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L

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Biography

There are two artists performing under this name:

1. The solo project of Hiroyuki Usui (臼井弘行)
2. The French artist L (Raphaële Lannadère)

1. L is the solo project of Hiroyuki Usui (臼井弘行) (guitar, vocals, vibes, harmonium, bass, drums, cello, field recordings, didgeridoo). His only album “Holy letters” was recorded in 1989-1990. On it, he blends delicate folk, psychedelia, and experimental sounds into a mostly subdued but undeniably glowing suite. The layered but careful instrumentation on tracks like the epic “Holy Letters” and “Troll” backs the alternately plain-spoken and crooning vocals perfectly. Odd touches like snatches of throat singing and bowed vibraphone leap out of the mix at just the right time. There are overt references to the blues (the first track is an oblique cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Cold Was The Ground”) - but other than the occassional slide guitar touch, the connection is overwhelmingly in the timeless feeling and atmosphere.
“Holy Letters” was self-released by Hiro in 1994 (in an oversized package including the CD and a 7”, on Holy Castle), primarily to be given away to friends. A handful of copies were sold via Tokyo’s Modern Music/PSF operation in Japan and by Forced Exposure in the US, but other than that, it disappeared completely. Hiroyuki Usui’s name pops up in several intriguing places in the apparently still underdocumented Japanese underground lexicon. While he now concentrates mostly on didgeridoo (and his profession of garden design), he once played drums in Fushitsusha (late 70’s/early 80’s), A-Musik (with the legendary vocalist Phew), Marble Sheep, and several other true-underground outfits.

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