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Ghost Lama Rabi Rabi album cover
4.04 | 17 ratings | 4 reviews | 47% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Masttillah (8:03)
2. RabiRabi (7:32)
3. Into The Alley (4:37)
4. Marrakech (5:19)
5. Who Found A Lost Rost In The Warship? (3:11)
6. Mex Square Blue (4:14)
7. My Hump Is A Shell (1:44)
8. Bad Bone (4:17)
9. Abyssinia (3:36)
10. Agate Scape (10:49)
11. Summer's Ashen Fable (6:04)

Total Time: 59:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Masaki Batoh / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Kazuo Ogino / piano, electronics
- Michio Kurihara / electric guitar
- Junzo Tateiwa / drums, percussion
- Takuyuki Moriya / bass
- Taishi Takizawa (also known as Giant) / Theremin, flute, saxophone

Releases information

Released on December 10, 1996 DC113 2xlp/CD

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and to Fitzcarraldo for the last updates
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GHOST Lama Rabi Rabi ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GHOST Lama Rabi Rabi reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chamberry
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Out of all of the three Ghost albums I own, Lama Rabi Rabi is the one that stood out of the crowd by a long shot. This album is one of the best examples of folky neo psychedelia and it's no surprise that a Japanese band made this album, not by their sound, but by the big amount of excellent music coming out of Japan in recent years.

This album has shocked me from the first time I heard it and I still haven't changed my opinion since then. It has a wonderful atmosphere thanks to the various instruments and quality of the sound. It's like a walk in the most beautiful woods, a nice chat with Gaia or even having a nice cup of tea in the exotic forests of Borneo. All of that thanks to the leader of the group Masaki Batoh and his love for Tibetan culture which exploded at the recording of this album. Mixing influences from different kinds of bands (Amon Düüll II, Jefferson Airplane ect.), genres (krautrock, acid folk, psychedelic rock, ect.) and cultures, Ghost made a masterpiece like anything I've heard before with Lama Rabi Rabi.

This album can go to fierce ethnic stampede to acoustic beauty in the same album without sounding out of shape or out of balance. Most of the vocals are sung through a distortion box which is part of the great atmosphere of the album and it's one of the mayor things I enjoy about the album. When he isn't using the distortion box things get very emotional thanks to Batoh's beautiful vocals. He's style of singing is very mellow and he doesn't try to raise his voice too much and it works perfectly that way. His guitar work is another excellent quality about Ghost. A great guitar player without a doubt with beautiful arpeggios and arrangements. The other members can't be left behind. Kurihara has his electric guitar which doesn't sound out of place from the mostly acoustic atmosphere of the album, Furuya with his varied percussion instruments and nice drummer, Ogino with his wonderful piano and soft electronic drone atmospheres, Takizawa and his wind instruments that give the album an extra folky touch to it and last, but not least, the groovy bass playing of Moriya.

The songs on the album are quite varied. From the exotic "Mastillah", to the acoustic "Into the Alley" and from the rocky "Bad Bone" the album shows it's different sides each one with a different story to tell. The album has it's frantic parts like "RabiRabi" which sounds like one letting itself go by our animal instincts inside of us. The song keeps it's mood from start to finish. The thing I see that Ghost excels the most are in the calming acoustic and ethnic songs and this album is chuck full of it. One of this songs is "Abyssinia" with its wonderful sitar and cricket sounds in the background giving us images of nights in the forest of Japan. The best song in the album is without a doubt "Agate Scape". I honestly can't describe the emotions this song makes me feel. The closest thing I can think of is the combination of peace, love, nostalgia and beauty all in one simple 10+ minute song. By the end of the song you'll be pretty much speechless and crying for the song to never stop. The album ends with "Summer's Ashen Fable" which finishes the album beautifully. By the end of the last song the album feels perfectly made. Not one song is out of place, not one song was left outside and everything sounds coherent. It's an accomplished piece of art. A masterpiece where nature and human emotions collide.

This is definitely one of the best album to come out from the 90's and it definitely needs to get the recognition it deserves. A masterpiece in every sense of the word.

This is the soundtrack to nature and its beauty.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars GHOST blend Japanese Folk music with their own brand of psychedelic haze.This is mostly ambient and slow paced with flute, guitar and percussion leading the way.

"Masttillah" opens with various sounds including flute and percussion as it sort of meanders along. "Raburabi" is more uptempo and we get some chanted vocal melodies that come and go. Vocals come in as well as flute, percussion and guitar. "Into The Alley" features vocals, synths and acoustic guitar. "Marrakech" has some processed vocals, percussion and strummed guitar. This one has a good rhythm to it as flute comes in followed by guitar. "Who Found A Lost Rose In The Warship ?" is somewhat catchy. "Mex Square Blue" has a good beat with flute. "My Hump Is A Shell" has some theremin in it which surprised me to say the least.This gives the song a real spacey vibe. Acoustic guitar and piano lead the rest of the way.

