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Boomkat Product Review:
Hako Yamasaki's extraordinary 1975 debut album 'Tobimasu' gets a long-overdue reissue - properly crucial psychedelic folk pop for anyone into Sibylle Baier, Linda Perhacs or Bridget St. John.
Yamasaki had only just graduated high school when she released 'Tobimasu' on one of Japan's first independent record labels, Elec Records. She immediately attracted attention for her blue-hued folk, and released over 20 albums between 1975 and 1996, moonlighting as an actress, but the secret to her success is more complex than it seems. Yamasaki's painful songs came from a woman's perspective at a time when feminism was gaining traction in Japan, and her voice added an air of nostalgia to progressive ideas.
'Tobimasu' has finally been remastered and repackaged by the ace WRWTFWW imprint, who have bundled it with original artwork - and the label has also re-issued the album's acclaimed follow-up 'Tsunawatari'. Light-headed and whimsical, Yamasaki's debut is a precocious memory of lost love and broken dreams that's rendered with heartbreaking accuracy. It's hard to believe that at 18 years old she was able to impart so much emotion from just her voice, but the album still sounds like little else - resonating well with the experimental psych-folk of the era. Recommended.