Harutaka Mochizuki "Doppëlganger Ga Boku Wo" LP


An’archives is proud to present the latest album by Japanese free saxophonist and vocalist
Harutaka Mochizuki, Doppelgänger ga boku wo. Since the early 2000s, Harutaka has quietly, yet
steadily, released a string of solo and collaborative releases that have allowed multiple
perspectives on one of the most singular voices in modern music. In collaboration, he seems to
prefer the duo format, and digging through his discography, you’ll find releases where he pairs
with Tomoyuki Aoki (of Up-Tight), Michel Henritzi, and Hideaki Kondo. But Harutaka’s solo
performances, with their lyricism and physicality, are where the magic truly happens.
If earlier albums, like Solo Document 2004 (Bishop, 2005) and Pas (no label, 2014), were raw
documentations of solo alto saxophone performances, in recent years, Harutaka’s solo albums
have become more complex, more mystifying. Most significantly, they’ve become more personal;
there are few musicians extant whose albums feel quite so much like diaristic interventions, and
Harutaka’s music now is deeply moving in its intimacy. Developing that thread of revelation,
Doppelgänger ga boku wo offers a still richer exploration of many facets of Harutaka’s artistry.
The two double-tracked alto saxophone performances here feel consummate, with Harutaka
shadowing himself, exploring the possibilities of the multiple self: Doppelgänger is me, indeed. The
playing here is rich with affect, but still exploratory, voiced with rigour and intent. Two short pieces
for keyboard and voice (about Giacometti and Genêt, respectively) are fragile miniatures, with
clusters of chords, and passing phrases, wrapping around Harutaka’s untutored but lovely singing.
The ‘karaoke’ performance that closes the album, of “Woman ‘W no higeki’ yori”, speaks to the
iterative aspects of Harutaka’s music. A cover of the Hiroki Yakushimaru song, the theme to
Shinichirō Sawai’s 1984 film W’s Tragedy, he’s returned to this song several times, and here, his
delivery perfectly captures the spirit of what Michel Henritzi, in his typically beautiful liner notes,
evocatively details as “one of those sad love songs that accompany lonely sake drinkers in smoky
night bars, sharing their spleen.”
Gorgeous, human, heartrending - Doppelgänger ga boku wo is Harutaka Mochizuki in element
and in spirit.