When the seasons change, my personality always seem to shift as well. The type of food I eat, the types of things I like to do, and the types of music I like to listen to change when one season gives way to the next.
Here in the US, we’re heading into the dog days of summer — those long, hot summer days. As it gets hotter and hotter, I’ve been listening a lot to a seminal summer favorite of mine: Japanese musician Tatsuhiko Asano’s album Genny Haniver
The album is named after what are known as “Jenny Hanivers,” a bizarre trend that involves people taking the bodies of dead sea creatures (usually string rays) and modifying them to look like demons or other nefarious creatures.
Why is the album named after this strange phenomenon? Hard to say, really. It’s difficult to associate these grotesque creations with music like this.
But don’t let the album’s name distract you from the music, like its opening track, “Lemonade.”
Asano’s style is unusual. He’s a guitarist, but his songs don’t sound like your typical guitar player. His music comes across as very etheral, and it’s hard to imagine that kind of noise coming from an electric guitar.
Check out a live performance of another song off of the album, “Headlights:”
But Asano isn’t a one trick pony with Genny Haniver. While his resume is relatively short, it’s still pretty impressive.
Asano also scored the little known (at least in the US) Nintendo game, Doshin the Giant. His dreamy style matched well with the game, where you play a yellow giant with the powers of a god.
He released a second album in 2008, Spacewatch. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to listen through much of it, but I have seen the music video for one of the tracks, “Vermillion,” which was apparently animated by Mr. Asano himself.
Unfortunately, Asano’s recorded career is tragically short. Besides his two albums and the Doshin the Giant soundtrack, Asano has only released a handful of other songs, which is a tragedy considering he’s been recording music for almost 20 years. And sadly, other than Genny Haniver, his music is surprisingly hard to get a hold of.
There’s some good news though: you can listen to Genny Haniver in its entirety on Spotify, or get it through Amazon.