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POCHAKAITE MALKO

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


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Pochakaite Malko biography
Background:
Pochakaite Malko is a Japanese band who emerged from Tokyo in August 1996. The name they took is Bulgarian for "just a minute". The origins of the band can be traced to the meeting of Shigekazu Kuwahara (bass) and Kazuo Ogino (keyboards) in a previous band led by Tatsuya Yoshida called Magma Copy Band in 1995. The first lineup consisted of five people but was unstable at first. The other 3 members were Youichiro Shin (drums), Sharmin (keyborad), Shiho (Bulgarian vocal). They first rehearsed for some time until their first live show in May 1997, when they also decided on the band's name. a change in the lineup came in December 1997 when Junzo Tateiwa (drums) replaced Shin Youichiro. However shortly after that the band was in hiatus due to Ogino's work in Ghost and Tateiwa and Kwahara forming Ton-Den-Hei (Techno-Prog rock).
December 1999 sees the band's coming back to activity and the joining of Tomohiro Ueno (keyboards) to the band. The lineup was now Tomohiro Ueno (keyboards), Kazuo Ogino (piano), Sharmin (keyborads), Shigekazu Kuwahara (bass), Junzo Tateiwa (drums). However another change occurred in 2000 when Sharmin left. You can see now how heavy a keyboards emphasis there is in their sound. An important even, according to the band, was in December 4, 2000 when they played music by Zamla Mammaz Manna, with Lars Hollmer.
Up until now, they released no studio album and focused on playing live their material. In April 2001 recordings began on their first full length self-titled to be released on November 22nd, 2001. In early 2002, Tomohiro Ueno left the band. However the trio was reinforced by the addition of Akihisa Tsuboy, from KBB (electric & acoustic violin). In November 2004, their second album called Laya was released. In 2006 an EP called Doppelgänger was released.

Junzo Tateiwa is active in other groups as well; for instance Spiral Tones which plays traditional Arabic and fusion music; Memories of Nada - North Indian Trad. and Trance Music; Hiromi Takemoto & Ku-lan - Hawaiian; Elephant Talk - Female Avangarde Pops; aside from that he teaches, composes and writes books.

Kazuo Ogino is also a member of the band Ghost, which is listed here in PA under Pscyh/Space-Rock. <...
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DOPPELGANGERDOPPELGANGER
DIW Records (JAPAN)
Audio CD$16.57
$21.39 (used)
LayaLaya
Import
Wea Japan 2005
Audio CD$798.49
$53.11 (used)
Pochakaite MalkoPochakaite Malko
Infinite Records
Audio CD$23.39
$78.54 (used)
Pochakaite MalkoPochakaite Malko
Import · Limited Edition
Disk Union Japan 2007
Audio CD$29.00
$36.73 (used)

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POCHAKAITE MALKO discography


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

3.51 | 9 ratings
Pochakaite Malko
2001
4.19 | 24 ratings
Laya
2004

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

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

3.94 | 11 ratings
Doppelgänger
2006

POCHAKAITE MALKO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Laya by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.19 | 24 ratings

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Laya
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

4 stars Look at their album sleeve, how do you feel? I've been very amazed (and shocked) at the kinky world.

Honest to say I've not known about Bulgarian music previously (as you may know, "Pochakaite Malko" is a Bulgarian phrase, that means "wait a minute" in English) and tried quick listening. Bulgarian melodies, ways of singing, tuning, voicing up-and-down ... something of affinity for me is here. Do not know the truth they have named themselves for Bulgarian stuffs (in near future they will mention about the origin of their outfit signboard, surely), but feeling close to them as Eastern people should be one of important issues I imagine.

This was my first POCHAKAITE MALKO's album, that could at first fascinate me by Akihisa TSUBOY's violin solos. And furthermore, here is a flood of music fruits ... Junzo TATEIWA's stateless percussion (with tabla), Shigekazu KUWAHARA's deep bass phantasmagoria, and Kazuo OGINO's beautiful, and somewhat cynical keyboard fantasista ... all of them can twine around together, absorb all listeners in front of them, and sublimate themselves without breathing. POCHAKAITE MALKO world cannot exist even if here's not one of four keen creators, methinks.

