Talking avant-garde and experimental electronica in 2017, few people will think of Joe Hisaishi. Nowadays, the Japan native is seen as a musical titan, establishing himself as one of his country’s all-time most sought-after composers having breathed incomparable magic into the scores of some of the greatest animes to date.

Lag Record’s second release after securing Koharu Kisaragi and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Neo-Plant in 2017, Kisshō Tennyo is yet another display of genius from the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s a gorgeous walk through Joe Hisaishi’s vivid palette, and it is remarkable. Immediately, it becomes apparent there has been a two-way exchange of influences between himself and the world of anime – the sense of suspense incredible, it isn’t long before it dawns on you how good this LP actually is.

With the dominating presence of Studio Ghibli classics such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, the masses can be forgiven for being confused by the sounds of this particular reissue. Despite being written to score and ’80s Manga, It doesn’t exhibit the more cinematic Hisaishi sounds we all know and love, but something very different yet completely delightful. Turning to ‘Kanou Sayoko’ for the most extreme example, unlike the rest of the album, it features a slightly more dance-friendly sound, deriving influence from a variety of genres. There are certainly some of the more cheeky synth patters that dominated Yellow Magic Orchestra’s earlier sounds that are scattered above the more aggressive tones of the bass and drum hits. The manner in which the track develops and transitions is of high merit.

Kisshō Tennyo is out February 26th on Lag Records – pre-order direct from the label.

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