Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hosono/Suzuki/Yamashita - Pacific

Composers: Haruomi Hosono, Tatsuro Yamashita, Shigeru Suzuki
Title: Pacific
Year: 1978
Part exotica, part electronic, part fusion, part funk, Pacific brings together a range of genres but is a sonically coherent sail through the warm seas.  A collaboration between Hosono, Suzuki, and Yamashita (the former two of which had worked together on Happy End and Tin Pan Alley), the album is a beautiful moment of transition in Hosono's magnificent careeer, bridging the gap between the exotic sounds of Tin Pan Alley that proceeded it and the electronic ones of the great and influential Yellow Magic Orchestra that followed.  In the interesting history of collaborations within the Hosono circle, this album is something of a unique punctuation mark, not entirely foreign but still quite separate from the other work.

Though coherent despite having three different composers, the album is at its strongest and most beautiful on the exotic-leaning tracks, "Saigo no Rakuen" and "Slack Key Rhumba" (composed by Hosono) and "Nostalgia of Island" (composed by Yamashita), and the synth-heavy closer, "Cosmic Surfin'" (Hosono), which would later become a signature YMO tune.

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