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WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND

Post Rock/Math rock • Japan


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World's End Girlfriend biography
World's End Girlfriend is the brainchild of a Japanese artist and multi-instrumentalist Katsuhiko Maeda. Not much is known about him or his background, he generally seems to avoid publicity, which has ultimately made him a rather mysterious character. His love for classical music -- which already started at the tender age of 10 -- is fairly evident when listening to his surprisingly challenging albums. He was already composing music with guitars and keyboards at the age of 13 and apparently hasn't stopped ever since. The music of World's End Girlfriend defies categorization. It combines countless ideas and genres together quite effortlessly, resulting in a weird, but exciting musical world. In this world, you can find post-rock, modern classical music, electronica, all presented in a tasteful fashion. The clichés of the genre are thankfully missing, and there's one thing you can be sure of; World's End Girlfriend will not let you rest on your laurels; he will always keep you on your toes as the music often takes drastic changes in direction without any warning. A cinematic feel is one of the trademarks of Maeda's detailed compositions (which is hardly surprising in this field of music), but it's a tad more orchestrated than the average post-rock act. The music is heavy on the strings and wind instruments (while bearing little resemblance to the likes of A Silver Mt. Zion) with lots of haunting, eerie soundscapes that will stay in your head for days. Searching for comparison is a difficult and often futile task, but I guess one could hear traces of 65daysofstatic (mainly due to the electronica influence). World's End Girlfriend is certainly not for the faint of heart, but the more adventurous post-rockers will find this rather unique artist more than worthy of their time. "The Lie Lay Land" (2005) is generally seen as his best album.



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Discography:
Ending Story, studio album (2000)
Farewell Kingdom, studio album (2001)
Dream's End Come True, studio album (2002)
The Lie Lay Land, studio album (2005)
Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain, EP (2005) - collaboration with Mono

World's End Girlfriend official website

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Hurtbreak WonderlandHurtbreak Wonderland
Import
Pastel Music 2007
Audio CD$96.06
Lie Lay LandLie Lay Land
INDIE (JAPAN) 2009
Audio CD$31.72
$16.98 (used)
Air DollAir Doll
Import · Soundtrack
Pastel Music Kr
Audio CD$20.98
Seven IdiotsSeven Idiots
Indies
Audio CD$24.30
$17.99 (used)
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WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Ending Story
2000
3.10 | 2 ratings
Farewell Kingdom
2001
4.00 | 2 ratings
Dream's End Come True
2002
3.78 | 12 ratings
The Lie Lay Land
2005
4.18 | 8 ratings
Hurtbreak Wonderland
2007
4.33 | 3 ratings
Seven Idiots
2010

WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Air Doll (Original Sountrack)
2009

WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Sky Short Story (EP)
2000

WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hurtbreak Wonderland by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.18 | 8 ratings

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Hurtbreak Wonderland
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by DisgruntledPorcupine

4 stars World's End Girlfriend is one of the more original artists in the post-rock scene. A solo project by Japanese artist Katsuhiko Maeda, he creates a unique blend of post-rock, classical music, and glitch. For those who don't know, glitch is a style of electronic music that relies almost on the fact it sounds like it's about to fall apart or malfunction out of control at any second. It's definitely one of the more original fusions of genres I've heard out there.

Even if you don't like electronic music, I think you'll be able to find something pleasing to you in Hurtbreak Wonderland. There is a wide range of instruments, mostly used are piano, strings, guitars, and the harp; the harp being an instrument I view as underused in the music world, as it can create some very beautiful sounds. The buildup style is pretty typical of the post-rock genre, but is often accentuated by electronic beats. The electronic beats don't really overwhelm anything, so do not fret electronic detractors! Drown yourself in the beauty of the strings all you wish.

So yes, it's a very beautiful album. But there is a question of how much beauty can one take? At 79 and a half minutes, this album is no small task to listen to. And unfortunately, I'm not sure this album holds up entirely for that amount of time. You may find yourself tuning out at times. But that doesn't necessarily mean I recommend it any less. If you find in your post-rock journeys you've heard too much of the same, give this a try. It's a real gem if you have the patience to sit through it.

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 The Lie Lay Land by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.78 | 12 ratings

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The Lie Lay Land
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Post-rock composition done oh so right.

World's End Girlfriend is a project that has been on my radar for quite a few years, from when I started to get into the post-rock genre and quickly realized that 90% of the genre was excruciatingly boring. That is where this solo musical project of Katsuhiko Maeda really sticks out -- this music is interesting, diverse, eclectic, and has a true sense of sincere beauty that most post-rock artists simply cannot capture despite their efforts. The Lie Lay Land sees Maeda in his most eclectic and intense form.

