Harutaka Mochizuki
Doppelgänger ga boku wo
LP (ltd.)
Edition of 315 copies, silkscreened sleeve w/ obi, postcard, inserts
Incl. VAT plus shipping / Orders from outside the EU are exempt from VAT
1Excerpt 1 2:03
2Excerpt 2 0:36
3Excerpt 3 0:51
4Excerpt 4 1:45

An’archives presents 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.