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TONIC 2001


Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Rovo Tonic 2001 album cover
4.00 | 3 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sukhna (10:33)
2. Guiding Star (14:39)
3. NA-X? (11:49)
4. Horsess (9:55)
5. Vitamine (8:10)
6. Cisko (13:03)
7. Sinno (34:42)
8. Sunspot (11:33)

Total Time 114:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Seiichi Yamamoto / guitar
- Yasuhiro Yoshigaki / drums
- Tatsuki Masuko / keyboards, effects
- Yoichi Okabe / drums
- Jin Harada / bass
- Yuji Katsui / violin
- Koji Nakanishi / keyboards

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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ROVO Tonic 2001 ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROVO Tonic 2001 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
4 stars Playing at New York City's music club 'Tonic' ROVO offer a quite undefinable mix of music styles here - this is eclectic, ecstatic, virtuoso. The band is consisting of seven experienced musicians from the japanese experimental rock scene and the songs put on this double compact disc are representing a best-of from two concerts showing them in excellent condition. The two drummer/percussionists Yasuhiro Yoshigaki and Yoichi Okabe are the backbone so to say caring for an enormous groove which is mostly jazzy accentuated but also alternating with a djembe forced tribal fundament.

The opener Sukhna for example holds a hypnotic bass and violin appearance which is intensifying a trancy feeling. And they are also integrating furious impressions, speed changes coupled with fiery escalating moments. I don't know what could be more suspense-packed as the jam Guiding Star - a great example for their instrumental interaction. As for the jazzy moments I'm sometimes remembered at Stomu Yamashta. Horses shouldn't be missed - another great example of combining psych, fusion and trance.

The musicians are really acting like a collective by the way - which means nobody is ever distinctly pushed into the foreground. The songs are mostly lacking of solos - okay - if you don't count some Jean-Luc Ponty references when listening to Vitamine. Second disc now starts with spacey ambient soundscapes supported by a melancholic violin until the band grooves once more. Cisko is presented in a clear psych/space environment with distorted wah-wah modulated guitars and twittering synths (which you will find all over by the way) evolving to an ecstatic heavy rocking piece in the vein of Hawkwind.

Now I won't forget to mention the lengthy Sinno, originally composed by guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto for a split CD with Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden. Nearly 35 minutes long, showing a long electronical intro, then slipping into something like a trip hop/nu jazz behaviour and later gliding into the orbit with a spacey flow ... open-end! This eclectic suite is really something special. A tough call ... have to listen once more.

It is said that Bill Laswell is responsible for two special mix translations. Not that I'm surprised that he's aboard because the ROVO sound holds a special trippiness undoubtly - but couldn't find any information which songs are exactly involved here. I shouldn't wonder if any. 'Tonic 2001' is an entertaining album (maybe one or two will exclude the monster track 'Sinno') - recommended to prog music listeners who are searching for new horizons. Don't miss them!

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First live release of Japanese space prog band. Recorded in NY Tonic and released on Zorn's Tzadik records,this album attracted my attention by its characteristic "Tzadik style" cover. Avant- jazz?Klezmer?

No mistakes - real space prog, but what a great one! Sound is liquid and very jazzy, especially fusion drumming. Spacey soundscapes are very airy, sometimes psychedelic, and differently from some more "rock-based" colleagues, band's long compositions doesn't sound too repetitive or mechanic.

Could be compared with very jazzy version of some early Hawkwind's works, or Ozric Tentacles with soft and liquid sound. Really nice album for space prog lovers ,searching for different (jazzy) sound!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars ROVO is an experimental, psychedelic jam band from Japan. They like to improvise which isn't surprising considering that these are some of the best underground Japanese musicians on the planet. We have THE BOREDOMS guitar player, the ALTERED STATES and GROUND ZERO drummer, BONDAGE FRUIT's violinist and drummer and more.There's lots of electronics and Djembe as well.This was recorded live in New York City at the Rovo Night Club in July of 2001. I like how spacey the music can get and also the violin that does some impressive shredding reminding me of INDUKTI.

"Sukhna" is an amazing track that starts out with violin and drums as they seem to jam while guitar and other sounds help out. The tempo picks up before 6 minutes with the bass standing out. "Guiding" opens with atmosphere then drums, violin and other sounds start to come and go. We start to get a steady beat halfway through as the violin rips it up. The guitar comes in before 10 1/2 minutes as things get intense. Incredible ! "NA-X?" opens with the drums pounding away then the violin comes in slicing and dicing. Killer sound 8 minutes in. I could listen to this all day. "Horsess" has these ethnic sounds with drums.They really groove on this one and I love the drumming and bass.Violin 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Vitamine" opens with synths then it kicks in before a minute with drums and bass. Nice. Synths continue then the violin joins in. "Cisko" opens with atmosphere and violin. A change after 2 minutes as the drums kick in. Nice.The tempo picks up 7 minutes in and the violin lights it up. They are kicking ass and taking names before 10 minutes. "Sinno" is a 34 1/2 minute monster jam. It sounds like a keyboard melody that is repeated over and over then it turns spacey around 4 1/2 minutes. Drums join in as spacey sounds continue. Violin arrives then the beat stops after 10 minutes as it becomes spacey. Drums are back after 14 1/2 minutes and it's starting to pick up 17 minutes in. Pretty much violin only 24 minutes in then the drums return again as they continue. "Sunspot" is mellow with intricate sounds to start. Violin around 4 minutes. It kicks in around 8 minutes.The guitar arrives late when it settles back.

This two disc set is a little long for my tastes but I do really enjoy the style of music here. A solid 4 stars.

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