Musical Musings: FreeTEMPO

Image belongs to FreeTEMPO



Musical Musings: FreeTEMPO


By Lauren Harris:


I hate to admit it but I’m not a person who listens to albums. When I find songs that I like, I like them because of their individual beats, rifts and lyrics and I rarely think about who made them. There are only a handful of musicians who catch my ear and these musicians are anything but similar. All of them have distinct styles that send me into frenzies of daydreams, head bobs and heart flutters.

Takeshi Hanzawa

This week I’m going to talk about FreeTEMPO, a one man DJ project by composer Takeshi Hanzawa. Hanzawa launched his musical career as FreeTEMPO back in 2000 and I wish that I had known about his work sooner.

The FreeTEMPO project is probably one of the most versatile I’ve ever seen. His beats span across a wide range of styles borrowing from multiple musical trends and aesthetics such as the quick paces of bebop music, the awesome rivet of big band, and the electronic trends heard in a lot of Asian pop music today.

Hanzawa’s talent for finding ways to weave classical instruments into dubstep and house music impresses me to no end. His songs include lyrics but they exist to compliment the music. They don’t have to mean anything and though he has songs in both English and Japanese, listeners of any mother tongue can still find emotion in his music because of the way he manipulates sound and rewires your brain into a state of peace and woosah.

I’ve been crazy about the FreeTEMPO project for months and I haven’t found a cure. While the phrase is a cliché, I have to say that this music saved my life and it still does. Songs like “Imagery” are what get me through math exams and comfort me in times of exile and anger.

A good song is a song that you see yourself in and I see so much of myself in Hanzawa’s work. Below I will share a list of four of my favorite FreeTEMPO songs.  While I wholeheartedly feel like four songs aren’t enough, personal discoveries are a lot more resonating. So please, if you find yourself falling in love with FreeTEMPO find more of his songs on YouTube.


 Love Affair








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