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PoiL PoiL Ueda (as PoiL Ueda) album cover
3.84 | 29 ratings | 8 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kuj˘ Shakuj˘ - Part 1 (7:07)
2. Kuj˘ Shakuj˘ - Part 2 (3:37)
3. Kuj˘ Shakuj˘ - Part 3 (7:22)
4. Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い - Part 1 (8:41)
5. Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い - Part 2 (4:28)

Total Time 31:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Antoine Arnera / keyboards, vocals
- Boris Cassone / guitar, vocals
- Benoit Lecomte / acoustic bass
- Guilhem Meier / drums, vocals
- Junko Ueda / satsuma biwa, vocals

Releases information

Cover: Lilas Mala
Label: Dur Et Doux
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
March 3, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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POIL PoiL Ueda (as PoiL Ueda) ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

POIL PoiL Ueda (as PoiL Ueda) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars What a weird but impressive combination POIL UEDA are! This project were formed as a musical novelty by a French avantgarde frontlines POIL and a singer / satsuma-biwa player Junko UEDA. In their debut creation, innovative extra- eccentric soundscape by POIL and eerie Japanese traditional mysticism by Junko both are great supporters for each other, and such a fascinating combo can launch one of the most incredible atmospheric effects you have ever heard. POIL's play might be more sensitive and more chamber-ish for encouraging Junko's magnificent individuality (it's said that they are impressed in Japanese traditional folk music) but they should keep their positive vibes and massive creativity even under the circumstance. How fantastic.

The first 'protective ritual' "Kujo-Shakujo" is excessively solemn. Part 1 has a bombastic energy deeply in Junko's flexible go-up voices and POIL's heavy, stabilized sound emission. The following Part 2 is structured with repetitive melodic wonder and dignified spelling. Not so complicated nor polyrhythmic the song is, but such a serious aspect through their blow-up performance must catch your inner mind, for better or worse. Finally in the last part you can hear POIL's authentic avantgarde timbre. It's another pleasure. Part 3 is the final spurt along with ultimate vital movements and dark nebura power from them all. Excellent climax.

"Dan No Ura", previously released as a demo track, has come back with deeper and wilder texture in an official manner. You can be charmed by a perfect sound maturation by them regardless of difference of musical history or origin. POIL's eccentricity of playing and Junko's weirdness of singing / fiddling are smoothly and strikingly merged and adhered to. Explosive sound extension with synthesizer-based electronika that is called as one of their characteristics can invade into your brain and muscle in the latter phase of Part 1, followed by Part 2, another hard heart-attacking tragedy. The last episode is too lonely and too tragic really. The melodic stream is crucial.

In conclusion, I'm afraid it could be difficult for every progressive rock fan to accept and appreciate this mystical album so easily, but on the other hand, some chamber avantgarde freaks should be immersed in the magical mystery tour provided by them. I'm very curious how you feel and what you think. Would you give it a listen and let me know? :)

(P.S. This review was published by permission of Dur et Doux.)

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of the most unexpected collaborative efforts of 2023 so far has to be the hyperactive avant-prog band PoiL who comes from Lyon, France teaming up with the traditional Japanese musical arts master and Tokyo based Junko Ueda who together have released an album simply titled POIL / UEDA. How one of the most spazzed out modern-day brutal prog bands could collaborate with a transcendental medieval Japanese version of a troubadour was something i could not fathom until i finally pushed play and let it all roll out!

PoiL has carved out a unique niche in the world of avant-prog with a zany zolo-esque hyperactivity fortified with Zappa-like quirkiness. Add some heavy brutal bombast and psychedelic excesses and PoiL has taken things to extremes. Each and every album adopts a different approach but there is no denying it is PoiL. Junko Ueda on the other hand is a classical artist who brings the medieval Japanese art forms of heikyoku and shōmyō to the modern world. Heikyoku is one of the oldest Japanese traditional music forms that features a bard who narrates a tale whereas the shōmyō is a type of Buddhist chant used primarily in the Tendai and Shingon sects.

Perhaps nothing should surprise fans regarding PoiL's next musical adventures as the band seems more open-minded than the average prog band but i'd bet no one saw this one coming! The album is on the short side only slinking over the 31-minute mark and basically features two themes with multiple parts. "Kuj˘ shakuj˘" is a three part build up of musical mojo which is based on a Buddhist shōmyō that is practiced to ward off evil spirits. The two-part "Dan no ura" shifts gears completely and narrates a naval battle which led to the decline of the imperial Heike clan after facing off with the Genji clan. Lyrics are exclusively in the Japanese language.

While PoiL has traditionally been an unhinged untamable and unapologetically wild prog band, on this collaborative effort they seem utterly hypnotized by the soft spoken Japanese lyrics that remind me of European yodeling at times. Likewise Junko Ueda performs on the traditional Japanese instrument called the satsuma biwa which is a short-necked lute used in narrative storytelling in the Japanese culture. Ueda is the star of the show here with PoiL's rock instrumentation firmly adhering to the melodic developments suavely propelled by the chants and accompanying Japanese musical scales. Although confined on a leash so to speak, PoiL still has plenty of room to strut their proggy stuff much like a post-rock band improvises around a cyclical groove.

