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Bondage Fruit - Bondage Fruit II CD (album) cover


Bondage Fruit



4.31 | 66 ratings

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4 stars Zeuhl, Japanese style. Some very aggressive, almost animalistic music.

1. "Mobile" (4:57) pulsing, throbbing rhythm section with busy violin and vibes and scatting female lead vocal = ZEUHL! A bit simplistic in its construction (this is no Magma), it does have the advantage of being accessible to the uninitiated listener from the get-go. I love the vocal work, both soft and full volume, in the final third--as well as the re-assessment of pace in the final 30 seconds. (8.5/10)

2. "Daichi No Ko" (7:23) punky-poppish with searing electric violin soloing in the first minute, the choral vocals (kind of call and response) throw a very catchy pop melody (almost AmerIndian) at you, carry it just the right length of time before going off into a wild animalistic frenzy in the third minute--which is then followed by an equally frenzied electric guitar solo. At the 5:00 mark there is a slowdown and shift into more sensitive, delicate passage of vocals, double bass, vibes, and multiple voices woven into a simple jazzy rhythm (the bass is actually doing a solo throughout) before a full kick back into the fast-paced melodic call-and-response movement from the opening minute (with violin seething and screeching in the background). (14/15)

3. "Caucus Race" (7:26) opens with drums and bass keyboard flying at Mach 2. Guitar, sax, and Yuki join in before giving way to marimba and male vocalist's animal noises. This is the pattern until 2:51 when everything drops back except for a super-fast rolling guitar note and accompanying bowed bass, cello and multiple violins(?) play a furious dual into a mutually satisfying group orgasm at the 5:10 mark. But does the pace let up? No! It speeds along as fast as ever until at 6:15 it stops, leaving behind one female voice to carry forward previous melody lines. Second female voice joins in and then the whole band rejoins for a frenzied animalistic finish. Another interesting and engaging song. (13.5/15)

4. "Cottleston Pie" (5:31) thought the acoustic music here sounds more SHAKTI (violin, acoustic guitar, and more traditional percussive folk instruments), the multiple vocal tracks are full-on Zeuhl. Nice performances by all! (9.25/10)

5. "Gel-Celloid" (3:27) awesome JANNICK TOP-like driving music with intricate performances from the vibes, vocalists, and violin--all brought down by the fairly standard super-speed classic rock electric guitar solo. (9/10)

6. "Kodomo No Guntoi" (10:00) opens with slow-moving female choir and plodding, militaristic drums while searing electric guitars flail away here and there. In the third minute the choral voices back off and all kinds of wild, animalistic sounds are thrown into the music from all directions--including individual voices. It's a funky, pre-historic free-for-all. (Could Yoshimi P-We's OOIOO have been born from hearing this tribalistic music?) (16.5/20)

7. "Terminal Man" (15:15) churning electric guitars, vibes, violin, choral voices, chunky bass, and metallic drums open this very Zeuhlish song. After the introductory first minute, some wild male vocalist shouts us into a more MAGMA-like section. The vibes are the only thing that make it sound different from Christian Vander & Co.--until the fourth minute when a very Dick Dale-like rhythm track takes over while the lead guitar, screaming violin, and vibes express their energy in a rather anger and aggressive fashion. This must have been very therapeutic and cathartic for the band members! In the sixth minute we get a break while wailing guitar feedback is toyed with. Slow guitar arpeggi are then played, as if seeking their TOOL-like melody, before violin begins a slowly building solo. This goes on for minutes, building into a frenzy (though not as frenetic as some of the previous music on this album!), until we finish with a celebratory Zeuhl dance of some of the music from the earlier Dick Dale section. (26.5/30)

Total Time: 54:59

Powerful music with a very aggressive, often tribalistic approach to Zeuhl, though still definitely within the "rules" of Zeuhl. B+/4.5 stars; a near masterpiece of progressive rock music and a shining example of Zeuhl taken seriously (or is it?) by a group of very talented Japanese artists.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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