As soon as the first track "Phantasmagoria Moth Gate" starts off with a single distant mourning horn and quickly builds to a dense cacophony that ceases under a painful shriek, this album is immediately distinguishable from the tried-and-true post-rock formula that has been recycled for over a decade. This track really is a great introduction for the entire album because it contains most of the elements on this album and gives a 6-minute glimpse of what to expect -- soft beauty, noise experimentation, eclectic instrumentation, freely-flowing composition style, electronic music influence, and dense walls of impenetrable cacophony.

Where The Lie Lay Land really excels is with its longer/epic tracks, which all have very clever composition and make for great mental storytelling left to listener's own creative mind. For example, "Satan Veludo Children" is a nearly 9-minute journey that starts off with a H. Gorecki influenced contemporary classical string and piano melody that reeks of melancholy as a single boy's shout crescendos into a short burst of breakbeat electronica, then a beautiful guitar melody enters. The guitar and strings continue to build in an E. Elgar-type fashion until eventually distorted guitar riffs reminiscent of Radiohead take over, as does a saxophone further down the line.

In my personal opinion, "Scorpius Circus" is the most eclectic and entertaining composition on this album. It begins with a strongly Spanish-influenced tinny guitar melody and backing circus music, eventually succumbing to electronic noise that quickly explodes into an adventurous cello melody with a lead violin that sounds like a dance written for Dracula. After a bit of crunchy electronic explosion, a somewhat sad violin melody comes through, like the kind you'd hear in a movie as two friends become heartbroken as one watches the other through a train window as he departs for a new home. The music becomes subdued, but again morphs into a beautiful melody, this time played on guitar but is just as emotionally powerful. If there were ever a song that deserved the label epic, this is it.

While some of the longer tracks are huge and expressive, some of the shorter tracks follow the boring quiet-to-loud post-rock dynamic that I generally try to avoid, like "We Are the Massacre", which while it is beautiful, it still is quite uneventful and boring. The same goes for "Song Cemetery" and "Unspoiled Monster", though the instrumentation for both are admittedly interesting still (including bells, trumpet, clarinet, and wonderful ambient soundscapes). The only two short songs that have great appeal are "Garden in the Ceiling" (very bombastic with a steady heavy beat and mournful string section) and "The Owl of Windward" (avant-ambient droning with distant saxophone playing and thick usage of various field recordings). Despite some of these shorter tracks being uneventful and boring, they're definitely a bit less generic than compared to other bands in this genre, and they do work for decent transitions between epic songs in this epic album

It's safe to say that fans of post-rock, whether interesting or generic versions of it, will mostly like enjoy this album quite a bit, but even for people who are interested in becoming acquainted with this genre, World's End Girlfriend's special brand of emotional and apocalyptic post-rock on The Lie Lay Land would be a great starting point. It takes a long time to fully absorb what's going on, but I guarantee that it will be worth it.

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 The Lie Lay Land by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.78 | 12 ratings

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The Lie Lay Land
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Lie Lay Land finds World's End Girlfriend attempting to expand the bands of what is otherwise fairly mainline post-rock by adding large doses of jazz (in various flavours) and classical music. The inclusion of a brass section in Katsuhiko Maeda's multi-instrumentalist repertoire certainly makes the album sound different, but I also find that the album feels rather unfocused, and begins to taper off seriously towards the end. The compositions fail to draw all the different genres of music Maeda dabbles in into a cohesive whole, with the consequence that he just comes across as trying to do too much in too little time.

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 The Lie Lay Land by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.78 | 12 ratings

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The Lie Lay Land
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's something familiar in the Maeda's situation for me: one-man band in Post-Rock realms. I must admit, I ain't that clever as this guy, besides, we begin from different starting points hence aiming for different purposes. WEG's music is breathtakingly eclectic, blending together Electronic, Ambient, classic Post-Rock thing, Jazz, Breakcore, Trip-Hop, Neo-Classic, Avant, Folk - almost anything you know as Music. Instrumental and near-spiritual, it provokes diverse reactions, recalling vivid pictures inside listeners mind, a full gallery of images and a mouthful of words (I apologize for this obvious DREAM THEATER allusion here), words unspoken, because WEG needs no voice to sing these exceptional songs. Kashiwa Daisuke, Yasushi Yoshida, Katsuhiko Maeda - I guess, Japanese Instrumental Experimental One-Man Bands are in need to be categorized as a genre itself ;) Highly recommended and not to be missed!

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 The Lie Lay Land by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.78 | 12 ratings

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The Lie Lay Land
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kid.A

4 stars Sigur Ros meets Merzbow in a bar, 9 months later they get a baby. The babys name is Worlds End Girlfriend......

World's End Girlfriend is the musical project of Katsuhiko Maeda. He blends postrock/electronica/metal and typical progressive elements into a fantastic mix.

