Hanegi Koen “Well Worth A Visit”

Hanegi Koen “Well Worth A Visit”

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Hanegi Koen
Well Worth A Visit
Subtempo (US) 2021
SBTMP014 (12”)
sleeve : NEW(SS)
media : NEW(SS)

Hanegi Koen is the creative duo of British filmmaker Sam King and Canadian label head Sean Mallion (ADSR Collective) they take their name from the park located near their homes in Tokyo, Japan.

From the start, the two committed to a simple and spontaneous live approach to writing music, opting for analog synths and drum machines instead of laptops and digital effects. The result is a sonically rich landscape of delay drenched melodies and sun tinged psychedelia made to compliment any Sunday outing to your local greenspace. Previously of the UK-based electronica band “Maiians”, Sam’s melodic, catchy guitar riffs float atop Sean’s thick basslines and years of production know-how.

Their debut EP “Well Worth A Visit” was inspired by their surroundings in Setagaya, forays into nature, and all the weird and wonderful sights and sounds that you inevitably encounter around Japan, represented in the form of abstract field recordings. Self-produced, all of the tracks were written in Sam’s loft space, and recorded at their home studio. Mixed by Japanese producer Aoki Takamasa, the EP sums up the duo’s first year as a band.

Debut single Polaris was one of the first tracks the band made together - opening with the hum of insects from the post-typhoon sounds of the park, the track perfectly sums up the park’s gentle atmosphere. The accompanying video was recorded on an old hi-8 camcorder, setting the scene and introducing both the park and the band at the same time. The analog look of the video and old VHS tape aesthetic, are paying homage to the nature of the band’s writing process, as well as the nostalgic yet euphoric style of their music, as both expats write from their home away from home.

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