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Jade Warrior

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Jade Warrior Floating World album cover
3.69 | 126 ratings | 16 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Clouds (2:52)
2. Mountain of Fruit and Flowers (3:16)
3. Waterfall (5:38)
4. Red Lotus (4:31)
5. Clouds (1:25)
6. Rain Flower (2:44)
7. Easty (5:23)
8. Monkey Chant (2:24)
9. Memories of a Distant Sea (5:07)
10. Quba (2:44)

Total Time 36:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Duhig / acoustic & electric guitars, bass, piano, organ, glockenspiel, vibes
- Jon Field / Gaelic harp, gong, glockenspiel, vibes, alto, concert & Japanese flutes, congas, bell tree, African talking drum, cello, piano, organ, acoustic guitar

- David Duhig / guitar (8)
- Coldridge Good / string bass (2)
- Skalia Kanga / harp (9)
- The Orpington Junior Girls Choir / chorus vocals (1,5)
- Chris Carran / drums (1,2)
- Graham Deacon / drums (4)
- Martha Mdenge / spoken word (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Eckford / Stimpson

LP Island Records ‎- ILPS 9290 (1974, UK)

CD Eclectic Discs ‎- ECLCD1045 (2006, Europe) 24-bit remaster by Paschal Byrne
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2210 (2010, UK) Reissue, as above

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy JADE WARRIOR Floating World Music

JADE WARRIOR Floating World ratings distribution

(126 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

JADE WARRIOR Floating World reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the first JADE WARRIOR's album from which the listener can really appreciate their personality through very peaceful and relaxing moods. They began here their soft jazz patterns. We feel some Asiatic influences, but it is not very pronounced. Flute, bass, small bells, drums, electric and acoustic guitars, everything is put into a subtle mellow and floating atmosphere. No flashy patterns or elaborated keyboards. Sometimes the electric guitar reaches an unexpected threatening and aggressive sound, like on "Red Lotus". But the result is more bearable than on their previous record "Last Autumn's Dream".
Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Recorded in 1974, Floating World sees Jade Warrior take a couple of steps forward in its music-making, and while I'm still not entirely convinced by the final product, the attempts to fuse blues-based Western rock and ethereal ethnic music works slightly better here than it did on Last Autumn's Dream, which was cut a couple of years earlier.

Here atmosphere is the key, with most pieces having a relaxed, but not particularly challenging New Age groove. It moves from Clouds (a theme that appears three times), through the jazzy acoustic guitar vibe of Mountain of Fruit And Flowers and onto Waterfall which starts off as a languid piece drifting by on the back of traditional instruments despite a bold fuzzy electric guitar, before taking an about-turn and becoming a dramatic percussion fest.

My favourite piece is Easty which has some great flute playing over laid-back, percussive backing. and some echoed themes by the lead guitar. Then there's Rainflower (also a mix of electric sounds and tranquil vibes), Memories Of A Distant Sea (some more flute and mystical melancholy leads) and the closing track Quba (which chucks in the odd bit of hilltribe (is it Cambodian or Thai) poetry! In general there's really too much New Age and not enough rock for my liking. Apparently the next album Waves sees Jade Warrior take the final plunge into ambient New Age, with two side-long tracks based on the sounds of the sea!

The exceptions are Red Lotus, a blues-rock extravaganza that harks back to the band's roots, with a cursory failed attempt to infuse it with world music, and Monkey Chant a bizarre, unpleasant and thankfully brief cut.

I have to say that overall, this is still not the kind of music that excites me at all, and convinced me to abandon Jade Warrior for good. ... 49% on the MPV scale

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Jade Warrior was a band that, by its own admission, would stay with one note all day if it came to that. They introduced minimalism to rock music way back in the early 70s, only to discover that the audience did not really have a taste for it yet. They introduced new age elements into rock even before Tangerine Dream or Mike Oldfield, and a good decade before the genre was "born", but the audience just sat back and waited for it to be discovered. They introduced world music into rock well before Paul Simon, but the audience waited for a more sanitized version. "Floating World" was a breakthrough for Jade Warrior in all of these areas, and sounds as fresh or fresher today than it did in 1974.

