Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Bondage Fruit


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bondage Fruit Bondage Fruit I album cover
4.00 | 72 ratings | 12 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Holy Roller (3:54)
2. Arabia No Zou (4:31)
3. Kodomo No Torokko (8:24)
4. Rigo (2:22)
5. Octopus-Command (7:16)
6. Hiko Suru Ko (6:45)
7. Kaku No Sakana (6:15)
8. Kinzoku No Taiji (7:35)
9. T-Rex (6:01)

Total Time 53:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Saga Yuki / vocals
- Aki / vocals
- Kido Natsuki / guitar
- Katsui Yuji / vocals, violin
- Ohtsubo Hirohiko / bass
- Takara Kumiko / vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, percussion
- Okabe Youichi / percussion

- Namie Tokyo / vocals (4)
- Yen Chang / vocals (6)
- Hirose Junji / saxophone (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Workshy-Oishi

CD ISIS ‎- ISIS-0111 (1994, Japan)
CD Maboroshi No Sekai ‎- MABO-014 (2002, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to tapfret for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy BONDAGE FRUIT Bondage Fruit I Music

BONDAGE FRUIT Bondage Fruit I ratings distribution

(72 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BONDAGE FRUIT Bondage Fruit I reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I cannot praise this band enough.Their debut album is a Japanese flavour of Zeuhl that is simply intoxicating to say the least. Not as much guitar as HAPPY FAMILY, but more Zeuhl sounding with the relentless bass and drums along with the amazing female vocalists. They impliment some xylophone, miramba, violin and glockenspiel as well. The violin is actually quite prominant and is played so tastefully.

"Holly Roller" opens the proceedings as drums and guitar riffs set the pace. Violin jumps in with vocal melodies to create a great sound. "Arabia No Zou" is the song that appealed to me right away upon first listen. What a catchy beat with those heavy drums with two female vocalists singing at times the same parts, and then different parts. Nice. Kido on guitar grinds out an amazing guitar solo. What a song ! And the most Zeuhl sounding too. "Kodomo No Torokko" has some incredible vocal arrangements.The drums are again dominant before it all calms down as a violin melody is beautifully played. The drums are relentless and then the violin is replaced by the acoustic guitar. It all grows in intensity as vocal melodies come back along with violin 8 minutes in to the end of the song. "Rigo" is a cool song, a little different. Female vocal melodies along with xylophone? and violin.

"Octopus-Command" makes me say "Here we go !" as pounding drums and killer female vocal melodies are joined by violin that is on fire. The vocals here remind me of Mauricia from ZAO's debut. Oh my ! Ok enough with the adjectives I know, but this is truly amazing stuff. Some ripping guitar comes in before the melody just stops with only deep bass sounds to be heard. Very atmospheric until the guitar comes crashing back in. It then becomes quite frantic before settling down a wee bit. "Hikou Suru Ko" opens with some beautiful vocal melodies and a powerful drum / bass rhythm. The violin replaces the vocals briefly before we get a guest male vocalist 4 1/2 minutes in. "Kakuu No Sakana" gives us time to relax a little as it features acoustic guitar in a rhythm that sort of drifts along. Some sweet sounding violin comes in after 3 minutes. "Kinzoku No Taiji" opens with drumming at the speed of light. This song is complex and very much in your face. A wall of sound at times. The guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in just goes on and on. We're not worthy !Check out the bass ! It's the vocals and drums turn to show off 6 1/2 minutes in. This has the best ending ever ! "T-Rex" features pounding drums and scorching guitar. This one gets a little extreme, it's great. Some guest sax later that borders on dissonant.

Thanks again Avestin. I'd also like to give a tip of the hat to loserboy who I have just passed on the review list. It's an honour to be up here with him, he's been abuntantly helpful over the years with his reviews here and on his web-site. He is so positive about music, I don't think i've ever read him say one negative thing about a band or album. Thanks Mr.Unger.