"Bad Bone" has processed vocals, screaming sax and percussion. "Abyssinia" has some cricket-like sounds, vocals and acoustic guitar. This is a slow moving song with an Eastern flavour. "Agate Scape" is my favourite. It starts slowly but builds in intensity before relaxing again. This is the best part of the entire album, it's so dreamy and laid back with the strongest vocal performance as well. "Summer's Ashen Fable" is a mellow track with vocals that remind me of the band THE USE OF ASHES. The song ends with the sound of a thunderstorm.

I have the same feelings for this album as I do for the TORTOISE albums I have heard. I really admire Chamberry's review for his enthusiasm that I wish I shared. Although I would like to go for a walk in the woods listening to this record. Music for the mind. 4 stars.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars With this album, the Japanese group Ghost hints definitely and full Indian music and psychedelics. Indeed even down to the album title's calligraphy, the music of the album takes a very meditative role and

While the opening track does start to a very bucolic and pastoral start, it soon develops in a sort of Indian raga and seems to drag on slightly. Funnily enough, the first minutes of Rabi Rabi seem to take the theme of the opening track, but elevate to an almost violent rock music level, definitely contrasting Mastillah's insistent ethnic folklore. This second track is really one of the group's strongest ever, only topped by the lengthy title track Hypnotic Underground. Like most Ghost albums, there are some very uneven moments in this Lama album, like the loose folky/dopey Into The Alley, the slightly whimsy/hippy Mex Square Blue (with stepping drums), the heavy Bad Bone are all correct and entertaining, but the particularly irritating musical saw of My Hump Is A Shell, the boring closing Ashen Fable being much weaker. On the other side, the Zep/No Quarter-like Marrakech, at least at first, ending in a good almost jujuka groove, the banjo-laden Lost Rose and the sitar-track of Abyssinia (old-day Ethiopia) and Agate Scape are well above the average.

Still be a good freak-out album but relatively over-rated and usually hinted as the group's best effort, this writer would disagree and direct you towards the much more recent Underground album, with its stupendous title track. I'd say this one is best enjoyed with a big fat Jamaican doobie.

Review by HolyMoly
4 stars The Japanese psychedelic folk band Ghost is at its best on this album, their third, released in 1996. Acoustic guitarist/vocalist Masaki Batoh is the spiritual leader of this very spiritual band, always at the center of a sound that varies from quiet and pastoral to loud and aggressive on this album. The most dominant instruments are hand percussion, flutes, acoustic guitar, and piano, to varying degrees from number to number. A band that comes to mind that is similar would be Jade Warrior, especially on their early instrumentals. The wonderful thing about Ghost is how they sound like they were plucked out of another age and dimension... the kind of music you can imagine floating through the air in ancient times. And I believe that of all their albums, this one achieves that sound the best.

"Mastillah" opens the album as a perfect mood setter, floating and drifting. "RabiRabi" carries the same drifting feeling but with a much more aggressive, stormy arrangement with loud electric bass, searing electric guitar feedback and insistent chanting. "Into the Alley" takes things back down, as Batoh gives us a simple sung ballad on acoustic guitar. "Marrakech" goes back into darker realms with a distorted singing voice and plodding rhythm on acoustic instruments. "Who Found a Lost Rose in the Warship?" sounds like a long lost folk song incorporating banjo, jews harp and either a recorder or a piccolo, along with a sad sung melody. "Mex Square Blue" keeps the banjo going, with a recorder melody taking the lead.

"My Hump is a Shell" is one of the most striking numbers here, a brief instrumental duet between acoustic guitar and Theremin, really really pretty stuff. "Bad Bone" is the most rock-oriented song here, with a memorable bass riff carrying the song along. "Abyssinia" brings in a sitar (I only wish there was more sitar on this album) and another very distinctly Eastern folk melody in the vocals. "Agate Scape", the nearly 11-minute penultimate track, is a wonderful display of building intensity and tension. It begins as a gentle folk ballad with acoustic guitar, bells, and piano - but around the three minute mark, it very slowly builds layers of instruments, slowly gets louder, and slowly adds dissonance over the course of several instrumental minutes, before returning to the quiet beginning. The final track, "Summer's Ashen Fable", concludes the album with a gentle piano-led folk melody, quietly bringing things to a close.

Although there is a good variety of sounds on this album, as well as a good mix of loud and quiet numbers, once you've heard the first minute or so of any track, you're not going to be surprised by the rest of it. Despite the occasional aggressive moments, this is more of a meditative album than anything else. But in that capacity, this is one of the more seductive and emotional albums I've come across in recent years. Masaki Batoh is a visionary musician seemingly transported from another age, and he has led Ghost to a near-masterpiece here. Falls short of five stars only because a few of the songs sound a little too similar to other songs on the album, but this is still one to check out if you love acoustic psychedelia or Eastern folk music.

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