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Hugh Hopper

Canterbury Scene

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Hugh Hopper Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell: Dune album cover
2.42 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Long Dune (10:47)
2. Shiranui (8:03)
3. Seki No Gohanmmatsu (8:43)
4. Circular Dune (5:22)
5. Scattered Forest (5:51)
6. Hopeful Impressions Of Happiness (4:29)
7. Awayuki I (5:51)
8. Awayuki II (5:04)
9. Distant Dune (6:08)
10. Futa (4:27)

Total time 64:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Hugh Hopper / bass, loops, electronics, co-producer
- Yumi Hara Cawkwell / vocals, keyboards, percussion, co-producer

Releases information

CD Moonjune Records - MJR019 (2008, US)

Thanks to toroddfuglesteg for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy HUGH HOPPER Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell: Dune Music

HUGH HOPPER Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell: Dune ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (50%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

HUGH HOPPER Hugh Hopper & Yumi Hara Cawkwell: Dune reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars HUMI was a collaboration between the late bassist Hugh Hopper and Japanese vocalist and keyboardist Yumi Hara Cawkwell, who in one year recorded and released one official studio album, a limited edition live album and a live DVD also issued for a select audience only. "Dune" is the first of these collaborative efforts, and was released by US label Moonjune Records in 2008.

And it is an album that quite clearly will have a limited appeal to a niche audience, despite Hopper's involvement and that this is one of the latest recordings he appeared on prior to his illness and subsequent passing away. This due to the nature of the music explored, which combines several stylistic expressions that each on their own generally appeals to a limited audience.

The foundation for these proceedings may arguably be described as jazz. Hopper's bass, loops and electronics and Cawkwell's vocals, keyboards and percussion tend to be improvisational in nature, and while subtle and careful we're dealing with a free form variety of this style here. Not that any of these compositions ever comes across as traditional jazz in any manner whatsoever, but in terms of style and expression the 10 pieces explored have a closer relationship to jazz than to any other genre I'm currently aware of.

But rather than being dramatic, flamboyant instrument performances Hopper and Cawkwell both opts for a dampened, careful approach. If there is anything such as new age or ambient freeform jazz, this CD is a very good example of just that. The performances emphasize moods and atmospheres, and the developments are careful and frequently in slowly developing circulating patterns. And as an additional flavour is the use of electronic sounds and effects, more often than not in the shape of dissonant sounds, noises and drones. Adding a distinct experimental electronic tinge to the proceedings, and in transporting the totality of this production into some sort of avantgarde musical universe. Albeit one of a minimalistic rather than truly challenging nature.

What strikes me most when getting familiar with this production is that many of these pieces would work fairly well as soundtracks. Haunting, ghostly sounds are frequently employed, in particular in the sequences featuring bass and piano alone. But there's some kind of otherworldly, alien atmosphere throughout. Not of a kind and character that will interest any audience to speak of I suspect, but for a select few this production will undoubtedly be regarded as an effort bordering the brilliant. Personally I'll readily admit to not being that charmed by this disc as a standalone musical experience. Circular Dune is a strong atmospheric creation however, and Long Dune another effort that works fairly well, but the remaining tracks is, in my opinion, much better suited to be atmospheric background music in a movie of some kind. With an old fashioned ghost movie or a dystopian exploration as the type of film production I believe this material would be best suited for.

Opinions will be divided on this production, of that there is no doubt. If ambient, freeform noisescape flavoured music of a jazz orientation sounds like an enticing description to you, this is a CD you probably should investigate further. If not, this is a production that most likely won't make a grand impression.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars HUMI were a "short-lived" (very sadly for all fans ... the reason is well-known though) two-piece experimental music project, formed by Hugh HOPPER (bass, loops, electronics; ex-Soft Machine) and Yumi HARA CAWKWELL (voices, keyboards, percussion) in 2007. They released one (and only) album "Dune" in 2008 via Moonjune Records, that could be crystallized with two tremendous talents for uncivilized strange experimental music scene. They could have gone on a tour all around the world along with this fascinating album, but very sadly this (dreamy dream) tour could not complete because of Hugh's illness (leukemia), and this "Dune" had got to be his last studio creation. We can feel his magnificent scale via this work obviously.

Amazingly, this is HUMI's creation, not Hugh & Yumi's one. That is, in all songs of this album, not that one player plays with supporting another, but with stimulating another like an actress / actor upon a theatre stage or in a movie screen, let me say. Yumi's terrific keyboard play and mysterious, unexampled voices, Hugh's deep bass and refined electronic sounds throughout the whole production can be approved by almost all reviewers, and furthermore, this album notifies me how important an actress / actor can show and tell her / his play depending on the situation or atmosphere.

Taking the second track "Shiranui" for example ... Shiranui is a Japanese monster or illusory phenomenon (Sea Fire ... the subtitle of this song) that may be brought by the monster everyone says, and we can easily feel such an eerie air via Hugh's weird synthesizer shots and Yumi's scattered but graceful piano touches. But at least for me, in this song Yumi's piano sounds like a pretty girl playing with pleasure upon an extensive and ruined dune produced by Hugh's magnificence. Extremely more obvious in the three-piece "Dune" suite - Hugh's heavy, deep bass kicks can be compared to the huge desert, his weird elektronika to sand stirred up by a wind, and Yumi's keyboard sounds to stardust, and her voices to hot, dry, but mysteriously comfortable air over the dune ... in my mind.

Let me emphasize, Yumi's play is very eclectic and colourful ... wearing a sensual expression in "Hopeful Impressions Of Happiness", a serious and solemn one like a shrine maiden in "Seki No Gohonmatsu" (in Izumo, Japan ... anyway), dark green wind-blowing (very tough and painful) in "Scattered Forest", large drops of snow falling onto Hugh's eccentric rocky tract "Awayuki". And yeah, I love especially the last track "Futa", where all (both Hugh's and Yumi's plays) should be well-broken and scattered into piece ... addictive psychedelia beyond expression. Always stimulating each other aggressively ... this is the most important and impressive point on HUMI.

Kudos for them, and the late Hugh.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I have problems finding words........ I have a massive respect for Hugh Hopper and everything he did before he passed away. Hence; I find it difficult to be honest in this review. Very difficult, actually. Thou shall never speak a bad word about those who have passed away....... This alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#385434) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, January 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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