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Stunning debut, launch pad for future greatness

Sub-genre: Zeuhl (good fit)
For Fans of: Koenjihyakkei, Ruins, Magma
Vocal Style: Multiple female (occasional male), vocals as instruments rather than vocals as lyrics
Guitar Style: Varying styles from distorted electric to sweet, full sounding acoustic
Keyboard Style: none
Percussion Style: Dual percussion, standard rock set plus, vibes, glock, trap drum, and I am pretty sure they kick a garbage can or 2
Bass Style: upright electric picked and occasionally beaten
Other Instruments: Electric violin played with ethereal Eastern influenced overtones

Summary: This is the first of an outstanding career by Bondage Fruit. This band is so free in its evolution that one would not likely identify this album as being from the same band as their most recent 6th release. The obvious differences are the vocals, which are integral to the fabric of the first two albums and completely absent after that. In the debut, the vocals are more layered, but occasionally sound out of tune. The guitar sound is much more aggressive in the first 2 albums as well. It seems that Kido Natsuki has directed his more distorted playing that we find in this album toward his power trio, Korekyojin. The album also differs from the traditional Zeuhl sound in that it lacks the prevailing darkness heard in the likes of Magma, Ruins and Koenjihyakei. The 2nd album would display this darkness with a very punky flavor. This album is electric and modern with textures of Eastern and traditional Japanese music. The traditional Japanese influence is well demonstrated in the very percussive opener, Holy Roller. My personal favorite from the album, as well as one of my 5 favorite Bondage Fruit songs, is Kinzoku no Taiji. The song is a Progressive tour de force, with a smash mouth slamming intro and verse.

Final Score: This is an excellent album, highly recommended and essential to any prog collection. This is so close to being a 5 star album, but the band seems to yet have the swagger present in the follow-up, or any of their even numbered releases. 4.2 very big stars.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tribal-zeuhl

Primordial sounding and somewhat raw, this wonderful Zeuhl album by the magnificent Japanese band is a stunning listening experience; it makes me think of me as the listener, exploring a foreign land, and on my way encountering unknown tribes and cultures, getting to know their bewitching music which works like magic, attracting to it unsuspecting strangers. The main instruments and sounds that are the most prominent here are the vocals, percussion, glockenspiel & vibraphone and the violin. The rest gives a good and effective support to the music.

Fast and frisky or slower and pounding, the music exerts its haunting effect continuously with an almost hypnotic fashion. The rhythm is engaging and the tune repetitive but mesmerizing. I can't help but get absorbed in this album when I put it, due to its addictive beat; it's relentless and seems unstoppable. The music has a positive and optimistic feel to it (even when it gets zany); it sounds as if they're having a blast playing and chanting. I sure have a great time listening to it. A good example of the amount of energy here would be the track Kinzoku no Taiji and particularly the intro to it with the powerful bass and rhythm section and the heavy out-of-control guitar that reappears later in the track causing havoc alongside the drums which seem to have also gone berserk. It sounds as if a wall of sound is crushing on you; best to play this very loud for the best effect. The vocalists, female vocals in the back and other leading (female & male) and sometimes crazy lead vocals, are at the forefront of the music serving as the extension of the rhythm and tunes, singing along with it and to it.

There's also some place for the instruments to express themselves in a more direct manner, such as the acoustic guitar in Kodomo no Torokko, vibraphone in Rigo and the violin throughout the album. In Octopus-Command, the guitar gets electrified and crazy as do the vocals which seem to have gone up to squeaking tones. In other words, there's also some variety with regards to the fact that repetitiveness is a key feature here. Hiko Suru Ko with its male vocalist reminds me a bit of some world music and actually provokes an image of an African wilderness and him and the band playing in the nature. The last track, T-Rex is perhaps the most experimental with its noisy and odd sounds and it would fit very well in other avant-rock albums I have. It definitely stands out in the album, but not in a bad way at all (for me, obviously). It does "resume normality" with the propulsive drumming and percussion and the violin and sax joining in elevating the noise factor even more (which is great to my ears). This ends the album with an unforgettable bang.

