Hidetoshi Koizumi – Number Face

Number Face is the new album from Tokyo and Paris-based composer Hidetoshi Koizumi. Koizumi is better known as Hybrid Leisureland, the pseudonym under which he released music between the years of 2007 and 2021, at which point he shifted to using his real name. The new album—his second under his real name—follows closely his previous work, and is primarily concerned with the intersection of serene texture and minimalist, hyper-intricate programming. Over the course of the album’s seventy-five minutes, on songs like “Finale” and “Illusion in Illusion,” Koizumi coasts gently across the tranquil waters of carefully laid pad washes, disturbed only by the delicate insect-wing flutters of serial clicks and blips. He moves from the near-neo-classical territory of “Clowns” and “Second Delight” to songs like “Phantom” and “Misalignment” that almost feel like highly restrained takes on dub techno.

Koizumi describes Number Face as an exercise in “express[ing] a sympathy with the various movements of the human heart; the thoughts, feelings, and concerns of our daily lives.” This sentiment feels realized here. After a few listens, I found myself hearing the record as the soundtrack of everyday people completing their activities of daily living, if perhaps at times at both lethargic and manic paces. On “Second Delight” I can picture the overworked parent frantically vacuuming their house as soon as they’ve arrived home from work, before rushing to get dinner prepared; “Snow Tiger” could be the soundtrack of someone soaking in the tub until they prune; “Judge” could be the song you hear when you catch someone’s eye for a couple of seconds too long on the street; album closer “So Was Red” could be just for someone eating a meal alone with their thoughts.

These daily mundanities are easily overlooked, but they carry with them most of our feelings and thoughts, whether fleeting or concrete. As is the case with much of his previous work, Koizumi seems willing to treasure these moments, in lieu of focusing on the more melodramatic or visceral. The result is a record that at first blush is placid, but upon more thoughtful reflection is full of insight into everyday living, the kind of record that can keep you company while keeping you even-keeled — one that doesn’t feed on your agita or lull you to sleep.

Number Face is available now on all streaming services, and for purchase on bandcamp.

Hidetoshi Koizumi – “Phantom” (bc)

Hidetoshi Koizumi – “Illusion in Illusion” (bc)

Hidetoshi Koizumi – “Judge” (bc)


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