Terrifically complex and delightful music front line and rhythm nation are around them. Amazingly, these four-piece talented gang can play such an eccentric and complex kaleidoscope as if they could do naturally, without any hard effort. Actually Japanese likes, and tries to get "Technique", but we can be immersed in their unaffected skill and power surely.

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 Doppelgänger by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Doppelgänger
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Third and last to date release of one of most interesting Japanese avant prog band from 00'.

This release is just 22+ minutes long 4-compositions EP, but it contains everything band is great in. Combination of melodic and complex compositions with competent musicianship, great rhythm section, outstanding electric violin soloing (Akihisa Tsuboy from KBB), very energetic, but never too dark or radical hardcore music brings them to the first line of Japanese avant prog artists.

In fact this third release is not much different from their previous studio album , but I really like that their great zeuhl and world influenced drumming, plenty of electric violin attacks, nice tunes and Eastern elements in music.

It's just pity they released 2 full albums and this EP till now only.

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 Laya by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.19 | 24 ratings

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Laya
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Second (and the last to time) studio album from Japanese band with strange name ( "pochakaite malko" means "wait for a minute" in ... bulgarian). Absolutely outstanding music - mostly zeuhl, but over-loaded, and led by electric violin attacks! Differently from their debut, violin sound there are in front of all music, and really virtuoso violinist Akihisa Tsuboy is a hero of the day!

Best way to imagine this album's music is just take Magma (on steroids), with dark Orffian atmosphere, bass pulsation, distorted piano sounds and classic influence, and add someone great jazz fusion violinist over it. Just note that Michal Urbaniak or Jean Luc Ponty are both far from Akihisa Tsuboy's ecstatic energy and speed. So, melted mixture from above components, spiced with some avant elements. Plus some ethno influences (Balkan, North African, etc). And heavy sound of high density.

Even if Magma's influence is obvious, band's music is very different. And in many moments is more modern, more interesting and more experimental. And ,possibly, it is a biggest compliment!

Very recommended album for zeuhl fans and some heavy jazz fusion lovers. Zeuhl new breathing.

My rating - 4+.

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 Doppelgänger by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Doppelgänger
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This powerful, bizarre avant-prog from Japan has done it again big time, although regrettably in the shorter context of an EP. Pochakaite Malko's "Doppelgänger" finds the band exploring their rougher side in a fluent fashion, in this way stating some sort of family airs in communion with other magnificent names in contemporary avant-prog (One Shot, Guapo). I mean, PM has delivered a more robust set of pulsations and a darker concurrence of musical vibrations for the 4 track setlist comprised in "Doppelgänger". The namesake track (also, the shortest one) opens up the album with rocking splendor, with its precise hooks and catchy rhythms. The aggressive bass lines are especially featured in the mix, still allowing the drummer's precise foundation and the visceral deliveries on keyboard and violin to shine with their own light. After this manifestation of appealing zeuhl is over, 'Anna' goes to more eclectic pastures, combining the aggressive side of zeuhl and the sensual cadences of jazz-rock (in a very robust fashion), and what's more, introducing some passages inspired by Renaissance pastoral music during which a recorder or two make their way within the instrumental amalgamation. 'Pluto' kicks off with the sound of church bells and footsteps mysteriously creeping through dark corridors, while the band gets warm with a martial-oriented prologue. The overall sense of menace is very reminiscent of 79-81 Univers Zero, while the specific pulsating vibe delivered by the rhythm section feels related to "Kohntarkosz"-era Magma. A later passage emerges in a very magnificent way, allowing the ensemble to build the explosive climax that ends the track. The horror never ends, it just takes varied guises through the track's development. 'Acid Rain' brings an end to the tracklist, bearing an aura similar to that of the opening track but going to far denser places (not unlike compatriot band Koenji Hyakkei). You can also notice a prominent presence of jazzy grooves (not alien to the history of RIO), which make Tsuboy quite comfortable in this demand for sensitiveness and technical prowess. He literally shines with a light of sound that we can barely conceive in thought and never describe with words accurately. The 7 ½ minutes that this track lasts go flying by in the listener's mind, all the way toward the superhuman frenzy that fills the track's finale. This is how a musical work should end, leaving the listener hungry for more. On the other hand. it is such a pity that this album is so short (after all, it's an EP). You'll have to enjoy for what it is.