Rigo and Kaku No Sakana are two tracks that give a break from the otherwise persistent aural assault on our ears with their quiet, slow and percussion-less form, yet they are too based on repetition of a tune with an instrument in the foreground (violin) occasionally playing a few notes.

What more can one ask from an album? This is a superb listening experience, highly vibrant, full of life, catchy and rhythmic; irresistible. This is a great addition to your zeuhl and progressive music collection.

This will surely please fans of Magma, Eskaton and Koenjihyakkei and any fans of highly energetic, catchy (and eccentric) rhythmic based music.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent debut album from Japanese zeuhl band. I really love this kind of zeuhl - not very dark and totalitarian-depressive, as on classic Magma albums, but lighter, jazzy, not overloaded with Orffian visions.

This album is interesting because of being release of Japanese band its music has strong European roots. Usually Japanese zeuhl (as well as many other progressive rock subgenres) are heavily influenced by proto-punk psychedelia/hardcore. Bondage Fruit's debut is light (as much as zeuhl could be light), with strong tradition of European fusion and at the same time influenced by Japanese folklore. Light tribal fusion psychedelic zeuhl?

Album's music contains, besides of usual instruments, violin and male/female jazzy wordless vocals. These additions changed songs radically - music became more variable, less dark and much more attractive.

One of best Japanese zeuhl album for sure. Could attract experimental fusion fans as well. Recommended!

My rating is 4+

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Along with the frantic, hyper side of the Japanese Zeuhl scene, some bands were taking the genre and doing something a bit different with it. The music is still faster than the French Zeuhl scene, still seemingly influenced by punk and avant prog, but in comparison with the hyper brain-melting style present on the best albums of Ruins and Koenjihyakkei, Bondage Fruit's debut presents the tribal edge of Zeuhl more fluently. The vocals on this album are mainly female, not as much chanting in a made up language as much as singing wordless vocals. Some of the songs on the album are calmer, while some (for example, the closer) display the chaotic side which they generally keep under control. There is only one track on the album which doesn't impress me to quite the same level as the rest - the short Rigo. The song is only the vocalists along with some very sparse instrumentation, which isn't a bad thing, but it somehow doesn't work as well for me as I had hoped it would. The rest of the album is all very good to great though.

Kido Natsuki and Yuji Katsui are the real standout musicians here for me. Both of them are incredibly talented, and both are in quite a lot of groups I enjoy. If you want something which isn't always ripping into your skull at high speeds, yet want to discover the Japanese Zeuhl style, this album would be a very good choice for you. The music on display is creative and quite a lot of fun, and they manage to effectively mix together the intense and the thoughtful. This one is easily a four star album, and with time I may end up changing it to five.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Bondage Fruit's debut album is a remarkably well-realised presentation of the band's unique sound, which takes the standard zeuhlish martial rhythms and applies a diverse compositional approach to it and an unusual set of instruments (for a zeuhl band) in order to achieve a sonic atmosphere which, whilst bearing the heritage of Magma here or there, is otherwise entirely original to the band. Kastui Yuji's violin deserves particular mention, Yuji displaying both an enviable virtuosity and an extensive capacity to rock out; at points I am reminded of the amazing violin solo at the end of Baba O'Riley, and any band capable of bridging Magma and The Who is surely one to watch.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The crazy zeuhl sub-genre of progressive rock may have begun in France by Magma creator Christian Vander and then imitated by many others mostly residing with the French territory but after this crazy jazz-rock's country of origin, no other country has helped evolve it beyond its Kobaian roots like Japan has. The Eastern chapter of zeuhl craze caught on in the 80s when Tatsuya Yoshida emerged from nowhere with his band Ruins as it took the bubbling zeuhl rhythms of the French pioneers and turned it all into a highly sophisticated and bombastic mix of zeuhl, avant-prog, math rock, hardcore punk and free improvisation. The Japanese sector of the zeuhl universe has become known as brutal prog in many camps with its relentless attack of all the characteristics of progressive rock turned up to 11 without showing a shred of mercy whatsoever.

