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Ashada - Circulation CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.93 | 19 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Ashada is a Japanese female duo featuring Tae (vocals, mandoline and piano) and Midori (piano, accordion and vocals), supported by guest musicians on electric guitar, bass, drums, violin and percussion. Their sound is not really mainstream prog but I love the wonderful blend of folk, chamber music and symphonic rock, often very moving!

1. Kagi (5.08) : An instrumental track delivering a fluent rhythm with a beautiful harmony of sparkling piano, romantic accordion and warm violin play.

2. Snowflake (5.58) : Another instrumental, it starts with fragile piano work, then a fluent rhythm with beautiful interplay between accordion and piano. The accordion play becomes more prominent, followed by a sensitive guitar solo, very flowing and often howling.

3. Departure (6.26) : This one sounds as chamber music featuring tender piano chords and dreamy, almost whispering vocals. The violin enters with a very intense sound, the following interplay with the piano is splendid.

4. Sacred Visions (3.29) : A slow rhythm with dreamy piano, vocals and violin, the final part is subtle with on the background a raw guitar delivering fiery licks.

5. A Girl's Week (4.09) : Again a dreamy song, the mandoline delivers a pleasant contribution along warm vocals and piano. The harmony between all instruments is perfect and it sounds very moving, especially the beautiful piano work!

6. Neji (6.49) : This is the highlight, it starts with a slow and compelling rhythm featuring sensitive electric guitar and delicate piano. Then the sound becomes gradually more bombastic with a captivating contrast between the fragile mandoline and the propulsive drum beats. After a dreamy part with buzzing bass work and fragile piano work, we can enjoy sparkling piano and wonderful mandoline play. The second part contains a great build- up with flowing shifting moods, culminating in a very intense and compelling electric guitar solo, breathtaking symphonic prog!

7. Birth (4.22) : The final song has a mellow climate and in the end some classical guitar play, very subtle.

I am absolutely delighted about this wonderful, often emotional blend of folk, chamber music and symphonic prog but I have to admit that it is not mainstream prog. Nonetheless, I hope more progheads will try to discover this very unique and promising Japanese project!

erik neuteboom | 4/5 |


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