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 Doppelgänger by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Doppelgänger
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another excellent release from POCHAKAITE MALKO, this one in the form of a 4 song EP. It's maybe not too surprising that this one doesn't reach the heights of their first 2 studio albums(considering how amazing they both are) but it's still worthy of a 4 star rating. Like their last record the violin really is the dominant instrument, with a ton of bottom end throughout. This is heard right away on the first song "Doppelganger" which opens with a crushing heavy bass line before drums, organ then violin come in. It doesn't get much better than this folks.

"Anna" like the previous song opens heavily, this time with drums, as violin enters the fray 30 seconds in while drums pound slowly.There is a recorder melody a minute in as outbursts of sound come and go. Recorder melodies are back before 2 1/2 minutes. Violin leads the way after 3 minutes until it is replaced by a heavy-duty sound. Violin is back leading before 5 minutes. Some nice contrasts in this song.

"Pluto" opens with the sound of someone walking and church bells. Heavy pulsating sounds come in that are joined by piano and drums. Violin then follows before these cool bird-like whistling sounds come and go. Dissonant violin followed by some fast paced piano ends the track. "Acid Rain" is my least favourite track. It's not nearly as heavy as the others although towards the end we get some bottom end. Some great violin in this one and the piano 4 minutes in is quite beautiful. Good song.

This is heavy, fiery, explosive and flowing like a Japanese volcano.

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 Laya by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.19 | 24 ratings

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Laya
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Pnoom!

4 stars Rating: A-

Without a doubt, Pochakaite Malko's Laya CD is the second best example of violin playing in all of prog music (not counting jazz-fusion, where violin is common). While their debut was almost entirely keyboard driven (often to it's detriment, as it got bogged down in unseemly, topheavy keyboard passages), Laya sees a violinist replace the lead keyboardist, and the result is fantastic. The violin lines are energetic, engaging, and relatively accessible (especially given the far more inaccessible base around which the violin works). Whereas "Peasant's Revolt" would've sagged if played with the instruments of their debut, it explodes because of the violin, and that's far from the only example.

Of course, having mentioned that Laya is merely the second best violin CD in prog, I probably ought to name the true best, and that is Magma's phenomenal Live/Hhai CD (which also is the best live CD and best Zeuhl CD, among other bests, I'm sure). That's important to mention because Magma is a huge influence on Pochakaite Malko, though not because of the violin. The entire core sound of Pochakaite Malko (which carries over from the debut) is loud and heavy zeuhl, complete with manic drummings, pounding bass, and oppressive atmospheres (no vocals except on "Laya" though). "Death by Hanging", for example, has a similar atmosphere to "Kohntarkosz", upon which Pochakaite Malko add brilliant violin work.

I could name highlights from Laya and discuss them in more detail, but that would be futile, since every track truly is a highlight. As such, I'll focus on just one, "Hallelujah", which is my favorite. It is dominated by ever-building violin, but it's impossible to ignore the volatile background. This zeuhl backdrop is very percussive, with both rock drums and tribal percussion. The rumbling bass is, of course, a given. On top of this is the aforementioned violin, which never stops gaining in energy, starting oppressive, then ending joyous. It truly feels as if the violin is religiously wailing, "Hallelujah," as the song approaches its end, so effective is the songwriting (and the playing, I can hardly imagine the level of technical proficiency needed to play the violin on "Hallelujah"). The result is a masterpiece that is one of the greatest pieces of music I know.

