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The atmospheric landscapes of Haco

Dernière mise à jour : 19 nov. 2019

The "Japanese Björk" imagines the landscapes of a visionary and weightless pop.

Haco. Atmospheres between zenitude and anxiety

The contemplative universes of an unclassifiable artist

The singer and sound artist Haco was in Tokyo in the 1980s, at the origin of the avant-garde pop group After Dinner, emblematic of the Rock In Opposition movement, whose leitmotif was to "rock differently by opposing the recording industry". Tracks full of vertiginous eclecticism mix languages and styles, from classic to country-pop, poaching through free-jazz, sound poetry and electro.

Sensation of strangeness

Musically, she manages to create a feeling of strangeness, a minimalist, purified universe, with changing spaces and softly fickle forms. Light years away from some of the facilities and sweetness of j-pop, the artist's voice is graceful, alternately ethereal and mutinous, fleshy and cloudy. She composes a clever choir distilled by superposed layers.

In concert, she often begins a long and gentle, mysterious, muffled cadence, in which the voice reappears for a series of fux and refluxes. In her compositions, she favours the circulation of time, as if in a spiral in constant motion. The feeling of being the same as trees, water or fire. It features the old dream of one of the greatest composers of contemporary music, Toshio Hosokawa. A dream that comes from the depths of Japanese traditions and spirituality and has a contemplative side. The one to create a new Japanese music: more universal, deep, fresh, sensitive. And accessible to the greatest number of people.

Sound puzzle

Her multidimensional voice mixes with floating electro and sounds of nature (the famous field-recording). To reach the satori, this indefinable feeling of the afterlife within a dreamy and involuntarily dissonant surround sound pop intermittently. Repetitive and hypnotic melodies can evoke by wrapping themselves in the sacred dimension of bewitching harmonies that do not exclude occasional "dissonances".

For her seventh album, Qoosui, the composer, singer and musician explains: "If the whispered voice already permeated my previous albums, this is an ethereal vocal trick to the extreme, whose tracks draw a kind of puzzle, a mosaic dialoguing with the instruments. As if the song unfolded through a landscape saturated with mist. Doesn't Haco share with Björk this ability to transcend ever more the popular, learned, experimental or folk musical categories?

Bertrand Tappolet

Photos: Marion Innocenzi


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