The best tunes are the ones that blend pastoral woodwinds with sultry rhythms and elements of jazz, in particular "Mountain of fruit and flowers" and "Easty". Then there are the strictly mellow new age forerunners, like the closers "Memories of a Distant Sea" and "Quba". On the way, the Warrior passes through several raucous phases where the influence of Robert Fripp is felt, such as "Red Lotus", while "Monkey Chant", credited as traditional, defies comparison and must be heard.

This is certainly not a perfect album, as it is relatively short for a work that indulges us in such mood setting, and the mind can wander a bit while following some of the movements. Nonetheless, the rating of three and half stars can only be rounded up given the world of music that floats upon the foundation laid by this seminal band.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the first of the four Jade Warrior albums consisting only from Duhig and Field duo, accompanied by various friends supporting them as visiting musicians. The records were released by Island record company during years 1974-1978, and they all contain instrumental meditative prog rock music. They also start to move towards new-age sound, with stronger intensity as the recording days of the albums start close in towards 1980's.

The side A of the album has a suite starting with ethereal ambient sounds and acoustic guitar, which enter the stage by a gong crash. These tonal elements are being circled by a field of percussion. Some electric guitar smashes tested my nerves, but I liked the following acoustic guitar chords, which sounded a bit like Ralph Towner's "Solstice" record. Flute lines make the music run nicely with percussion, and there's also fabulous upright sounding bass here too. The drums make the theme to pulse, creating very pleasant groove. Later a dreamy drumless sequence emerges for acoustic guitar chords, electric solo guitar and quiet bells. In halfway ethnic drummings are presented, which create an African sounding scene, returning later to more Asian sounding flute's wail. Rockier sounding part follows with amplified guitar smashing Japanese sounding theme over flutes and several kinds of percussive instruments. Later the movement changes to more soothing flute driven motive, escaping to void as the record player's syringe returns from the end of the vinyl track.

Side B starts with quiet sounds which introduce a peaceful, calm surface of sound with distant oriental sounding electric guitar, acoustic guitar chords. Later a louder electric guitar theme appears, making this a very beautiful moment of music. Then comes a drummed part with nice guitar and flute solos, followed with Mongolian sounding vocal chants, coupled with an aggressive psych guitar solo and gong crashes. This felt as a bit irritating sound texture to my ears, I admit. As a contrast to this dense aural sequence, music moves then to more soothing guitar / flute pastoral, being one of the greatest moments here for me. Some of the most quiet and harmonious moments on the record are really exceptional, little reminding Vangelis in some parts, though not so synth dominant as his music. In the end when the spoken voices enter, the music starts to sound more new-age oriented, a direction where the band ventured later deeper.

If you like instrumental art rock music with symphonic structures and ethnic influences, then this album along with the other three albums recorded for the Island label are a recommendable albums four you to listen to. All four of these records were also compiled to a 4-CD box "Elements", which is a handy artifact bringing all of these albums for you. I like the earlier albums of this band more, but these are certainly nice to listen too.

Review by fuxi
3 stars Jade Warrior are definitely one of the most underrated prog bands. Reviews of their albums are few and far between, and their name hardly ever pops in the Progarchives Forum. To add insult to injury, they've now been labelled psychedelic/space rock, which gives you next to no impression of what their delicately evocative music sounds like. I must admit I'm only familiar with the four instrumental albums they recorded for Island in the mid-1970s. FLOATING WORLD is the first of these. It reminds me of Ralph Towner, early Oregon and early Mike Oldfield, although Jade Warrior's melodies are far more fleeting and mysterious than Oldfield's, and less sentimental as well. FLOATING WORLD starts like the soundtrack to an unfamiliar movie, and for the first ten minutes or so you may wonder what's going on, since you will hear few strongly pronounced melodies! Acoustic guitar, flute and Tony Duhig's unique and strangely distant-sounding electric guitar dominate. At times it seems the album is going to turn into 'New Age avant-la-lettre', but whenever that threatens to happen, there's a sudden mood swing, characterised by outbursts of violent percussion. The longer the music lasts, the more it carries you away. Most of it seems pastel-coloured, but a few of the tracks (such as the raucous 'Monkey chant') are exuberant fun. Taken on its own, FLOATING WORLD may leave you feeling unsatisfied, but as part of the impressive 2-disc anthology ELEMENTS (also reviewed on Progarchives) the album will feel absolutely right.

