Hisato Higuchi - She
(Family Vineyard)

2017 reissue of Japanese experimental guitarist Hisato Higuchi's inaugural release She, originally released in 2003. The fine folks at Family Vineyard have both expanded, and re-examined the record by adding two tracks from the original recording session as well as updated cover art. To be honest, I know nothing about Hisato Higuchi. What I do know, is that that this record is something to be excited about. Within you’ll find dense, fragile, and haunting guitar work strongly reminiscent of labelmate Loren Connors with a startlingly fresh approach to the Primitive guitar field. Another interesting aspect is his ability to conjure mood as opposed to simply showcasing technical ability. His songs are made of incredibly simple melodic lines and phrases, and when matched with his delicate, hushed-like vocals, the results set him apart. Then comes the menacing second half of the record, drenched in a bare bones noise wash that sneaks up on you seemingly out of nowhere. Higuchi suspends you in the air only to drop you without warning. This record is as stimulating as it is relaxing, an impressive feat within the avant guitar genre. It’s been a earworm slowly tunneling through my psyche over the last couple weeks. The balance of variety while maintaining continuity across the seven tracks may be what has made it so endearing to me. During my first listen, I found myself trying to write off the album as a whole while I absorbed it, as if I knew where it was going or where it would end up, only to be pleasantly surprised by each shifting phase. While the term “grower” can sometimes be dismissive, She fits that description in that it needs time to unfold. But patience will bear rewards in this truly immersive record. (Adam)
Check out a track here