Now imagine an entire CD full of songs equally as good as "Hallelujah" and you've got Laya. It manages to filter its Zeuhl influences well, allowing them to have an original sound that is entirely captivating. Back in the 1970s, when Magma was busy inventing and defining zeuhl (and in the aftermath of MDK and Kohntarkosz), France was easily the zeuhl capital of the world. Now, however, with the surge in Japanese bands playing original takes on Magma's creation (far more original than any of the original French imitators, good as those were), Japan has stolen that title from France. Koenjihyakkei, Ruins, and Bondage Fruit (and, to a lesser extent, Happy Family) are easily the biggest names of the JapaneZeuhl revival, but Pochakaite Malko is every bit as good as those, and, I would argue, better. Their debut showed potential, but drowned in wave upon wave of keyboards. Laya is far more balanced, with even stronger songwriting, and the result is a masterpiece built around the zeuhl framework but which is truly so, so much more.

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 Laya by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.19 | 24 ratings

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Laya
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A major lineup change for this their second album as one of the keyboard players has left and the band has replaced him with violinist extroadinaire Akihisa Tsuboy from the great fusion band KBB. This is major because the violin was absent from their debut record, and on this album the violin is the main focus. Huge change really. Yes the music is still dark with heavy bass and drums, but the Zeuhl flavour is not nearly as obvious. I do prefer the debut better but this one comes close. Interesting that Ogino (keys, piano) from GHOST composed most of the songs on the debut, but on this record every band member composes at least one track, with bassist Kuwahara composing 5 of the 9 songs.

"Laya" is the only song to feature some vocals and they come and go briefly each time. After a short percussion / vocal intro, violin and drums take over. Some ripping violin 2 minutes in before piano arrives and a lot of bottom end as bass and drums pound away."Death By Hanging" opens with piano and violin before a bass and drums join in. A slight jazz flavour to this one as violin and piano are prominant throughout,although it would be better described as heavy fusion perhaps.Great tune regardless. Check out the violin 4 1/2 minutes in ! And what's even more incredible is that the violin sounds like a lead guitar 5 minutes in.This guy is fantastic ! "Cristao-Peasant Revolt" opens with a heavy pulsating sound as mellotron and other sounds come and go in this atmospheric intro. Piano comes in and then violin as the heavy pulse comes to an end when the tempo picks up. Intense scorching violin 3 minutes in as the tempo continues to shift. "Hallelujah" opens with an instrument called an Oud. Drums sound outstanding and violin follows. Love the drumming here and heavy bass lines as violin solos overtop. Oud is back after the piano comes in 2 1/2 minutes in. Then back to the incredible drum / violin / bass melody. The violin smokes during the final minute of the song. "Frozen Shoulder" opens with more great drumming as flute and violin come in. This song has a Celtic feel to it surprisingly.

"Meat Powdered Bones" opens with a violin / piano melody. Drums and bass before a minute create a great sound. Check out the drumming before 4 minutes ! This is followed by some chunky bass. Nice. "It Came From..." opens with piano as drums and then violin come in. This has some intricate melodies that are impressive. Very cool song. "Somewhere In Time" is an uptempo, frantic piece at times. The bass player is quite active and then drops some heavy lines when the song slows down 4 minutes in, we're talking Zeuhl-like heavy bass as organ comes in. Wondrous section. Perhaps the best on the album and it reminds me of their debut. "D.N.A." is the final and longest song at over 11 minutes. It opens with dark piano melodies as cymbals and bass can be heard. Violin is added to the mix before a minute, and it become quite mournful before 2 minutes. After 3 1/2 minutes the sound gets a lot louder for a minute before settling back down and then blasting off again to a dark and heavy passage. The violin is scorching. Piano and a calm 6 1/2 minutes in before a sinister sound starts to creep back in. It's back ! Piano takes off and a bombastic sound returns including more sizzling violin. A violin shred-fest ! Check out the drumming 9 minutes in. The song ends in a pastoral fashion with piano. What a ride !

First of all i'm going to seek out some KBB music, and also POCHAKAITE MALKO's latest EP. Easily a 4 star release. I'm so impressed with this band.

