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Bondage Fruit - Bondage Fruit VI CD (album) cover


Bondage Fruit



4.15 | 36 ratings

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5 stars Another step down the eclectic highway

Sub-genre: Zeuhl (further straying from these roots, Bondage Fruit VI borders on Prog-folk at times. Themes here are not as dark as Zeuhl traditionally comes across)
For Fans of: Rockin' blends of Eastern and Western traditional sounds
Vocal Style: None
Guitar Style: Multiple electric and acoustic styles
Keyboard Style: None
Percussion Style: Dual percussion, rock set, trap drum, congas, bongos and vibes. Also, this weird sound of sharpening knives on Locomotive
Bass Style: Electric upright
Other Instruments: Violin played in various styles, acoustic and electric

Summary: Bondage Fruit has made a career of thumbing their collective nose at conventional musical architecture while celebrating the styles of their Eastern ancestors and Western heroes. The band steps back into their adventuring shoes after perhaps their most pedestrian album Skin.
BF-VI is arguably their gentlest release. The presence of luscious vibes, acoustic guitar and airy violin coat the songs with a cushion similar to soft tufts of moss and fern on a rain forest. They are still prone to the occasional frenzy, but it is the exception rather that the rule here. The multi-percussion mayhem bridge of Rath comes to mind, breaking the trance of tribal beats. The opener Three Voices is 16 minutes of what Mahavishnu Orchestra's Visions of The Emerald Beyond could have been had it not been so slathered in post-free-love platitudes and metaphysics. Locomotive is an aptly named song that uses slide-guitar over a bizarre sounding cymbal slicing sound that is similar to sharpening knives, played in the rhythm of metal rail wheels. Dear Gazelle maintains one of the fastest tempos of the album while violin and acoustic guitar carry a sweet melody over tasty vibraphone textures. And it is the vibraphone again that chills the spine in The Train, this time carrying the main melody into the body of the song. This time the structure is not unlike early King Crimson. Something Green avoids brushing on anything that would be considered rock music. Very sweet acoustic guitar chord runs are the rule with light conga rhythms in the background. I/O is a very fun foray into bluegrass with a hint of traditional Japanese hues. One of the most exciting vibraphone solos is played in the spirit of Ruth Underwood or Gary Burton. The rapidity of the closing stanza is sharply distinct from the subdued opening of the album, punctuation to a deeply satisfying musical experience.

Final Score: The even numbered Bondage Fruit albums all seem to come as close to perfection as they can. This one is no exception, master work from master musicians. 5 stars

Tapfret | 5/5 |


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