Hosome toe the line between fascinating noise and pure nonsense nonstop on Jakamashi Jazz. Toe isn’t even the right word for it – picture the band driving along the edge of a cliff, cartoon-style, balancing 20 pizza boxes on their heads after drinking a cooler’s worth of Jolt Cola. One unnecessary fidget will send them to their (critical) doom. Yet somehow Jakamashi Jazz, released back in September, never veers that far off track.
Just like their live show, Hosome don’t play songs as much as they jam musical puzzle pieces from an array of boxes together to form disjointed but still oddly pretty blasts of noise. After seeing them live I invoked the words “math rock,” but this album owes much more to electronic music. Jakamashi Jazz’s songs are constructed like sample-heavy dance tunes, throwing in jungle breakbeats and all sorts of loopy effects whenever possible. The first song on this album is a collage of noises and Squarepusher-lite drums, but it also offers a slightly exaggerated look at what the next 25 minutes have in store.
Hosome dash all sorts of musical indulgences into these songs (piano breakdown! screaming! sax solo!) and aren’t afraid to bolt into entirely new directions mid-song before bungeeing back to an earlier idea. This could have been a total mess…but the band never lets the song get away from them completely, making sure to pin it down when things get too weird. Save for the totally scatterbrained “Intel YAKUZA” (and, on the other end of the spectrum, the straightforward rock of “Fake Craction”), the tracks on Jakamashi Jazz tumble all over the place but always retain a strong beat or good melody. “GOKIGEN BLAST” has a horn breakdown AND a spoken word interlude but always slingshots back to the outer space rave beat pulsing through the track, while “Be Against the Daily” somehow sounds like three different, upbeat songs and an art projects all while never drastically mixing things up.
Hosome deserve more than a pat on the back for putting out an album with rock, jungle, dance and lounge that isn’t a total piece of wankery. Jakamshi Jazz is one of the most surprising things I’ve heard all year – I still can’t scribble down the mandatory “band comparison” besides Deerhoof meets Battles meets Aphex Twin, and even that doesn’t seem right – and is an accomplished brain burner of an album all it’s own. Chaos rarely sounds this good.
Video for “You Want To Be A Hen” below