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After Dinner - After Dinner [also released as: After Dinner / Live Editions] CD (album) cover


After Dinner


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4 stars A revelation, borne of diverse influences.

This release compiles work from different eras. Certain tracks are repeated but vary between performances; After Dinner seem to have a loose semi-improv ethic which colours even their shortest pieces - in any event, the track lengths are mostly irrelevant as this CD holds far more ideas than titled songs.

Early on we can hear parallels with Art Bears, given a playful spin that can seem sweet at times (a feeling mostly missing from great swathes of avant-progressive rock) and grotesque at others. Because Haco's vocals define the songs both in a melodic and a rhythmic way, the instrumentation often drops into minimal improvisation of strange varieties - sometimes electronically based but other songs are driven almost entirely by percussion, or else by asian traditional instruments - you'll hear a lot of zithering and drones. At one moment the listener can be reminded of Kabuki by a brilliantly-placed stringed sliding twang, and seldom can a solitary note bring such a smile to your lips.

Other songs are less abstract; the Sepiature tracks and "Cymbals at Dawn" fall somewhere alongside the mature, psychedelic Beatles compositions and show innocent touches of shibuya-kei (for the unacquainted, imagine a warped, arguably cuter version of ye-ye chanson.)

Any personal complaints about this album will be aimed at its distinct disjointedness, as about half of the record could be categorised as "avant-pop" - this out-Björks Björk by several degrees - while the other is actually rather quiet and experimentally cold (although there are exceptions - "Dessert" being based around a very warm interplay between what this reviewer assumes to be dulcimer, drones, tambla and some sort of whispering kazoo instrument.) So "Live Editions" is primarily recommended to distinguishing listeners of the improvised avant-garde - and pop music. ;)

Report this review (#120266)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This After Dinner might be a band that famous was exactly good for an overseas market and the listener in the existence of Avant-Prog of Japan. Haco of Vocal was formed to them as a person at the center in 1981. And, debut EP is announced in 1982. HACO had already shown interest in the synthetic music. And, it was a place of the experiment to which the element of various music was exactly taken for the music character of this band.

The existence of Yasushi Uthunomiya that takes charge of the synthesizer for making the sound of this band might be also large. He was well versed in the situation of machine parts and the recording as the engineer. To show the expression of the idea of HACO and music concretely, they were accompanied by many members. Or, there might have been a replacement of a few members, too.

Avant-Prog of Japan of the 1980's was exactly a dawn. Their music was the especially existence admitted in the world at an early stage. This album is a board of the edit that adds the sound source of live to "Glass Tube" announced in 1984. Element electronic in addition to original melody of Japan. Or, the element with the impression of New Wave and the ethnicity. They are also to the song of HACO and show various faces like the kaleidoscope.

Their activities end in 1988. However, their music won support from Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, and Robert Wyatt. And, support as recognized as a standing matter by the government- controlled station in Germany was collected. The evaluation is still popular among the performance that they did high.

Report this review (#237015)
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permalink

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