Dew Dew, Dew Its: By Hiro-nobu Tanaka By Todd Taylor

This well-constructed, high gloss photobook showcases the considerable talent of Hiro Tanaka. Much like one of my favorite contemporary photographers, Dan Monick, there is loads of subtext beyond the mechanical action of capturing a visual rectangle. Absolutely, the photos are artful. They’re color-saturated. Hiro’s timing and framing are immaculate. And yet, there’s more. Taken as a whole, Dew Dew is an intimate document of one strain of current independent music: shots taken strides away from a vehicle at a rest station, when the show’s torn down, when the band’s in transit. Hiro’s power is in his dynamics of dualism—like hot/cold water (not a current of warm/tepid water). Sweat-saturated shows/ abject boredom. “Fame”/ very-real anonymity. Human-electric shows/blow-outs in never-enough-rest hotel rooms. Body claustrophobia/skies that look like infinity. Septic, graffiti-kudzu bathrooms/Lush, overgrown weeds/brown desert heat. It’s a beautiful document with no words framing who or what is in any picture. As much as music’s about notes vibrating air, these photos, inspired by the making of music, ring and reverberate long after the book’s closed. Excellent stuff. –Todd Taylor (asianmanrecords.com/hiro)