Toshiyuki Hiraoka: Waterphone II (Edgetone Records, 2021)

March 23, 2021 at 11:43 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Toshiyuki Hiraoka: Waterphone II

Horror movie soundtrack composer and experimental music veteran has utilized the waterphone in his film scores, and this is his second studio album created with the unique instrument. To be honest, most of the films he’s worked on look pretty terrible, but this album sounds incredible. With the help from some electronics, he gets lots of bizarre, vaporous sounds from these instruments, sometimes resembling melodic feedback, even eerily approaching the human voice at times. It’s easy to hear how these tones could be used in scary/creepy movies, but they work fascinatingly well on their own. Only a few moments sound close to drumming, like “Reason”, and several tracks have rhythms produced with looping devices. The definite highlight is “Nothing”, which just sings out and stays in my head long after I’m done listening. “Maboroshi” has textures that sound like a weightless grime track. The album flashes its way into the void with the brief “Dethaw”. Marvelous work.

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