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Jade Warrior - Floating World CD (album) cover


Jade Warrior


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.69 | 126 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Jade Warrior are definitely one of the most underrated prog bands. Reviews of their albums are few and far between, and their name hardly ever pops in the Progarchives Forum. To add insult to injury, they've now been labelled psychedelic/space rock, which gives you next to no impression of what their delicately evocative music sounds like. I must admit I'm only familiar with the four instrumental albums they recorded for Island in the mid-1970s. FLOATING WORLD is the first of these. It reminds me of Ralph Towner, early Oregon and early Mike Oldfield, although Jade Warrior's melodies are far more fleeting and mysterious than Oldfield's, and less sentimental as well. FLOATING WORLD starts like the soundtrack to an unfamiliar movie, and for the first ten minutes or so you may wonder what's going on, since you will hear few strongly pronounced melodies! Acoustic guitar, flute and Tony Duhig's unique and strangely distant-sounding electric guitar dominate. At times it seems the album is going to turn into 'New Age avant-la-lettre', but whenever that threatens to happen, there's a sudden mood swing, characterised by outbursts of violent percussion. The longer the music lasts, the more it carries you away. Most of it seems pastel-coloured, but a few of the tracks (such as the raucous 'Monkey chant') are exuberant fun. Taken on its own, FLOATING WORLD may leave you feeling unsatisfied, but as part of the impressive 2-disc anthology ELEMENTS (also reviewed on Progarchives) the album will feel absolutely right.

P.S. 'Floating World' (Ukiyo) was originally a Buddhist term, reflecting the impermanence of life, and the band seem interested in Japanese spirituality, but I cannot detect Japanese influence in their compositions, apart from 'Monkey Chant', which sounds a little like Japanese festival (matsuri) music. Strangely enough, this album's cover incorporates an image which is closely associated with the OTHER 'floating world', viz. the world of popular entertainment in the Edo period (17th - 19th century); the samurai warrior 'floating' above a not very Japanese-looking city is, in fact, based on a puppet from the Bunraku, Japan's traditional puppet theatre.

fuxi | 3/5 |


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