The album opens with "Phantasmagoria Moth Gate" that feels like something squeezed between good and evil. The first melody is harmonic and is being kicked around by a sour and tired trumphet, and then there is loads of instruments and sounds added to complete the composition.

Its fantastic.

By the way, Phantasmagoria means "noun: a constantly changing medley or real or imagined images (as in a dream)" and thats a good way to describe Weg`s music. Its the kind of music you put on when you soak down in the sofa after a long day with a cup of coffee.

Katsuhiko Maeda is a multi-instrumentalist inspired by classical music, who started experimenting with tape recorders in his pre-teens, World's End Girlfriend tends to cram his releases (and indeed individual tracks) full of all his influences all at once and thats why this album never gets boring, there is always something new for each listen.

This is post rock at its best.

Tracks: 10 Lasts: 78:44 min

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 The Lie Lay Land by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.78 | 12 ratings

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The Lie Lay Land
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The soundtrack for your dreams.

Multi-instrumentalist Katsuhiko Maeda is the mastermind behind what we know as World's End Girlfriend and with this project people took notice to what he had to say. Everything you hear in this album is made by him; The compositions, the instrumentation, you name it. He may well be one of the best unknown modern composer of our times and there aren't many people that know of him or his works.

The Lie Lay Land pretty much speaks for itself. It's post-rock like no other and it stands out aside from the bunch. The first time you listen to this album you won't even recall it being post-rock at all. It truly defies categorization. Derivative is a word that doesn't fit in World's End Girlfriend's context. But enough about that, let's talk about the album

The first thing noticeable is that Katsuhiko Maeda plays a wide variety of instruments even more so than previous World's End Girlfriend releases so it's very well orchestrated. The album also has an excellent mixture of electronica effects and more heart warming instrumentation. As I already mentioned in my review of Farewell Kingdom by them, they don't rely much on guitars as other bands. The guitar here has the same roll as the trumpets, horns, pianos and all other instrument played. It's also a pretty demanding album to listen to. It's rather unpredictable and you won't know what to expect next while listening to it, but that doesn't detract the beauty of it or the flow of the album, instead it makes it more demanding and engaging to listen to and it will keep you coming for more. Another great improvement in their sound is that none of the songs sound alike. Every song develops in its own distinct way. One of the best way to describe the atmosphere of this album is dreamy. I don't think there isn't an album that fit this description as well as this album except for Sigur Rós' Agaetis Byrjun, but they sound NOTHING alike so be warned. The album has a mystical feel to it as well. From the name of the album, cover, song names (Garden In The Ceiling, Unspoiled Monster, Phantasmagoria Moth Gate) to the actual sound and cinematic feel, The Lie Lay Land produces wonderful movie-like images of wonderful and surrealistic places that you will only find in dreams and movies. Plus the emotional factor of their melodies makes it all even more wonderful to listen to.

This album is one of the best post-rock has to offer. Katsuhiko Maeda is one of the artists that are on the vanguard of the genre breaking trends opening new ways to do their music without being bad at it or pretentious. He has my deepest respect. Recommended for every single fan of music. Dreamy, beautiful, demanding and well worth the repeated listens.

4.5

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 Farewell Kingdom by WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Farewell Kingdom
World's End Girlfriend Post Rock/Math rock

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In Farewell Kingdom we see Katsuhiko Maeda's project called World's End Girlfriend at its early stage. World's End Girlfriend is here in a more restrained manner compared to his excellent and more spontaneous "The Lie Lay Land". This album relies a lot in piano melodies so it has romantic feel to it also thanks to the song names as well. It also has its electronica beats and special sound effects like tape manipulation that's very common in World End's Girlfriend sound. One of the things that people will notice is that this album doesn't rely much on guitars, instead it has a decent variety of instrumentations making its sound very well orchestrated, but never overdone. The album has its occasional climaxes and, instead of making a cacophony of instruments, they sound like 65daysofstatic at their loudest passages (although World's End Girlfriend came first than 65daysofstatic) while still maintaining it's fragile symphonic sound in the background. One of the best example of this is in the third song, "Daydream Loveletter". The problem that I have with the album is that the songs sound similar to one another. You also need to have a decent amount of patience as well since most of the time the album is very calm and delicate and climaxes aren't very common on this album, but the ones it has are very well worth it. Plus this album has World's End Girlfriend's most beautiful and melodic song, "You".

If World's End Girlfriend released this album alone it would've gotten a bigger rating, but compared to 2005's "The Lie Lay Land" this album isn't really as wonderful as it once was in 2001. There isn't anything new in this album that can separate it from the whole post-rock bunch so if you're looking for something new or a bit more demanding then go to their 2005 release which I already mentioned too many times in this review.

3.5

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Thanks to Jimbo for the artist addition.

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