberly, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 06:25 (one year ago) link

back to hosono, i love this live tv footage from 1983 of him performing w/ seiko matsuda, briefly demonstrating his linn drum, mc-8 and prophet 5 setup


missingNO, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 06:35 (one year ago) link

I don't think Medicine Comp is his best album, but it's the one I come back to most often I think. It just "fits" into so many listening situations.

I'm currently fascinated by his late-90s/early-00s "electronica" period - where he moved to laptop production and basically sounded as contemporary as any other glitch producers. Obviously there's the Sketch Show albums, but there's a whole string of collabs/compilations I don't really know anything about. I adore his super glitched-out Coldcut remix, shame that one isn't more widely available.

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 08:53 (one year ago) link

yea everything gets pretty messy after Medicine Comp. I remember there was one called Good Sport which was like a 90's version of Coincidental Music. should really revisit that one since I recall it being quite good. it was a soundtrack he did to some sporting event.

both Sketch Show albums are wonderful but I really like Loophole. its got such a vivid "staring at the stars on a warm day" sort of feeling to it. I actually think Takahashi is more responsible for the sound & songwriting but Harry's trademarks are totally there.

one more thing - I decided to try to track down some of the Kankyo Ongaku artists and found this (quite good!) LP for very cheap. lo and behold, look who's credited as producer.


frogbs, Thursday, 21 October 2021 03:01 (one year ago) link

yeah that interior album is definitely worth a listen, originally released on hosono and takahashi's yen records imprint in 1982. i especially love the first track "technobose"

inoyama land's danzindan-pojidon is another good hosono produced instrumental/ambient album from that period (also published on yen records)

missingNO, Thursday, 21 October 2021 04:27 (one year ago) link

also testpattern's après-midi, another hosono produced yen record's release from the same period, is wonderful, a bit more straight-up techno-pop but certainly with some hosono-esque ambient elements

as an aside, i never checked until now but resellers are really having a laugh with some of the prices of this stuff on discogs huh

missingNO, Thursday, 21 October 2021 04:37 (one year ago) link

(ugh please disregard the errant apostrophe in yen records above)

missingNO, Thursday, 21 October 2021 05:36 (one year ago) link

Those two Yen box sets (Yen Box 1&2) are pretty essential as a way to plot a path through the YMO Extended Universe, they take in both the Kankyu Ongaku stuff through the more pop and new wavey albums.

I really like the Interior album. The Windham Hill reissue (which has a slightly different track list) was quite cheap, at least up until recently.

bamboohouses, Thursday, 21 October 2021 07:05 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

My Swing Slow arrived today. It took 3 days to get from Tokyo to Glasgow (5700 miles). Recently mail has been taking longer than that to get from Ediburgh to Glasgow (50 miles).

Anyway, that is by the by.

No obi on the Swing Slow but packaging, sleeve quality and vinyl pressing are exemplary. I've seen a few grumblings over the fact that it has been remixed but i'm enjoying it just as much in this (subtle new) mix as the original.

stirmonster, Thursday, 30 December 2021 22:00 (one year ago) link


stirmonster, Thursday, 30 December 2021 22:00 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

lol @ this Twitter thread. guess the "4th member" of YMO is not Matsutake but rather the dude who handed Hosono a tainted joint

How A Single Bad Drug Trip Led to Japanese Technopop 🧵

In the early 1970s, bassist Haruomi Hosono of the band Happy End was jamming with his friends at a Tokyo studio, when someone passed around a joint. Hosono thought it would be very cool to take a double-sized hit. pic.twitter.com/sFXTEsulCI

— W. David Marx (@wdavidmarx) February 9, 2022

frogbs, Thursday, 10 February 2022 13:49 (eleven months ago) link

I wish Marxy would write a book about them, then another about the era in general, he's more than capable.

Maresn3st, Thursday, 10 February 2022 14:07 (eleven months ago) link

three months pass...

Wtf, I love this kid

Harry Styles saying “Haruomi Hosono” on the Today Show pic.twitter.com/EV7tQIOJ4p

— Light In The Attic (@lightintheattic) May 19, 2022

frogbs, Thursday, 19 May 2022 22:47 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

after getting to know the original a bit better I've started to realize that Hochono House is a hell of an accomplishment

the original has this indescribable vibe - there's something extraordinarily chill and comforting about it. you feel like you were in the room where it was recorded. it's become a cult classic for that reason. a lotta people write things about it like "I don't know why this album is special but it just is". I think it actually fits in that confusing thread I made about debut albums last week.

anyway, the new version changes up pretty much everything - it's all re-recorded and most of the songs are done in a very different way - but somehow that vibe is still there. so it winds up being the rare remix album that works basically the same as the original. idk if I've ever heard anyone quite pull that off before.

frogbs, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 03:46 (seven months ago) link

good post. hochono house is really something special. it deepened my love for hosono house and is of a piece with it, but is totally it's own special thing

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 22 June 2022 04:05 (seven months ago) link

yeh good post frogbs

nxd, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:55 (seven months ago) link

ha! Hochono House in reverse order of Hosono House, starting with a new version of the final track from Hosono and working its way back to the opener? that's great. :) it also creates ideal conditions to listen to Hosono House and Hochono house on repeat - it'll take you all the way to the final track, make you feel psychedelic and then bring you back to the beginning again

Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 16:01 (seven months ago) link

it hits you with that "Yellow Mario" right away

frogbs, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 17:12 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...