P.S. 'Floating World' (Ukiyo) was originally a Buddhist term, reflecting the impermanence of life, and the band seem interested in Japanese spirituality, but I cannot detect Japanese influence in their compositions, apart from 'Monkey Chant', which sounds a little like Japanese festival (matsuri) music. Strangely enough, this album's cover incorporates an image which is closely associated with the OTHER 'floating world', viz. the world of popular entertainment in the Edo period (17th - 19th century); the samurai warrior 'floating' above a not very Japanese-looking city is, in fact, based on a puppet from the Bunraku, Japan's traditional puppet theatre.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This is an almost all instrumental Jade Warrior album, which is good news because usually the best cuts on their albums are the instrumental ones. This is almost a great album that could have been a lot better if Warrior had stayed with their more mellow instrumentals, instead of breaking up the flow with two loud outbursts.

The core of this album could be compared to a mix of Steve Hackett, 70s acid jazz, Phil Manzenera, classical music from different parts of Asia, jazzy movie sound tracks and Eno styled ambience. It is a nice mix and this album would be one of my favorites if they had not broken the mood with an overly loud heavy guitar riff on side one, and a rendition of the traditional Monkey Chant, complete with crazy guitar solos, on side two. The section on side one with the heavy guitar riff (it's hard to make out the seperate tracks on this record) is a little interesting because the riff is a dead ringer for one of those short 'nu- metal' style riffs that would become a lot more common more than twenty years later. Unfortunately this song doesn't go with the rest of the album, neither does the monkey chant which is too bad because usually monkeys are so cute and lovable.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was JADE WARRIOR's first album on the "Island" label. It's a concept album about the Japanese philosophy of 17th century called "Ukiyo". Even the album cover reflects the prints that are from that era. The philosophy embraces the gentle pleasures of nature, literature, art and music, according to the liner notes.The band was down to a duo at this point, but there were many guests to fill out the sound.

"Clouds" is so faint to begin with I had to turn it up to hear the acoustic guitar. An outburst of choir and then we hear guitar sounds with no melody. Loud bangs before flute ends it, although it does blend into "Mountain Of Fruit And Flowers". Bass joins the flute as synths and drums create this groovy melody. Guitar and sax also eventually join in. It also blends into the next track. "Waterfall" sounds like a musical box is playing. It gets experimental after 2 1/2 minutes then percussion builds. It sounds like wind chimes to end it. "Red Lotus" opens with some surprising aggressive guitar and it gets pretty heavy a minute in. This sound stops after 2 1/2 minutes as a pastoral soundscape takes over.

"Clouds" really sounds heavenly. Very cool sound. "Rain Flower" opens with tasteful guitar that is joined by acoustic guitar. The dual guitars continue. "Easty" opens with percussion and flute that create a pleasant sound. Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in and more flute late. "Monkey Chant" is a unique song with the loud chants as the guitar lights it up. "Memories Of Distant sea" is a mellow and peaceful track with flute and gentle guitar. "Quba" opens with faint sounding guitar as flute joins in. Spoken words 3 1/2 minutes in and to end it. A loud gong clashes in between.

This is an interesting album that is quite good. An enjoyable listen.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Different world

The aptly titled Floating World was the fourth album by Jade Warrior overall and their first for Island Records. While it is fair to say that this album constituted the start of a whole new sound and approach for the band, there are still traces here of their early sound. To that extent one might see both the previous Last Autumn's Dream and the present album as somewhat transitional albums between the old and the new, and it is also these two albums that best capture the essence of Jade Warrior. Everyone might perhaps not be overly impressed by this music, but it is indeed hard to deny that Floating World is a one-of-a-kind album; whatever else one might think of it, it is hard to deny that the group had developed a unique and distinctive sound at this point. Is it still Rock music? Is it New-Age? Is it World-Music? Or maybe Jazz? Obviously no such descriptions will ever fit Floating World, unless maybe all of them at once. This album really takes the listener on a journey and it may take many attempts before one is willing to follow them all the way. It sure was like that for me as it took many listens over a long period of time before I could get into this. But now, I must say that it was certainly worth it.

