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MANDRAKE

Symphonic Prog • Japan


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Mandrake biography
MANDRAKE was a short-lived progressive music project from the composer Susumu Hirasawa, well-known as an innovator in Japan but largely unheralded in the western world. The band was formed in the mid-seventies, and was one of the early pioneers of native original symphonic rock music in Japan. The band's sound was heavily influenced by ELP, particularly in the elaborate, drawn-out keyboard constructions. The band's sound has also been compared to early KING CRIMSON and OUTER LIMITS. The band has little recorded history outside of Japan, and their two lone recordings were not released until the early nineties, well after the band's demise. These releases seem to be largely in response to the popularity of Hirasawa's work since MANDRAKE and in a renewed interest in early Japanese progressive recordings.

After MANDRAKE's demise in 1978 Susumu Hirasawa formed a new band under the name P-MODEL which plays primarily electronic techno music. Hirasawa has also recorded with WIZARD HOWL, SYUN, GLOBAL TROTTERS, as well as recording a number of solo albums and soundtracks. He is also known for his innovative and interactive live performances, which have included using cell phone ringtones, Amiga computer devices, and alternate themes based on audience participation.

MANDRAKE deserve consideration for inclusion in the archives for their short-lived but historically important contribution to the early symphonic and progressive movement in Japan.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

Mandrake official website

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Buy MANDRAKE Music


Breaking OutBreaking Out
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$11.03
$17.99 (used)
Burning Horizon at the End of DawnBurning Horizon at the End of Dawn
Crash Music 2004
Audio CD$0.09
$0.01 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MANDRAKE SOM SOMBOSSA 1975 EMI ITALIANA SpA USD $49.99 Buy It Now 48m 21s
Edguy - Mandrake CD USD $18.89 Buy It Now 56m 22s
MANDRAKE ROOT - WAVES IN MOTION : 5-trk CD : Austria 1993 Pama PR001 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 59m 34s
(CD) Unreleased Materials Vol 1[Japan Import] / Mandrake / Symphonic ProgRock USD $24.99 Buy It Now 10h 52m
MANDRAKE MEMORIAL: The Mandrake Memorial LP (original label, punch hole, light USD $90.00 Buy It Now 12h 3m
MANDRAKE MEMORIAL S/T LP NEW SEALED VINYL REISSUE PSYCH USD $14.99 Buy It Now 13h 29m
THE MANDRAKE MEMORIAL - s/t 1st Lp - 1968 The Nazz USD $6.21 [3 bids]
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Mandrake "Lost Love" "All I Do is Dream of You" Radio Station Copy NM USD $17.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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Mandrake - The Balance of Blue CD 2005 gothic metal Germany Greyfall jewel case USD $13.95 Buy It Now 2 days
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MANDRAKE FUNK TAPPER / CURIOUS UK RESPONSE 70s SOUL/DISCO/FUNK USD $7.44 Buy It Now 4 days
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MANDRAKE-INNOCENCE WEAKNESS-CD GREYFALL NEW USD $13.49 Buy It Now 4 days
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LINDA COHEN Leda LP Poppy Folk Solo Guitar Mandrake Memorial  USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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DEEP PURPLE MANDRAKE ROOT LIVE LONDON 1973 CD LORD GLOVER GILLAN BLACKMORE PAICE USD $50.00 Buy It Now 5 days
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5 days
MANDRAKE - CALM THE SEAS - NEW CD USD $15.96 Buy It Now 5 days
EDGUY - Mandrake JAPAN CD 2001 (VICP-61554) +1 B/T USD $5.99 [0 bids]
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LP THE MANDRAKE MEMORIAL - SELF TITLED ORIGINAL POPPY RECORDS RARE GARAGE PSYCH USD $41.99 Buy It Now 5 days
The Balance of Blue by Mandrake (Metal) (CD, Mar-2005) Limited Edition 2 CD set USD $13.95 Buy It Now 5 days
Mandrake The Magician Original Radio Broadcast George Garabedian Mark 56 623 USD $6.95 [0 bids]
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THE MANDRAKE MEMORIAL The Mandrake Memorial POPPY RECORDS Sealed Vinyl LP USD $14.00 Buy It Now 6 days
THE MANDRAKE MEMORIAL Medium POPPY RECORDS Sealed Vinyl LP USD $14.00 Buy It Now 6 days
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HEAR! Rockabilly Promo 45 MANDRAKE Queen of Sheba on Columbia (Promo) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 7 days
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MANDRAKE discography


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MANDRAKE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 4 ratings
Unreleased Materials Vol. 1
1997

MANDRAKE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Unreleased Materials Vol. 2
1997

MANDRAKE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MANDRAKE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MANDRAKE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MANDRAKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Unreleased Materials Vol. 1 by MANDRAKE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.17 | 4 ratings

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Unreleased Materials Vol. 1
Mandrake Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Mandrake was the brainchild of Japanese composer Susumu Hirasawa, most notably known for his work with New Wave/Synth Pop act P-Model.The band existed between early to late-70's with no official recordings, at least not outside the Japanese borders.In 1997 Belle Antique released an album entitled ''Unreleased Materials Vol 1'' with four recordings from the band's early days, featuring, besides Hirasawa on guitars/vocals, bassist Tohru Akutu, drummer Sadatoshi Tainaka, keyboardist Yasumi Tanaka with Fumiyasu Abe guesting at the fourth track on vocals and violin.

As all liner notes are written in Japanese, it is hard to tell more about the band's history, the music though has some very impressive things to offer.The opening ''Kazari mado no dekigoto'' follows the likes of KING CRIMSON and ELOY, sort of Psych/Symphonic Rock with dominant Mellotron parts, flashy synthesizers, Classical organ and heavy psychedelic guitar playing, a hainting monster piece of progressive music.The 14-min. ''Shumatsu no Kajitsu'' is more of the same, featuring impressive Mellotron work and haunting organ sounds with a later psychedelic-sounding section and a good synth-based ending part, again the Japanese vocals prevent this from being an outstanding piece.''Okasareta Kyuden'' has a very brutal and poor recording sound with Hard/Psych guitars dominating and vocals being quite amateur, Mandrake really sound like a Kraut-Rock act on this one and only some synth, organ and Mellotron parts recall the early sound of GENESIS or BEGGAR'S OPERA.This compilation will close with the complex 20-min. epic ''Sakuran no tobira''.It kicks off heavily influenced by mid-70's KING CRIMSON with some trully captivating guitar performance by Hirasawa, before turning into a Heavy Rock jam section, Mandrake really sound like a Kraut-Rock band to this point.The middle section offers vocals in English (!), another shine the band was influenced by Western Prog acts, the KING CRIMSON influence becomes more apparent with the slow violin passages, before turning again into a Heavy Rock beast with some adventurous guitar and bass performance, although the sound quality is at moments unbearable.

It is not easy to just skip the average sound of these recordings, which stands really unfair to Mandrake's true potential.But the overall dramatic, dark and innovative musicianship in the vein of Classic Prog bands, especially on the first couple of tracks, have something to offer.Cool band, cool archival release and a recommended album, despite the recordings' flaws.

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