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Kakusenjo No Ongaku (Base Of Fiction) - Kakusenjo No Ongaku CD (album) cover

KAKUSENJO NO ONGAKU

Kakusenjo No Ongaku (Base Of Fiction)

 

Zeuhl

3.98 | 4 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Japanese bands have long been known for their uncanny ability to adopt European musical traditions and then fortify their edifices in order to take them to the next several levels of extremity. While bands like Boredoms, Acid Mothers Temple and Ruins have become fairly well known in the underground extreme music world, others remain relatively obscure even within those tiny recesses of the lumpenproletariat. JYOJI SAWADA ( 沢田穣治 ) bassist of Satoh Michihiro Tsugaru-Shamisen Gakudan released a scant few solo albums in the 90s and amongst them is this bizarre artifact titled BASE OF FICTION ("KAKUSENJO NO ONGAKU") which is more like a supergroup project with everyone involved in the Japanese underground world of noise rock, avant-prog, zeuhl and other experimental movements making an appearance. This one includes not only guest performances from Tasu Yoshida from Ruins and Seiichi Yamamoto from Boredoms but includes a whopping total of 17 musicians and vocalists parading through this near hour long experience.

BASE OF FICTION is a very strange album indeed that runs the gamut of chaotic noisy rock attacks and ultra-mondo bizarro avant- prog chamber music with episodes of zeuhl inspired rhythms that showcase the Magma-esque female operatic diva vocals that come and go as a labyrinthine train of weirdness interrupts the regularly scheduled program when a comfort zone even remotely begins to emerge. Overall there is a Bondage Fruit type of brutal prog element to JYOJI's work that is smoothed out by the Univers Zero type of chamber prog and string sections that seems to pacify the more abrasive elements from becoming too dominant. The passing of the baton from the mellow and reflective aspects to the off-the-leash freneticism of the noise rock parts allows this album to slink along at a comfortable pace. In addition to the main prog, chamber rock and zeuhl rhythms that keep some sort of uniformity to this work, there are also a plethora of sound effects, background vocals and electronic wizardry as well as some sort of homegrown folk feels that add a domestic flavor to the mix.

This is one of those dense musical experiences that is quite rich in its scope. While the string section of the violin, viola and cello seem to dominate the soundscape there are appearances by all kinds of strange instrumentation including a ponchi, berimbau, grampot, bandolin, marimba and gong. JYOJI proves to be the ultimate orchestrator of sound as the soundscape never sounds too cluttered with characters and every change in the wind seems to be well calculated with purpose rather coming across as a maelstrom of random sound swirling about like an haphazard tornado. This one is highly recommended to those who seek out the ultimately bizarre of the Japanese underground but unlike many such albums that seek out chaos and brutality for their own sake alone, BASE OF FICTION has a very sensual side as well that offers not only the craziest and noise induced avant-prog to be experienced but also dishes out ample doses of melodic high art beauty of the sort that is found in the Western classical masters' compositions of the past. However in the end, this whole affair comes off some sort of experimental opera gone really, really wrong but yet somehow feels so very, very good ;)

4.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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