»Discourses of the Vanishing« is the title of a groundbreaking book by the US anthropologist Marilyn Ivy that explored how the ghosts of the past continued to haunt Japan in the mid-1990s. With his debut »Kwaidan / 怪談,« Daisuke Fujita seemed to cast this dichotomy in radio play-like form some two decades later, allowing tradition and modernity to flow into one another. The follow-up LP »Komachi« picked up on this in 2019 and established him as one of the most idiosyncratic producers of his time. It seemed like he had almost accidentally found the middle ground between two major trends of the time: On the one hand, »Komachi« is indebted to Kankyō Ongaku, the Japanese environmental and ambient music of the 1980s, while on the other hand, it makes stylistic concessions to the lo-fi beat trend of mid and late 2010s. Fujita managed to sow the past and the present together in various ways and in this respect, the twelve pieces are probably to be understood as sonic fictions that capture his search for the »lost Japanese mood« in an equally abstract and concrete way. The music bubbles and crackles, isolated melodies hang on the horizon like faded memories. At the same time, however, the tracks are marked by subtle rhythms or even basic beats that lend structure and a certain tempo to their indulgent, spectral atmosphere—as markers of a progress that constructs itself out of retrospection. »Komachi« is a wordless discourse of the vanishing that remains enigmatic at all times.
Komachi 2023 Repress