“If you feel like this album is mysterious, then you are Masumi Hara and this album is your invitation to his wonderland.” Masumi Hara is a true multimedia artist. He’s an accomplished illustrator and painter, with his images most famously appearing on the covers of the Japanese printings of iconic novels by Banana Yoshimoto. He’s written six books, and starred in some small parts in various films. However, the most interesting (and often beguiling) of his output is absolutely his music. He began composing and producing in the New Wave era when cutting edge technologies expanded the potential sonic terrain beyond all previously known boundaries. 4 X A Dream was his sophomore album (originally released in 1984) and is a truly intriguing mix of dub, acid folk, and ambient music that will make you reconsider what you hold dear about each of those genres. “To Live In The Sea” begins with gated drums that begin as quiet as footsteps but soon fill the entire audible spectrum, cozy synth chords throb amongst urgent spoken vocals. “The Deepest of Nights” begins with a clattering percussion riff and digital bleep-bloops, “Orion” is delicate keyboard riffs and glitchy drums. While full of surprises, the album is very musical and charming on first listen. Before this reissue, copies of 4 X A Dream would routinely cost hundreds of dollars (thousands of yen, really) on the ol' Discogs, and honestly, they were totally worth it. We could not recommend this record any more. Packaged in a heavy tip-on style jacket, includes a printed insert with translated album lyrics and two intriguing essays.
- black vinyl pressing
- first international release of this album
- packaged in a tip-on jacket
- includes printed insert with liner notes including translated lyrics and two essays
- original release year: 1984
- music label: Numero Group 2020
reviewed by BOTCHAN 03/2020