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Koenji Hyakkei - Hundred Sights Of Koenji CD (album) cover


Koenji Hyakkei



3.86 | 87 ratings

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4 stars Debut album from the Japanese Zeuhl collective Koenjihyakkei. At times it sounds almost more teutonic then Magma, adding a power and aggression to Magma's classic sound that was non-existing in the 70's. Yes, this one is really wild, insane, over the top, bombastic, hermetic, uncompromising and delirious.

The albums is what would happen if Guapo recorded an album with true operatic Magma vocals. The music is intense, tribal and hyper-active. The opening suite Loss/Doi Doi is magnificent, über-Zeuhl and vibrant. Molavena starts a bit less energetic but gets more avant as it goes along, still melodious and beautiful in its own weird way.

Gepek takes another turn and becomes almost industrial noise rock accompanied by a swinging jazz rhythm, as such recalling the good old Foetus projects from mr. Clint Ruin/Jim Thirwell. It's certainly equally frightening and challenging. Yagonahh takes us further down into the lunatic asylum and does an extra twist on the crazy circus vibes from Samla Mammas Manna.

Ozono Fall returns to the Zeuhl chorusses of the opening tracks but quickly gives way to another look into the insane minds of these artists. The experience is powerful and disconcerting. The next remarkable stop is Zoltan a very modernist and ethereal Kyrie Lyson. Avedumma provides quite a contrast and starts with a Yes-y intro before firing off into another frantic drum&choir attack.

Not recommended without proper Zeuhl-initiation and the ability to accept the beauty of something that on initial encounter looks like the chaotic noise of a bunch of lunatics. For me this album sits perfectly in the middle between Magma's MDK and Guapo's Five Suns and is almost as deserving as those titles.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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