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Bondage Fruit - Bondage Fruit I CD (album) cover

BONDAGE FRUIT I

Bondage Fruit

 

Zeuhl

3.93 | 63 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars The debut release from these high energy Japanese youth. Though this is definitely Zuehl (the vocals give it away), the tribal rhythms and prominent contributions of tuned percussives, violins, saxophone, strumming acoustic guitars, and really raunchy buzz-saw lead electric guitar give the music and sound an entirely different palette than Magma or the European Zeulers.

1. "Holy Roller" (3:54) tribalistic hand drums joined by scratchy electric rhythm guitar and then violin and voice. The vocals definitely have Zeuhlish feel to them, but the rest less so. (8.75/10)

2. "Arabia No Zou" (4:31) fairly simple, straightforward musical weave in which the wordless vocal weave switches from percussive "da-da"s to smooth "wee-ee"s and then to soul-operatic scatting of a solo woman. Interesting. (8.75/10)

3. "Kodomo No Torokko" (8:24) opens with fast driving, multiple layers of percussion and chunky bass which are soon joined by a choir of wordless vocalise establishing a very engaging series of melodies with harmonic support and counterpoint presenting in a verse and chorus format. Very cool! At 2:30 voices and bass take a break while violin takes the lead over cymbal play. Sounds like Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went to Georgia" or The Who's "Baba O'Riley" violin play over Laurie Anderson's "Blue Lagoon" tuned percussives. Voices join back in until the five minute mark when acoustic steel-string guitar takes a turn as the demon soloist. Voices join in during the seventh minute in a beautiful Paul Winter Consort kind of way. Simply an awesome, innovative song! (20/20)

4. "Rigo" (2:22) percussion and Bobby McFerrin-like voices create an odd, perky chordal weave before soprano female takes on the role as the breathy lead over the top. Halfway through the song stops and peeks through another door (vibes) before returning to the perky chords with horn added. (4.5/5)

5. "Octopus-Command" (7:16) opens with multi-voice vocal weave that sounds like something Bobby McFerrin might have constructed, but then full band bursts in with same bass, snarey-drums, vibes, edgy guitars, and multi- voiced choir, all scatting along at breakneck speed with each other, each following the same melody lines--until the third minute when everybody drops out except for the bass--who meanders slowly, snail-like, through a lonely murk of silence. He sounds a lot like Eberhard Weber or David Darling. At 4:30 everybody comes shrieking (on behalf of the guitar and high-speed vocalists--who alternate screaching at each other, this is literally true). At 6:00 everybody cuts out for a brief interlude of high end xylophone before the band members all rejoin--this time at normal speed. Not as melodic as I like, but very impressive performances. (13.25/15)

6. "Hiko Suru Ko" (6:45) opens with a weave, pace, structure, and vocalist and melody sounding very much like a song of theirs from the future. I love the hand drumming as the percussion/rhythmic foundation. Violin takes over the lead from the alto female voice in the second verse. Female voice rejoins in the third minute. both leads are smooth and fairly sedate. Acoustic guitars and bowed cello/bass become more prominent in the third section--and vocals get thicker with others joining alto. Next section has an Nassau N'dour-like African-sounding male singer. Very cool! Then other vocalists join in while song slowly fades. (13.5/15)

7. "Kaku No Sakana" (6:15) gentle, based upon a simple acoustic guitar arpeggio other instruments add gentle almost incidental sounds to it. Nice and interesting but a little long and drawn out. (8.5/10)

8. "Kinzoku No Taiji" (7:37) more full band frenzy on display, this time pursuing a more mid/alto range of pitches. Excellent drumming on display here as the chunky bass slides all over the fretboard, high and low ends. Violin, electric guitar, and single voice take the solos (and take their solos very seriously--and man do they cook!). (13.5/15)

9. "T-Rex" (6:01) from the first note this one definitely presents itself like some kind of wild orgy of soloists. The only thing keeping it all together is the tribalistic drum pattern. When things "calm cdown" and move into more vocal- centered deliveries, it reminds me of P-We Yoshimi's OOIOO project. I actually really like the second half of this song: it's much tamer and more melodic and cohesive than the initial food frenzy. (9.75/10)

Total Time: 53:05

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and quite a debut of Japanified Zeuhl.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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