While such collaborations are not unheard of, it seems that the cross-pollination of cultures continues as do the mixing of the spiritual with the profane much like Ray Charles fusing gospel with American soul back in the 1950s although more of this is happening on a global scale with ever greater complexities. For anyone longing for a frenetic avant-prog display as heard on "Brossaklitt," this is not the album for you. This is an avant-garde take on ancient Japanese musical traditionals unlike anything done before. The music is relaxing and mesmerizing and even when PoiL is allowed to add the rock heft to build up deafening crescendoes, the musical flow is still very much strictly adhered to. An anomaly in the canon of both artists, this one is an amazingly satisfying of the ancient meeting the modern day developments in prog. Brilliant.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Here we have the latest project from RIO outfit PoiL, who have combined forces with Junko Ueda, a vocalist and satsuma-biwa player from Japan, to create a new work based on the 13th-century Japanese epic tale "Heike- Monogatari." Ueda is well-known exponent of Japanese medieval epic storytelling, and here we have his vocals and stylings over the top of the complex experimentation we have all come to expect from PoiL, who have now moved to a quartet with Antoine Arnera (keyboards, vocals), Boris Cassone (guitar, vocals), and Guilhem Meier (drums, vocals) bringing in Benoit Lecomte on acoustic bass. I know nothing about traditional Japanese music and even had to look up what a satsuma-biwa is (a pear-shaped lute in case you were wondering), so in many ways this album seems almost other-worldly to me.

There is no way this should work, as there are two distinct and distinctive musical style crashing into each other, but while this may seem somewhat sacrilegious to connoisseurs of the Japanese style, to my Western untrained ears this comes across as incredibly powerful indeed. "Kuj˘ Shakuj˘ - Part 3" is nothing short of a triumph with crunching and crashing RIO from a band on the top of their game somehow blending in with the Ueda to create something which is driving, dynamic, reflective and incredibly powerful. I do wonder how the album was put together, as both parts are quite separate from each other yet somehow make total sense at the same time.

PoiL Ueda have been touring, and there will be a live album released later this year, which based on this, promises to be very special indeed and is something I am already looking forward to. This will certainly not be to everyone's tastes, but for those who are willing to look beyond expected norms then this is something to be savoured.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This will be high on my "Best of 2023" list. I have such an appreciation for POIL a trio out of France who play such a hyper, punkish, start and stop on a dime approach to their music. All things I'm not into but they make it work for me. Well on this latest release they have brought in a female from Japan named Junko Ueda who plays satsuma biwa and chants. She is an expert on Japanese mythology and is a story teller. Her instrument is like a lute and she holds it upright usually on her lap when she plays.

I think it's so cool that they brought in NI's bass player as well, so the POIL bass player plays guitar here. A five piece! This is otherworldly music that is mysterious and the only band I thought of was BONDAGE FRUIT I believe their "II" release but only briefly. We basically get two compositions divided into sections even though each piece blends as one. This is only a 31 plus minute album.

The "Kujo Shakujo" suite to open the record is around 18 minutes and divided into three songs. A lot of repetitive chanting on this one and a ton of atmosphere at times while the powerful sections come and go. That last section features some theatrical vocals, a lot of intensity and almost overwhelming atmosphere after 6 minutes. "Dan No Ura" is over 13 minutes and divided into two parts and puts more of the focus on her satsuma biwa but again plenty of vocals and a powerful and unique sound. I mean check it out at 7 minutes. Oh my! They slow it down on part 2 but lots of depth and a powerful undercurrent.

This is different in a good way and I'm so glad I got my hands on this. Love at first listen.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Definitely not for me. First tune is a one chord chant with the vocalist singing an Asian melody. Not sure if these are words in a language I don't know or not. Quite repetitive and dull. Second tune, more of the same but a bit of percussion is added. The guitar on the third track, for the first few ... (read more)

Report this review (#2967737) | Posted by Grumpyprogfan | Wednesday, November 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After four years, PoiL returns with another daring, angular, madcap album. 2019's Sus was a fantastic release, and it saw the band both focus its songwriting after the sprawling Brossaklitt and stretch out with a pair of 20-minute suites. On this release, the band has teamed up with biwa player and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904607) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars On this collaborative album PoiL joins forces with Japanese vocalist and satsuma-biwa player Junko Ueda. Is avant- prog and traditional Japanese court music an awkward mix? In lesser hands, maybe, but somehow PoiL and Ueda seem to make it work seamlessly from the off. For their part, PoiL pull no ... (read more)

Report this review (#2902346) | Posted by runciblemoon | Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars IT'S BEEN THREE YEARS. For three, painfully long years, I've been waiting for this record to drop. Indeed, PoiL still remains my favourite music act of all time, and there's no one from whom I'd anticipate new music more than these guys. For this album PoiL joins forces with traditional Japanese ... (read more)

Report this review (#2894507) | Posted by Harold Needle | Friday, February 24, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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