Review

Haruomi Hosono

N.D.E.

Rush Hour • 1995

The fact that Haruomi Hosono is best known as a co-founder of the Yellow Magic Orchestra does a slight injustice to his solo work. Records have been regularly released under his name since the seventies, sometimes several in one year. »N.D.E.« from 1995 was originally available on CD only, but now a complete vinyl edition is being released for the first time. A late tribute to an adventurous journey between ambient, tribal sounds and the occasional foray into techno. Right from the start, »Spinning Spirits« sets the tone with contrasting Indian percussion and sharper electronic frequencies. The noisy dub track »Teaching of Sphinx«, created in collaboration with producer François Kevorkian, also successfully blends the soft with the rough. Then there is the electronic easy listening exoticism of the relaxed and flowing yet beautifully playful »Heliotherapy«, with its up and down floating sounds. It goes far beyond that with the sitar-like effects and otherwise ethnic floating sounds on »Edge of the End«, co-produced by Bill Laswell. The equally ambient-loving saxophonist Yasusaki Shimizu also appears on »N.D.E.«. This is a record bursting with sonic oddities, held together by Hosono’s sure pulse and sense of wonderfully idiosyncratic groove.