After Ruins opened the floodgates of this free-for-all zeuhl-fest, one of the earliest bands to follow suit was the Tokyo based BONDAGE FRUIT which took many of the aspects of Ruins, such as the avant-prog eccentricities of bands like Henry Cow and brutal bombast a la hardcore punk and simmered it all down into a completely new form of martial rhythmic drive that included a whole bunch of new instrumentation hitherto unheard in the genre's French scene. BONDAGE FRUIT was formed in 1990 by guitarist Kido Natsuki, violinist Yuji Katsui and drummer Otsubo Hirohiko. The band emerged from the ashes of another band Deforme and went through many lineups before vocalists Aki and Saga Yuki, percussionist Okabe Youichi and Takara Kuimiko (vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, percussion) joined ranks and created the band's outstanding self-titled debut which hit the market in 1994.

If that fine collection of instruments wasn't enough, BONDAGE FRUIT also incorporated the talents of vocalists Namie Tokyo and Yen Chang as well as saxophonist Hirose Junji on select tracks. While following in the footsteps of Ruins' manic delivery of percussion run amok with ample doses of noise rock, BONDAGE FRUIT crafted a much steadier flow of musical elements that relied as much on melody as the frenetic callithump of creative instrumental interplay. In addition to the Magma inspired zeuhl rhythms and the haunting choral vocal styles, the band displays a rather Mahavishnu Orchestra inspired style of jazz-fusion that comes through loud and clear on the Ponty-esque violins as well as the Celtic folk tinged guitars that tease in some John McLaughlin. However despite the niceties involved there is still plenty of room for avant-prog angularities such as on "Rigo" which hints at the artier side of the Art Bears or News From Babel.

Lyrics appear to be in neither English, Japanese nor some invented counterpart to Kobaian but rather nonsensical utterances utilized simply as another instrument. BONDAGE FRUIT is a really good album as no tracks are weak and each one resonates a unique personality which makes this album a wonderful listening experience. Tracks like "Octopus-Command" create a cacophonous roar that is as bombastic and brutal as what Ruins dished out which is why Kido and Tatsuya Yoshida would harmonize their passions in the band Korekyojinn that created a similar style of brutal zeuhl that BONDAGE FRUIT constructed on this debut. All in all, this is an excellent mix of musical styles teased into the deeper underpinnings of the zeuhl experience with a diversity that far exceeds anything that came before and while exhibiting an amazingly flamboyant display of weirdness, the album retains firm control of the rhythmic drive and never bursts into chaotic avant-weirdness for its sake alone.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars The debut release from these high energy Japanese youth. Though this is definitely Zuehl (the vocals give it away), the tribal rhythms and prominent contributions of tuned percussives, violins, saxophone, strumming acoustic guitars, and really raunchy buzz-saw lead electric guitar give the music and sound an entirely different palette than Magma or the European Zeulers.

1. "Holy Roller" (3:54) tribalistic hand drums joined by scratchy electric rhythm guitar and then violin and voice. The vocals definitely have Zeuhlish feel to them, but the rest less so. (8.75/10)

2. "Arabia No Zou" (4:31) fairly simple, straightforward musical weave in which the wordless vocal weave switches from percussive "da-da"s to smooth "wee-ee"s and then to soul-operatic scatting of a solo woman. Interesting. (8.75/10)

3. "Kodomo No Torokko" (8:24) opens with fast driving, multiple layers of percussion and chunky bass which are soon joined by a choir of wordless vocalise establishing a very engaging series of melodies with harmonic support and counterpoint presenting in a verse and chorus format. Very cool! At 2:30 voices and bass take a break while violin takes the lead over cymbal play. Sounds like Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went to Georgia" or The Who's "Baba O'Riley" violin play over Laurie Anderson's "Blue Lagoon" tuned percussives. Voices join back in until the five minute mark when acoustic steel-string guitar takes a turn as the demon soloist. Voices join in during the seventh minute in a beautiful Paul Winter Consort kind of way. Simply an awesome, innovative song! (20/20)

