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Bondage Fruit - Bondage Fruit II CD (album) cover

BONDAGE FRUIT II

Bondage Fruit

 

Zeuhl

4.24 | 40 ratings

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Tapfret
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Punky" Zeuhl masterpiece

Sub-genre: Zeuhl (Probably the Bondage Fruit album that holds truest to the traditional Zeuhl definition)
For Fans of: Koenjihyakkei, Ruins, Magma, Zeuhl and RIO with shades of Punk
Vocal Style: Multiple female (occasional male), vocals are not lyrical, just melodic syllables to emphasize the vocals as instruments
Guitar Style: Raw electric distortion with acoustic breaks, as in the entire track Cottleston Pie
Keyboard Style: None
Percussion Style: Dual percussion, rock set, trap drum, congas, bongos and vibes. Most selections have a heavy urgency to the percussion
Bass Style: Electric upright played in various styles from picked jazz to rock.
Other Instruments: Violin played in various styles, acoustic and electric with creative effect usage. Often heavily Eastern influenced, tinged with Goodman/Ponty jazziness

Summary: Bondage Fruit has been a bright spot in the Japanese Progressive/Zeuhl movement, if not the brightest. None of BF's works shine more brilliantly than their second LP, taking the framework of their debut and infusing a more underground flavor to their pieces. The album marks the last that would make extensive use of pseudo-lyrical vocals. The sounds produced by dual female vox with occasional masculine additions by the drummer and bassist are presented with stylistic precision, conveying moods of eeriness, gentility and anger when strong structure demands it. Kido Natsuki's guitar is brilliant as usual. A greater amount of distortion is used than in later works with frequent dissonance which is immediately displayed in the opener, Mobile. Percussion is administered in a highly technical fashion in even the quietest moments. Kodomo No Guntoi is the best example of the psychotic interplay between set drummer Okabe Youichi and multi-percussionist Takara Kumiko. The highlight amongst many bright spots of the album is the closer Terminal Man. The 15+ minute piece opens with thrash/punk style guitar chords that blend out into complex interaction between vibes and violin. The bridge is reminiscent of one of the sinister background sounds heard in the video game "Doom" (Coincidence? The album was released very close to the games surge in popularity), backed by a violin solo not unlike the sounds of the immortal Jerry Goodman. The original verse sequence is recalled with a satisfying key change.

Final Score: While all of the even numbered Bondage Fruit albums are incredible, this one is my favorite. The use of hardcore punk blends into their established Progressive/Zeuhl foundations makes this work essential to those who appreciate Progressive music for its eclecticism. 5 stars

Tapfret | 5/5 |

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