One major difference between this and earlier Jade Warrior albums is the total absence of vocals here (ok, there are some occasional wordless vocals, or chants more like it). The vocal numbers had never been the group's strongest feat, so maybe that was a wise move. Another difference is that the sonic quality of Floating World is much improved over previous releases. Indeed, the difference is enormous in this respect. But the fundamental differences are deeper than that, of course. As might be expected, this music is a lot more mellow and relaxing. But even this is by far not the whole story. There are some very melodic parts as well as some surprisingly heavy parts too. Red Lotus, for example, reminds of King Crimson in their Red and Lark's Tongues In Aspic era! This is an interesting album that is one of Jade Warrior's very best ones.


Review by Warthur
4 stars The shift from a psychedelic rock group approach to an all-instrumental one, in which key group members Duhig and Field would act as multi-instrumentalists whilst various guest musicians threw in their contributions, did a world of good to Jade Warrior. Their instrumental works were, of course, always their best ones, and the full diversity of them is on display here. Much of the album adopts an extremely tranquil, proto-ambient mood, though there are occasional bursts of activity - Red Lotus, as has been observed, has a furious guitar riff worthy of Robert Fripp's work from the same year. Haunting, beautiful, this at last is Jade Warrior playing to their strengths and abandoning their weaknesses.
Review by friso
4 stars On 'Floating World' Jade Warrior continues its musical travels through the Orient with their first fully instrumental record. The band had changed labels, from Vertigo to Island Records. Had the band been an oddity of a progressive heavy psych band with lots of Asian world music influences, they would now fully focus on creating a new genre of world music and jazz infused art rock. You'll hear standing bass, triple flutes, Asian percussion, classical guitar, organ, some choral sections and the sometimes doubled melodic fuzz guitar of Tony Duhig. There's one heavy guitar piece on the album, and I myself don't bother that the band would leave that all together on their next records. I do really like the strange tribal/choral piece with the heavy fuzz guitar on side two. Besides these two outburst of heavy psychedelic energy, the moods are ethereal, melancholic, majestic, tribal and optimistic. The record has its individual tracks, but it all flows rather naturally from one moment to another. The mixing has that nice wide sound-stage that really allows for loosing oneself in its majestic soundscapes. The quality recording sounds rather timeless as well. Jade Warrior has its own way of musical story telling and because they aren't much like any other progressive rock group they aren't even considered to be a major group of the genre. It's even rather bizarre how the band doesn't fit in any category because of their heavy psych roots. Moreover, their type of (Asian) folk influences aren't anything like the other English groups. For me personally Jade Warrior has become one of my favorite eclectic prog groups and their's a lot to discover in both their 1970-1972 Vertigo period and their instrumental run on Island Records (1974-1978). Four stars for this gem for sure.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Jade Warrior went from postpsych nobodies to highly original instrumentalists with an eastern slant on their fourth proper release. Rarely has the personality of a prog outfit changed in such a blinding manner. I can see how some would consider this lightweight or weak or even boring. Perso ... (read more)

Report this review (#1934374) | Posted by WFV | Sunday, May 27, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Floating World came out originally in 1976. At the time, there was very little precedence for it although the release of their two lost albums in 1998 showed that the band had worked on some of the ideas previously. It is widely regarded as one of the first world music recordings. Indeed, its inf ... (read more)

Report this review (#843246) | Posted by Progosopher | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars To the novice, this is the Jade Warrior album to start with. It is newly remastered by Esoteric and although it's almost obligatory to talk of greater clarity and depth in sound, this time the remastering really does leap out of the speakers. Jade Warrior made a peerless run of four albums f ... (read more)

Report this review (#300863) | Posted by beebfader | Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In summary: I guess this album is innovative for its time, developing a kind of blues rock approach with world music and new age (both of which genres did not really exist in 1974) so Jade Warrior must be given credit for this ground breaking stylistic innovation. A major weakness is that ... (read more)

Report this review (#219526) | Posted by Neil C | Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The fourth work released in 1974 "Floating World". It is ethnical rock to the content following the former work almost. It is the mysterious world that suddenly pierces by the psychedelically guitar and sticks in the ambient sound. The mystery springs from dopy music a beautiful melody and in ... (read more)

Report this review (#62126) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Highly original mix of jazz, "progressive rock" with an East Asian air. Dreamy. Some of it rather sweet. Very interesting historically. One of the more remarkable records of that decade. I have never heard anything like it. Perhaps more original than deep (or too innocent for the taste of the presen ... (read more)

Report this review (#3955) | Posted by | Friday, November 7, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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