The first I knew of Toshifumi Hinata was when Aficionado`s Moonboots put the mid-tempo groove of 新しい遊牧民 on a mix. Its catchy riff played on both piano and bass. Deftly switching between duet and solos from each instrument. Cowbell keeping time. Sax squeaking.
That was a while ago now. Hypnotized it led to me hoovering up as many cheap copies of the album that it was culled from, Chat D`Ete, as I could find. The LP also featuring the soothing synthetic chimes of 異国の女たち – reminiscent of the forbidden colours of Ryuichi Sakamoto`s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence score – and the shimmer and fanfare of 蜃気楼.
Midlands guru, Rob J, then introduced me to Toshifumi`s Sarah’s Crime. The title track riding Moments In Love-like Linn drums, and boasting romantic soft-focus synth sighs. Similar to those Jun Fukamachi employed on his sessions for fashion house, Nicole. Live bass and bursts of Hammond B3 paving the way for a violin`s heartbreak ache. On the same LP, Midsummer Night is intro`d and outro`d by overheard shortwave transmissions, marimba and wind chimes. At its core, a cinematic piano waltz. Pavement is a jazzy improvisation. Its repeated keyboard refrain rolling and crashing like waves against a shore – recalling the rush of Wim Mertens` Struggle For Pleasure – and interrupted by thunder crack and electrical storm.
I then found a copy of Reality In Love for pennies – well, 300 yen. Something I`d be fucking lucky to do now (starting price on The `Cogs is currently $70). It contained the experimental ambience of Colored Air. A hallucinatory haze of bells, drones, finger cymbals, and eastern strings. While 光と水 sets solo piano to more Sakamoto-like chimes. Exploding like fireworks in a summer night sky.
Music From Memory’s compilation of Hinata`s work, collects all the above pieces, and adds two more – taken from his 1987 LP, Story. On Sayoka keys play oriental timbres to tabla turns and fretless bass runs. Broken Belief, which gives the compilation its title, is a Caribbean honeymoon of climaxes and crescendos. A Synclavier chorus of Dachstein Angels blown in on a tropical breeze.
You can order a copy of Toshifumi Hinata`s Beyond Belief directly from Music From Memory.