Many dance albums take us on a roller coaster of intense peaks followed by chances to catch our breath. Pulse of Defiance instead climbs from an introspective opening to three high-energy closing tracks. It’s a journey that few producers have the confidence or discipline to attempt, and Yoshinori Hayashi nails it.
Hayashi also navigates a journey across subgenres. The album moves from experimental to techno to breakbeat to jungle so fluidly and effortlessly that, unless you immediately repeat the record after it ends, you don’t realize how far you’ve traveled.
I listened to Pulse of Defiance as I drove to get my first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on a beautiful spring Saturday. The music, combined with my hope for re-entering the world, set a joyous mood. As I repeated the drive for my second shot three weeks later, I listened again. Loud. Three times. Whether I was stuck in traffic, sitting in the post-vaccine monitoring area, or flying around a winding twilight road, Hayashi’s music still inspired joy.
Pulse of Defiance doesn’t have the same effect on headphones at home, so get out into the world on a beautiful day and listen to this. Loud.
Released: April 9, 2021