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Bondage Fruit - Bondage Fruit I CD (album) cover


Bondage Fruit



4.00 | 67 ratings

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4 stars Tribal-zeuhl

Primordial sounding and somewhat raw, this wonderful Zeuhl album by the magnificent Japanese band is a stunning listening experience; it makes me think of me as the listener, exploring a foreign land, and on my way encountering unknown tribes and cultures, getting to know their bewitching music which works like magic, attracting to it unsuspecting strangers. The main instruments and sounds that are the most prominent here are the vocals, percussion, glockenspiel & vibraphone and the violin. The rest gives a good and effective support to the music.

Fast and frisky or slower and pounding, the music exerts its haunting effect continuously with an almost hypnotic fashion. The rhythm is engaging and the tune repetitive but mesmerizing. I can't help but get absorbed in this album when I put it, due to its addictive beat; it's relentless and seems unstoppable. The music has a positive and optimistic feel to it (even when it gets zany); it sounds as if they're having a blast playing and chanting. I sure have a great time listening to it. A good example of the amount of energy here would be the track Kinzoku no Taiji and particularly the intro to it with the powerful bass and rhythm section and the heavy out-of-control guitar that reappears later in the track causing havoc alongside the drums which seem to have also gone berserk. It sounds as if a wall of sound is crushing on you; best to play this very loud for the best effect. The vocalists, female vocals in the back and other leading (female & male) and sometimes crazy lead vocals, are at the forefront of the music serving as the extension of the rhythm and tunes, singing along with it and to it.

There's also some place for the instruments to express themselves in a more direct manner, such as the acoustic guitar in Kodomo no Torokko, vibraphone in Rigo and the violin throughout the album. In Octopus-Command, the guitar gets electrified and crazy as do the vocals which seem to have gone up to squeaking tones. In other words, there's also some variety with regards to the fact that repetitiveness is a key feature here. Hiko Suru Ko with its male vocalist reminds me a bit of some world music and actually provokes an image of an African wilderness and him and the band playing in the nature. The last track, T-Rex is perhaps the most experimental with its noisy and odd sounds and it would fit very well in other avant-rock albums I have. It definitely stands out in the album, but not in a bad way at all (for me, obviously). It does "resume normality" with the propulsive drumming and percussion and the violin and sax joining in elevating the noise factor even more (which is great to my ears). This ends the album with an unforgettable bang.

Rigo and Kaku No Sakana are two tracks that give a break from the otherwise persistent aural assault on our ears with their quiet, slow and percussion-less form, yet they are too based on repetition of a tune with an instrument in the foreground (violin) occasionally playing a few notes.

What more can one ask from an album? This is a superb listening experience, highly vibrant, full of life, catchy and rhythmic; irresistible. This is a great addition to your zeuhl and progressive music collection.

This will surely please fans of Magma, Eskaton and Koenjihyakkei and any fans of highly energetic, catchy (and eccentric) rhythmic based music.

avestin | 4/5 |


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