Classic Day – Hunker Down


Elements of freeform jazz and ambiance might not be a groundbreaking combination in 2021, but in 1996; Japan’s own Fishmans were able to construct a single track to highlight being trapped in both the murky sewers or the smokey nightclubs.

Rotating on a swivel like a head attached by merely string and springs, Long Season is adaptive but somehow maintains this formidable approach to sound and presentation. Almost without fail, there are these intense moments of absolute beauty and then dramatic pitfalls into submerging and constrictive walls.

Opening in five separate parts to the track, “LONG SEASON” is 35 minutes of purity that is subtle to open with piano keys and bass riffs smooth enough to glide over stone. There are a plethora of musicians that combine to make the conglomerate of Fishmans, but through the strength of many comes the highlighting of one.

The strings on Part One of “LONG SEASON” are commanding but coincide within this frantic piano run that is more machine than human, when vocals finally pour into the frame; Fishmans shuffle toward grace.

Heavenly in almost every sense of the word, Long Season as a record is less challenging on the ears as it is to be a warm blanket through gentle, but shifting caresses. Like one last kiss from a lover, Part One ends with a rephrase of plucking strings and the frantic piano slowing to abandon the audience never to be met with again.

Instead of faltering into an unavoidable silence, Fishmans opts to push through that pain of loss into a rattling of percussion and dripping cave dwellings that orchestrate more fear than apathy.

These splashes of large rocks hitting the water surround the audience, making darkness within caves and an utter ambiance feel fitting to submerge into. The water gets swayed to petite waves, but eventually, large synthesizers create windchimes of crystal proportions.

Fishmans becomes ethereal and lucid, losing frame and finally succumbing to the freeform jazz style that was prevalent in the track’s opening. The builds however midway towards Part Three is joyous and a burst of sunshine. The singing and hums are candy over the ears and while whistling in most sections of tracks can become redundant, the desperado-esque performance here is breathtaking.

Later sections, like Part Four, have the Fishmans doing piano runs again but instead of being frantic, this exact same piano performance is instead calming somehow. It shifts gears and allows the audience to stretch, giving space after emerging from the mire.

When the audience seems to rise from the capsizing ship, water pours in covering the walls and ground below. Somehow through the frantic ability, a prowess shines through like 1000 suns, taking Fishmans to be both a joy and a curse on LONG SEASON.

Listen To LONG SEASON Here!!! – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

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