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Koenji Hyakkei - Dhorimviskha CD (album) cover


Koenji Hyakkei



3.84 | 67 ratings

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5 stars Dhorimvishka is the fifth studio album of Japanese Zeuhl/Avant band Koenjihyakkei. I usually trie to curb my enthusiasm when it comes to rating and reviewing new releases to allow for a cooling off period, but the new album of Koenjihyakkei deserves attention (well, all Koenjihyakkei albums do.). I was already very excited when I learned about the release of this album, their last studio effort was released in 2005, quite a long time ago. The albums artwork for the mini LP sleeve is probably their most beautiful to date, and I considered the track listing very encouraging. 7 tracks in 61 minutes, and as a general rule the 8-10 minute long compositons of Koenjihyakkei are often the best. Koenjihyakkey is a sextet here, the soaring lead vocals of the lady called Ah (aka Yamamoto Kyoko) are accompanied by the chants of the male band members, mastermind and world class drummer Yoshida Tatsuya, longtime bassist Sakamoto Kengo, and new guitar player Koganemaru Kei. The band is complete with the keyboards of Yabuki Teku and the woodwinds of the other lady Komori Keiko. As always the musicanship is of the highest calibre (not only the drumming.), and Ah has an impressive range. The music basically Zeuhl, but with more twist that French legend Magma. There are influences from symphonic music, jazzrock, metal, hardcore punk, and even from soul music (the second track Levhorm). The seven compositions are full of complexity, breaks, tempo changes, and dyamic contrasts, but the arrangements are very well structured, this music is controlled chaos from finest! This music comes very hyperactive and excessiv accross, especially at first listening, but there are more laid back jazz-like and even acoustic moments, and there is a healthy dose of catchyness, and fortunately they do not take themselfes too seriously. Certainly, 2-3 listenings are nothing to explore this album, but with more than a week experience I may conclude that all 7 tracks are very good, there are no kind of filler tracks, like on some of their earlier albums. Maybe this is even my favourite Koenjihyakkei album so far.

Norbert | 5/5 |


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