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Artist: Susumu Hirasawa
Susumu Hirasawa (平沢 進 Hirasawa Susumu?, born April 1, 1954), nicknamed "Hirasawa" (ヒラサワ?) and "Shishō" (師匠?), is a Japanese music artist and composer.
In the fifth year of elementary school, Hirasawa took up the electric guitar, inspired by the surf rock bands he heard on the radio and on TV. In 1973 he formed Mandrake, a progressive rock band that incorporated elements from heavy metal and krautrock. One of the few Japanese progressive rock bands of its time, Mandrake achieved little success and released no albums during its lifetime. After discovering punk rock and working on synthesizer-heavy projects, Hirasawa felt that progressive rock became just entertainment and decided to reform the band as an electropunk unit.
In January 1, 1979, Mandrake became the new wave/electronic rock band P-Model. Originally a commercially successful band—with the albums In a Model Room and Landsale considered hallmarks of Japanese technopop—they turned to decidedly uncommercial post-punk and experimental rock after Hirasawa went through an averse reaction to his fame. The band went through various lineups, all led by Hirasawa, and achieved some popularity on the Japanese independent music scene. The group released eight albums during this run, and kept operating until 1988, when Hirasawa decided to "freeze" it.
Following P-Model's "freezing", Susumu Hirasawa started his solo career, releasing three albums from 1989 to 1991. Working outside of the restraints of a band, his early solo career was marked by a refusal to stick to any particular genre. In September 1991, P-Model was "defrosted", featuring a revamped lineup and a new techno sound. Hirasawa worked with the band while concurrently making side albums solo. The "defrosted" version of P-Model ended in October 1993, when it was put into "revision". Hirasawa relaunched his solo career in 1994 with the symphonic "second debut" Aurora and later that year launched a "revised" P-Model, with a completely different lineup and a beat-heavy electronica style. He kept working with this version of the band until 2000. Hirasawa has since released solo albums, some of which as the unit Kaku P-Model, effectively a solo continuation of P-Model. Working with various units, side-projects and solo, Hirasawa has a "main" discography that consists of 34 albums.
While Hirasawa is mostly remembered in Japan for the first two P-Model albums, he has achieved international recognition for his soundtrack work, particularly for the adaptations of the Kentaro Miura manga Berserk and the work of anime director Satoshi Kon. Both men have listened to Hirasawa's music while working, have been inspired by the themes of his works and directly requested that he compose music for their productions.
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