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Le Silo - 8.8 CD (album) cover


Le Silo



4.23 | 38 ratings

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4 stars This is a highly enjoyable slice of mainly instrumental contemporary Japanese prog. Pianist and main composer Miyako Kanazawa also plays in the Zeuhl band Koenjihyakkei with Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins), who produced this album and also appears as guest vocalist, and there's a discernible Yoshida influence in the stop/start arrangements and abruptly shifting time signatures, but Le Silo have their own sound and agenda. Perhaps the best description is on Chris Cutler's ReR website, which refers to this album as post prog.

The instrumental palette is quite basic - piano, electric guitar and drums with occasional vocal interludes - but the trio are sufficiently accomplished musicians to sound like a much bigger ensemble. The absence of bass isn't generally that noticeable - Miyako executes some dazzling left hand runs when the guitar takes the lead, while the drummer has the jazz player's knack of keeping the pulse of a piece beating without ever explicitly stating the rhythm, and fills in the gaps with some deft fills on the tom toms. The guitar sound is generally fuzzy, although the tone and phrasing occasionally recall Phil Miller in the glory days of the Canterbury sound, and this gives the album a hard rocking edge which acts as a reminder of the band's roots in the Japanese punk/hardcore scene. The album was recorded in a single day (the recording date was the 8th of August, which is where the title came from) and there are no obvious overdubs, except perhaps some of the vocals; from the sound of it, most of the tracks were first or second takes performed live in the studio.

Not everything on the album comes off perfectly, and the 60 minute playing time could perhaps have been trimmed a little to a leaner, harder 50 - 55 minutes, but this is a minor quibble. The overall standard of the writing and playing is extremely high, and most listeners will be amazed at the imagination, skill and precision in evidence here. Strongly recommended.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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