Mysterious Shiba Kei is the debut album of Kosumo Notto, the alias of the equally cryptic moniker, Howl Jolson.
Before this album, Jolson primarily worked with instrumental guitar music that resonated as a more melodic, shoegaze leaning version of Hisato Higuchi, so it comes as a surprise that shiba is an album completely derived from video game-esque sounds.
However, Jolson’s sense of melody and precision for minimalism has not really changed all too much in comparison to those guitar works, and shiba manages to carry out the same floating feeling that you would typically find evoked with genres such as shoegaze or any derivatives of drone and ambient music. Jolson has referred to his body of work as “save point” music, something that stands as a point of dual interpretation. You’re either entering this world, or leaving it. You can choose to either feel sad and lethargic, or be filled with nostalgia and hope.
You don’t need to be aware of any sort of referential knowledge to understand or enjoy Kosumo Notto’s music, just a heart that is tender and full of memories. Although one can easily single out any SNES role-playing game that Kosumo Notto’s music is relatable to, the total feeling of pure ‘nostalgia’ stands as much of the guide point for being able to embrace music such as this. Kosumo Notto’s stands out from other “chiptune” artists as his sense of melody is without pretension, in fact, it shows an amazing amount of restraint, and that sort of delicacy is one of the most difficult things to perfect with music such as this. Not often is one encountered with a chip album that relies so heavily on the meditative qualities of video game music as opposed to the high energy sounds that are most typically associated with chip music. With that idea, Kosumo Notto’s music simultaneously stands on its own, yet retains a deep sense of universality to its understanding that such fond memories are highly interpretable and far-reaching.
Kosumo Notto – Cocoon Dream
Deep link to the Release Page