MaresNest, Monday, 11 July 2022 09:23 (six months ago) link

four months pass...

I’ve never spent much time with Hosono House before. Man, Choo Choo Gatagoto sounds like a dead ringer for Van Dyke Parks’ cover of Toussaint’s Ocapella from Discover America – from the groove to the languid vocal to (almost) the melody. Wild.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 14 November 2022 12:47 (two months ago) link

(And I know they worked together on the relatively contemporaneous Happy End, it still just doesn’t 100% register until I hear this)

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 14 November 2022 12:59 (two months ago) link

not familiar with much else but Hosono House rules

corrs unplugged, Monday, 14 November 2022 14:43 (two months ago) link

It does. And honestly, it's weird that it wasn't produced by VDP because, well, it sounds exactly like the Japanese version of him. And the Happy End album doesn't really?

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 14 November 2022 15:17 (two months ago) link

he did do an interview about this:


With Happy End, you ended up recording an album in America. Can you talk about that experience? Was that the first time you had been to America?


Right. It was 1973, or perhaps 1972. I don’t exactly recall when. In LA, California, there is a famous studio called Sunset Sound where we recorded Happy End’s third album. I don’t know how we got there. Someone arranged it for us, I guess. Suddenly Van Dyke Parks visited the studio. He’s a great musician. He was with Lowell George, the guitarist from group Little Feat. They came in, and we got caught up in their pace. That was a really new experience for us. For example, their recording method was very western. It was very layered, let’s say. We learned that method. Before that our style was flat, like Japanese picture scrolls. We hadn’t thought about depth. We learned that from Parks.


Van Dyke Parks, you’ve spoken about his impact on you and in meeting him. It seems like he is quite a character.


He was really a crazy man. He was high when we first met. I wanted to stay away from him. I didn’t like him. He first gave a speech in the middle of the studio, like a monologue. It was about the Japanese emperor. We were so puzzled – who is this guy? That was about when we first met. I met him again when he was sober. He was nice. We are still friends. I like him a lot.

frogbs, Monday, 14 November 2022 15:38 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

finally got the Swing Slow reissue. it's an excellent album and I love that it too seems to have been given a new life by the YouTube algorithm. it's kind of the ultimate Hosono album. it's folky, it's electronic, it's gorgeous, it's kind of minimal, it's vintage yet cutting edge, it has weird unexpected dance breakdowns, and it's steeped largely in (and covers songs from) a genre that the vast majority of his audience wasn't around for. and it's really confounding, so many little "why did you do it this way" moments. and it has an ambient interlude that's so pretty it hurts.

frogbs, Thursday, 19 January 2023 03:50 (two weeks ago) link

bonus tracks are great too! check this out, maybe the creepiest thing I've ever heard him do. no way this is from '96, right?


also includes another, much slower cover of "Caravan", which sounds less electronic but still as mechanical. also something unsettling about that one...

frogbs, Thursday, 19 January 2023 04:21 (two weeks ago) link

the vinyl version is so beautifully done and is maybe the best sounding record i bought last year. has become one of my very favourite hosono releases.

stirmonster, Thursday, 19 January 2023 11:45 (two weeks ago) link

the reissues last year of Omni Sight Seeing & Medicine Comp also sound incredible, kinda restored my faith in the idea that a well-done pressing can blow away even a well-encoded MP3

curious why people don't seem to like the remix though (at least based on random Discogs comments) - I feel like most of the differences are subtle and the 'upgrade' to the beats makes it sound a bit less 90's which I think is probably a good thing. it's got sort of a 3-D sound to it but not in a hollowed out way. I think it's really good.

frogbs, Thursday, 19 January 2023 14:49 (two weeks ago) link

i just read those discogs comments and wholeheartedly disagree. the remixing is very subtle and yes does indeed, 'upgrade' the beats, especially during that incredible percussion part of disappeared.

stirmonster, Thursday, 19 January 2023 18:56 (two weeks ago) link

I'm a late arrival but YMO and Hosono have hit me over the last year or so. They simultaneously scratch and create an itch.
Anyway I looked in the NTS archives bcz why not and there's a 15 hour Hosono day from 2017 that I haven't seen mentioned here, so that's what I've been doing while/instead of working this week.

woof, Thursday, 19 January 2023 22:14 (two weeks ago) link

One for frogbs


MaresNest, Tuesday, 31 January 2023 15:26 (five days ago) link

Oh wow that is interesting!! so as you probably know I absolutely love the Nokto de la Galaskia Fervojo soundtrack and have always wondered whether Harry is actually playing piano on it or if it's Miharu Koshi. I've actually never seen him play piano before. I'm still not sure if it's him, his playing here seems stilted a bit though maybe he's just putting a spin on it. There isn't much video of Koshi playing either but the little bits I found she certainly seems more nimble, so I assume it's probably her on that album, and then Hosono on the Coincidental Music version?

frogbs, Tuesday, 31 January 2023 15:36 (five days ago) link

It says in the info something like this was the first time he played solo piano on TV and he was nervous, he's certainly picking up and putting down the beat a lot.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 31 January 2023 15:43 (five days ago) link

And this was '85 when Coincidental Music came out, so I guess it was him. No idea about Koshi playing on the soundtrack version.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 31 January 2023 15:46 (five days ago) link

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