Review

Minoru Fushimi

Hakodate Lady

Left Ear • 2020

There are writers’ writers, those authors whose work is really only exciting for other authors. This makes it perhaps not far-fetched to write about artists’ artists at this point and place the Japanese Minoru Fushimi in this category. In general, with four albums and smaller releases, his body of work remains manageable. The most important part of his discography is the single »Hakodate Lady«, on which he mixes funk with Japan’s musical tradition. The two tracks from 1983 captivate with their irresistible groove, relaxed beat and synthesisers. Recorded in his home studio, the B-side »Hone Made Aishite (Love Me To The Bone)« in particular still exudes a gritty lo-fi charm. Here and there a few set pieces of guitar melody, plus a few strange effects. The press release for the reissue on Left Ear naturally contains a few mental superstructures that place »Hakodate Lady« in a larger context. As part of a musical development, the single is exciting and wins over with its strong eccentricity for Western ears. The songs have probably long been included on one or two aficionados’ mixtapes on the history of funk in Japan. For musicians who are looking for exciting samples, the reissue is also a good choice. The rest can risk a listen if they want something unusual to come out of their speakers. In any case, this record is more than suitable for developing one’s own taste.