Truancy Volume 283: Hoshina Anniversary

Hoshina Anniversary is one of the most interesting and engaging electronic musicians releasing right now. With recent records out on YOUTH, ESP Institute and Alien Jams, the breadth of styles alongside the volume of releases is a reflection of Hoshina’s prolific and all-encompassing approach to making music. His record Jomon from earlier this year is a prime example, taking influence from jazz and fusion, the use of electronic alongside traditional Japanese instruments make it one of the best and most idiosyncratic dancefloor-adjacent records of the year so far. Whilst Hoshina’s music has a distinctly Japanese feel to it, the influences of percussive UK sounds and Detroit techno are also very apparent in his productions. We’re huge fans of his music, and very privileged to have him contribute a mix to our Truancy Volume series.

Hey Hoshina, thank you so much for the amazing mix and for talking to us. What have you been up to recently? “I have a lot of releases lined up, I don’t get asked to do gigs in Tokyo, and I can’t go to Europe, etc. So I go to local cafes (I live in Hachioji, west side of Tokyo) to meet people from different fields and get other stimulation outside of music. The other day I had the opportunity to DJ at a local cafe and it was a lot of fun.”

Tell us a little bit about your background. When did you first start making music? “18 years old. I started playing guitar when I was 16, but gradually I couldn’t be satisfied with just copying other people’s songs.”

Did you have musical upbringing as a child/teenager? “No, I didn’t have it at all. I do have some absolute pitch, so it would have been easier to play jazz if I had taken piano lessons or something, but I guess that’s what makes me unique.”

You’ve already released a number of records in the last 18 months on labels such as Alien Jams, YOUTH and Osàre! Editions. Would you say you are quite prolific when it comes to making music? What is your process for creating it? “I think I am prolific. I sometimes write about 100 songs in 3 months. All my songwriting is done in Logic Pro X. I don’t use any analog synths. Most people think I use analog synths, or that I have a huge collection of analog synths. When I start writing a song, I usually start with a song file of a song I’ve written before. I think that gives me consistency, and more importantly, I’m used to doing it that way, and it gives me momentum.”

A lot of our readers and listeners may be familiar with your electronic music, but you recently released the amazing Jomon on ESP Institute which you say is inspired by jazz/fusion with traditional Japanese instruments. I found the records really captivating, can you tell me how the record came about and what your idea behind it was? “I think Jomon is the culmination of Watechno (Techno/Electronic + Japanese traditional instruments etc) I’ve been doing for the last 3 years. And I’m very grateful to Lovefingers, because this project would not have been possible without him. As a result, “diversity” may have been the theme. I think it’s the album that I’m most satisfied with at the moment, because it shows more of my different colors than my other albums, and it’s the one that explains who I am. I dislike most Japanese music mixed with Japanese instruments. So I wanted to reconstruct “new Japanese music” in my own way.”

What are some of your favourite records that have come out recently? Are there any friends or local artists you want to give a shout to? “I like “Will Hofbauer and Sangre Voss – June-O (Ciel’s Venus Mix). And all the music Parris makes is great.”

We really love the mix that you put together for us! Can you tell us about it? Was there an idea or theme behind the mix? “I usually make my mixtapes with 100% of my originals, so this time I tried to bring out my own colors while including some of my favorite songs (Parris, Ryuichi Sakamoto etc). Of course, “Japan” was the theme, and I tried to create unique music that can only be heard here. I like BPM94, so that’s what I used for the most part. There are some new songs and danceable elements, but there is also more of an artistic side to it.”

Have you got more releases or anything else interesting coming up soon? “Yes! I’ll be releasing 2 albums at the end of the year or the beginning of the year, and I’m planning to release about 5 EPs, so I hope everyone enjoys them. Especially the album, which I think will present a new side of Hoshina Anniversary / Suemori.”

Antoin Lindsay