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SLOPE

Moleslope

Canterbury Scene


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Moleslope Slope album cover
3.13 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Changing (4:00)
2. Slow Snow (4:39)
3. Shelterless (4:04)
4. Killer (4:13)
5. Leap Second (3:34)
6. North Wind (4:48)
7. Little Night Trip (7:39)

Total Time 32:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Chie Takizawa / keyboards
- Mami Matsuzaka / keyboards
- Toru Kasai / bass
- Ryo Hisatsune / guitar
- DSK Okamura / drums
- Junko Okumura / trumpet?
- Akihiko Ando / sax

Guest members:

- Yoko Ikeda / violin
- Yoshihiro Nabeshima / bass

Releases information

Streaming + Download
Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

released December 13, 2019

Thanks to historian9 for the addition
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MOLESLOPE Slope ratings distribution


3.13
(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
8%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (50%)
50%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

MOLESLOPE Slope reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars While the Canterbury Scene was of course a very English style of progressive rock that was centered around the city of Canterbury, it was by no means limited to its confines and rather refers to a style of jazz-rock that emerged from the late 60s in that region. While most dabblers in this style have been English, there have been quite a few other European nations that joined in and developed the unique subset of jazz-fusion into even more interesting arenas however the style really never caught on outside of the European continent.

Of all the non-European nations of the world, none other have been as eager to experiment in prog music as much as the Japanese who have tackled everything from avant-prog and zeuhl to the unique wilderness of psychedelic rock but the Canterbury Scene is not a style of prog that has been explored to any extent until recently. Mr Sirius and Stubbs were the first Japanese bands to dabble in Canterbury sounds all the way back in the 1980s but more recently Japan has seen this style of prog catching on from bands like DeLorians as well as this Tokyo based band MOLESLOPE.

SLOPE is the debut which features a twin keyboard given instrumental procession through seven tracks that consist of seven seasoned musicians that includes Chie Takizawa (keyboards), Mami Matsuzaka (keyboards), Akihito Ida (trumpet), Toru Kasai (bass), Ryo Hisatsune (guitar) and Daisuke Okamoto (drums). These are true Canterbury fans indeed as even the moniker pays tribute to the jazzy rock scene which saw its heyday in the 70s. The MOLE part comes from Matching Mole whereas the SLOPE refers to the lush green topography of the Canterbury region in England.

What MOLESLOPE provides here is a retro experience into the past with an authentic playlist of Canterbury sounds that have been adapted to a diverse range of crossover melodies that play out somewhat in post-rock and Krautrock hypno-drive. Steeped with the classic organ sounds of 70s Caravan along with Hatfield and the North tinged horns and flutes, the music captures the zeitgeist of the past while steering the all-instrumental tracks into more hypnotic processions that offer groovy bass lines that are as soft and breezy as something the Weather Report would've dished out in their 70s heyday. The mix of two keyboardists guarantees that SLOPE remains highly atmospheric as the rotating horn sections, flute and occasional violin sounds gently craft highly melodic counterpoints.

While the Canterbury Scene has generated some of the most difficult listening experiences in all of prog ranging from Matching Mole and National Health to the jagged soundscapes of Soft Machine's "Third," MOLESLOPE are more akin to the pop infused Canterbury sounds of Caravan especially around the "In The Land Of The Grey And Pink" era however this is a totally instrumental album with no vocals to be heard. The album is quite short as it just misses the 33 minute mark. Considering this is a Japanese band there is nothing to be heard here that indicates the nation of origin as this sounds about as authentically English as is possible which is very interesting but at the same time MOLESLOPE doesn't really offer anything new to the classic Canterbury sound either.

Overall this is a really good album even if the lack of vocals gives it a somewhat one-dimensional approach. Perhaps the greatest problem with this one is that it plays it all way too safe in a subset of prog that is known for its bold and adventurous spirit. This truly sounds like Canterbury lite and although it's fantastically performed, it's just a wee bit too easy listening for my tastes at least in this context of musical expression. For those looking to get into the Canterbury Scene and its interesting tones and textures, then this would be the perfect place to start along with classics like Caravan but if you crave some serious skronk prog that takes things to the next level then this one will sorely disappoint. But hey! This is only MOLESLOPE's first album and they mastered the Canterbury sound like champs so give them a little more time to infuse some creative mojo in the mix and i think we have a winner in this band.

3.5 rounded down

Latest members reviews

3 stars Canterbury Sound Modérn: Japan Chapter And here, coming away from listening to and preparing for 'Canterbury Sound' from Italy and Spain, we have further international representation of the subgenre from Japan! [I guess if there's Zeuhl worship in this country, why wouldn't we expect other, sli ... (read more)

Report this review (#2672266) | Posted by DangHeck | Friday, January 14, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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