Boomkat Product Review:
More of the good stuff from Youth and the return of Tokyo’s Hoshina Anniversary with a properly strong second release for the label. This one’s more fluid and atmospheric than its predecessor, deploying retro-futuristic synthscapes in the mould of classic YMO/Sakamoto but framed around crushed algorithmic dynamics.
If Nihon No Ongaku was all about gunky rhythms and psychoactive electronics, this one’s about atmospherics in the mould of classic late 80’s Japanese New Wave - and especially Sakamoto’s peerless Left Handed Dream, as well as Anthony Manning’s classic work for Irdial and the more percolated/ambient side of Veiculo-era To Rococo Rot.
We’re not gonna lie, 'Left Handed Dream’ is our favourite Sakamoto album, and 五七五七七 seems very much built in its image - a quietly organic take on futurism that makes use of wildlife and found sounds alongside brittle and fizzing synths as part of its dreamlike world-building. That vibe is most evident on the opening Iwa Utsi Nami, on Shinobaremu and the woodwind-heavy Ryuushouten, but there are also loose and startling tangents; such as the sudden Mentasm breakdown on Tokyo Geijutsu Sai which arrives with a sudden and unexpected jolt.
But yeah - trust that if you’re into that 'Left Handed Dream’ vibe, this one will push a lot of the same buttons for you - and if you don't know that album, check it out pronto and then swerve back to this one for a worthy accompaniment.