4. "Rigo" (2:22) percussion and Bobby McFerrin-like voices create an odd, perky chordal weave before soprano female takes on the role as the breathy lead over the top. Halfway through the song stops and peeks through another door (vibes) before returning to the perky chords with horn added. (4.5/5)

5. "Octopus-Command" (7:16) opens with multi-voice vocal weave that sounds like something Bobby McFerrin might have constructed, but then full band bursts in with same bass, snarey-drums, vibes, edgy guitars, and multi- voiced choir, all scatting along at breakneck speed with each other, each following the same melody lines--until the third minute when everybody drops out except for the bass--who meanders slowly, snail-like, through a lonely murk of silence. He sounds a lot like Eberhard Weber or David Darling. At 4:30 everybody comes shrieking (on behalf of the guitar and high-speed vocalists--who alternate screaching at each other, this is literally true). At 6:00 everybody cuts out for a brief interlude of high end xylophone before the band members all rejoin--this time at normal speed. Not as melodic as I like, but very impressive performances. (13.25/15)

6. "Hiko Suru Ko" (6:45) opens with a weave, pace, structure, and vocalist and melody sounding very much like a song of theirs from the future. I love the hand drumming as the percussion/rhythmic foundation. Violin takes over the lead from the alto female voice in the second verse. Female voice rejoins in the third minute. both leads are smooth and fairly sedate. Acoustic guitars and bowed cello/bass become more prominent in the third section--and vocals get thicker with others joining alto. Next section has an Nassau N'dour-like African-sounding male singer. Very cool! Then other vocalists join in while song slowly fades. (13.5/15)

7. "Kaku No Sakana" (6:15) gentle, based upon a simple acoustic guitar arpeggio other instruments add gentle almost incidental sounds to it. Nice and interesting but a little long and drawn out. (8.5/10)

8. "Kinzoku No Taiji" (7:37) more full band frenzy on display, this time pursuing a more mid/alto range of pitches. Excellent drumming on display here as the chunky bass slides all over the fretboard, high and low ends. Violin, electric guitar, and single voice take the solos (and take their solos very seriously--and man do they cook!). (13.5/15)

9. "T-Rex" (6:01) from the first note this one definitely presents itself like some kind of wild orgy of soloists. The only thing keeping it all together is the tribalistic drum pattern. When things "calm cdown" and move into more vocal- centered deliveries, it reminds me of P-We Yoshimi's OOIOO project. I actually really like the second half of this song: it's much tamer and more melodic and cohesive than the initial food frenzy. (9.75/10)

Total Time: 53:05

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and quite a debut of Japanified Zeuhl.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 1994 was the real advent of Zeuhl in Japan (yes Ruins got there before then, but was that TRULY Zeuhl?). Bondage Fruit's debut album is certainly Zeuhl, at the very least the vocals give it away. While not as dark and totalitarian as peak Magma, it has its brooding moments while being relativel ... (read more)

Report this review (#2944504) | Posted by bartymj | Tuesday, August 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Japanese Zeuhl band prior to koenjihyakkei. Much in the more aggressive Japanese Zeuhl as accustomed in Ruins The songs are very complex but balanced, both in execution and in the composition I'm a fan of konenjiyankkey and found the fruit recently, and to me, both are a great performance bands ... (read more)

Report this review (#505698) | Posted by Joćo Paulo | Friday, August 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars That's what we are talking about ! This is the debut album from the Japanese band Bondage Fruit. They are labeled zeuhl, but that is a label loosely applied to their music. This album is all over the music scenes. From fusion aka Mahavishnu Orchestra to Magma. In between, they also visit Afr ... (read more)

Report this review (#352183) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Bondage Fruit are one of the earliest and most circulated (well, in Japan maybe) Japanese Zeuhl bands. This, their debut album, released in '94, was likely a main factor in the foundation of the Zeuhl movement there. However, unlike other Japanese Zeuhl outfits, Bondage Fruit does not expand much ... (read more)

Report this review (#174167) | Posted by Shakespeare | Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of BONDAGE FRUIT "Bondage Fruit I"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.