Text by CLOT Magazine
The 12th Mixtape brings Hoshina Anniversary with his mix Session 2.0, a rework of his most recent album, Odoriko, released on Alien Jams, the independent record label run by Chloe Frieda. Based in Tokyo, Hoshina Anniversary has been producing house and techno for the last five years, releasing on labels such as Turbo, Octopus, and Boys Noize Records. His style mixes experimental sounds using elements of rock and pops into his productions.
The Japanese producer debuted on Alien Jams last month with a 7-track-long album Odoriko. Referencing the archipelago in Miyagi prefecture, the Tokyo-based producer presents a cluster of visually harmonious symbols: Japanese gravestones, foam and tethered objects pieced together with minimal electronics and traditional Japanese instruments. The grouping and intricate arrangement of these motifs results in a measured dynamic atmosphere throughout the album, balancing creative sound design with effortless flow while conveying a range of emotions that tell a captivating story as the album unfolds across the 7 tracks.
Hoshina Anniversary didn’t want to make a normal mix for this mixtape. As a producer, he wanted to use his own tracks or remake them. So he ended up remaking all the tracks of the Odoriko album with the idea being that if you listen to the album first and then listen to this mixtape, it will be experienced and enjoyed in a new way.
Hosina Anniversary shares that probably this idea was inspired by Sting or Miles Davis: When I was a student, I watched Sting’s live on TV, his jam session with Vinnie Colaiuta etc, took his original tracks another dimension.
Of course, Miles Davis & musicians with him (Tony Williams & Chick Corea etc.) played his tracks creatively; there is so many difference between the first and the second session.
He also found inspiration listening to Soulwax Nite Versions. It’s creative and very inspiring. While working on this mixtape, he says he remade some tracks of Odoriko like jam sessions with other artists: For example, “Buraikan” (from18:20), I feel like I played a session with Chick Corea & Gary Burton, or with Steve Reich. On the other hand, the first 8 minutes are a mashup of “Odoriko” & “Sagarifuji”. I really enjoyed making this mixtape, and hope you’ll enjoy it.
Your last album, Odoriko at Alien Jams, is a cluster of visually harmonious symbols: Japanese gravestones, foam, and tethered objects pieced together with minimal electronics and traditional Japanese instruments. What memories or needs triggered these compositions?
Since last year, I have been making e-tracks with Japanese titles and traditional Japanese instruments… “Because I’m Japanese”. But the “because I’m Japanese…” line…has had a negative connotation and implications for me since I started releasing music around 2012.
There are so so many negative aspects in my country toward locals. I’ve had issues supporting main DJ acts because being from Japan. If I were American or English… (or playing in clubs in NY or London), it all would be OK… but “Because I’m Japanese” or This is Tokyo, then seems to have a local act, it’s not something desired.
I released so many tracks on so many good labels in Europe etc, but it feels like I’m just a useless local DJ in Tokyo. And it feels I’m discriminated by Japanese people because I’m a Japanese DJ/Producer…
Maybe I overthink it too much… someone in another country said to me: it’s exactly the same story in my country. First, you need to release and to play outside your country and only after it you will get respect in your country.“
And then, I decided to turn “Because I’m Japanese” into a positive phrase. There is so much boring & too easy music with Techno + Japanese instruments… I hate them, lol.
So I want to show the possibility of making tracks with traditional Japanese instruments, I want to make music with traditional Japanese instruments & Japanese titles, and I hope it will show you a new perspective on Japanese music.
Could you tell us a bit about the inception of the album?
I think these 7 tracks show my Electronic/Ambient side. They were made to suit Alien Jams specifically. On the other hand, I make tracks mainly inspired by Jazz/Fusion or 70’s music. There were composed. I thought the track “Odoriko” was the best track of them, so I wanted to name this album “Odoriko”.
What is your relationship with new musical technologies nowadays? do you incorporate any in your practice?
I mainly use UVI workstation, Eventide effector, Soundtoys & Softube etc. I don’t use real analogue synths, but many people think I use so many analogue synths, and my room is filled with them.
In the UVI workstation, there are so many modelling synths & drum machines, so maybe there’s not that much difference between me and producers with real analogue synths. Many reviewers and the label PR wrote my sound “Lo-Fi”, but I make “Lo-Fi” tracks unconsciously… at least, I never think “I try to make Lo-Fi tracks. Lo-Fi is my home!!”
I love so many 70’s Jazz/Fusion like Chick Corea (especially “Light As A Feather”) etc and listened to them so much, so probably “Lo-Fi” is deeply ingrained in my soul.
Recently I’ve started uploading my sessions on my youtube channel daily, so you can understand how I make my new tracks. But the explanations are in Japanese only