Shugo Tokumaru – “Hikageno”

Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru went into the studio to record his forthcoming album TOSS with no songs written. Tokumaru is known for his avant-garde approach to his music and took it a step further with the creative formula behind his new LP: Enlist the help of musicians far and wide to record parts, stitch them together, and if fate will allow it, have it all meld together flawlessly. Luckily for Tokumaru (and us), the results are explorative and stunning. TOSS drops later this month and the album collected musical contributions from an orchestra, the art duo Maywa Denki and a heap of material from drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, among others.

Today, we get deeper feel for the record with the single, “Hikageno,” which follows the album’s first release “Lita – Ruta” back from February. This latest song is deceptively simple. Its soothing melody and airy percussion finally cracks at the song’s halfway point to reveal searing guitar parts, if only for one glorious moment. The track’s end finds things taken back down a notch with a semi-sweet horns section and Tokumaru’s final soaring vocal delivery.

Tokumaru explained his new album’s intricate recording process further:

“This song was recorded with a multi-track reel to reel recorder with other musicians playing at the same time, and then I overdubbed on the source material, mixed it and finally made a stereo mix with a 2-track reel to reel deck. ‘Hikageno’ literally means ‘in the shade’ or ‘of the shade’ in Japanese.”

Listen to the song below.

TOSS is out 4/28 via Polyvinyl Records.

CREDIT: Hideki Otsuka