A perfect album for our alternate reality, filled with alternative facts. In a perfect world there would be lines upon lines of information out there written on Naoki Asai’s アバ・ハイジ Aba · Heidi. Unfortunately, in our imperfect world all we have is one (!!!) brave blog post even attempting to suss out what in the world Naoki Asai was trying to accomplish here, in 1988. A rare, early attempt at mixing earnest twee affections with Dream Pop musical styles, Naoki Asai appeared to be following that great tradition of other nearly forgotten musicians like Bobb Trimble, and (old F/S favorite) Mark Fry, who tasked themselves in creating huge-sounding worlds of small, child-like psychedelia.
Entirely self-released, and almost entirely self-performed and self-produced, from the album design to the record label, Chesire Records (talk about cutting straight to the source!), Aba · Heidi was the clear work of a young Japanese musician with a starry-eyed vision happily divorced from his or its time. What begins moored by the telltale signals of classic, cloudy/head music – layers upon layers of jangly guitars, reverb laid on thicker than your softest flannel – Naoki Asai almost wants us to believe he’ll leave you stuck on, however, somehow, Aba · Heidi manages to wrest those reins away and steadily take us into a variety of far more interesting, sweet worlds. Don’t expect any freak outs. No, from Naoki, expect to hear the brave work of someone who still believes in a certain kind of escapism our world increasingly likes to stamp out.
I wish I had more to add other than the actual music itself, but it seems certain things in life are meant to remain mysteries. At least we know Aba Heidi means Farewell Heidi. Everything else? Well, in this case, I’ll leave others to explain the unexplainable.