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 Pochakaite Malko by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.51 | 9 ratings

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Pochakaite Malko
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was love at first listen for me. I didn't realize that there would be such a Zeuhl flavour to this music, then I found some sites who actually list this band under Zeuhl. Some of these guys were in a MAGMA cover band, while the bass player was in the great Zeuhl band KOENJIHYAKKEI. Interesting as well that keyboard player Kazuo Ogino is from the band GHOST. He composed most of the songs on this album. Certainly the Zeuhl sound comes from the bass / drum duo, but I was also impressed that there are two keyboardists in this band. They really fill out the sound with the vintage keys, mellotron, synths, piano and organ.

"G-13" opens with all these intricate sounds that mesh so well together. Some great organ and piano in this one. Heavy drums and bass create a lot of bottom end. Check out the hammond organ 5 minutes in. This is the perfect song to open with. "Ukraine" features a pounding rhythm that includes piano. It gets heavy after 2 minutes. The soundscape is filled with beautiful sounds like a UNIVERS ZERO song. "Lanka" opens with a flury before settling down. Hammond organ comes screaming in after 2 minutes. I'd love to see this song played live because there is so much going on. Incredible ! "Cat Field" is really the first laid back tune. Light drums and keys lead the way. Mellotron waves. It picks up a little 1 1/2 minutes in.

"Funeral" opens with piano. This has a dark atmosphere with mellotron. The piano is slowly played, the mood is haunting. This song brings to mind UNIVERS ZERO. "Arrhythmia" is an uptempo blitz. The song settles down 4 minutes in briefly with mellotron. "Trinity" features a guest guitarist playing relaxing melodies in this laid back intro. Percussion follows leading the way as the tempo picks up a little. "5th Element" is dark with drums and synths to open. A jazz vibe 2 minutes in as some guest female vocal melodies arrive. Lots of piano 3 1/2 minutes in. "Acid Rain" is an interesting track with a heavy sound as piano and synths play over top. "Holy Mountain" ends the album on a high. Haha. Some excellent piano as bass and drums pound away. Mellotron floods. I love the sound 2 1/2 minutes in.

If your into Zeuhl or dark Rio-Prog like UNIVERS ZERO you need to check this out. Heck, if your into keyboards at all you will get giddy listening to this incredible recording.

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 Doppelgänger by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Doppelgänger
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This excellent 4 track ep sees Pochakiate Malko exploring their Zeuhl influences in depth, and impressive stuff it is too. As on their preceding album, piano and organ are the dominant keyboard sounds and the violin takes the lead most of the time.

It opens with a growling bass line worthy of Jannick Top followed by primal drumming, a brief organ chord and then some truly demented violin completes the picture. The 4 tracks all cover similar territory, giving the 4 musicians room to stretch out without ever straying into self indulgent noodling. This is the sound of Magma circa 1974 with Didier Lockwood, filtered through the prism of Japanese Zeuhl maestros Koenjihyakkei, played with the kind of jaw dropping chops that seem almost commonplace among Japanese underground musicians. There are plenty of contrasts and sudden changes of tempo here, including what sounds like a recorder duet on Anna, and the shifting dynamics have been superbly recorded.

It's a less varied set than the superb Laya album - Junzo Tateiwa's beloved ethnic percussion is absent, and the world music influences likewise take a back seat most of the time, but it's an exhilerating ride and thoroughly recommended to any Magma or Koenjihyakkei fans. It will also be appreciated by fans of LTIA/Starless era King Crimson, and anybody who finds Magma's vocals off putting may find this more to their taste.

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 Laya by POCHAKAITE MALKO album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.19 | 24 ratings

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Laya
Pochakaite Malko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Laya" is one of the most brilliant examples of how well has the RIO trend of prog aged for the new millennium. With one less keyboardist and the addition of violinist extraordinaire Akihisa Tsuboy, Pochakaite Malko was prepared to create and release yet another catalogue of challenging, energetic music. The melodic ideas in this album are as extrvagant as they are captivating, full of exotic elements (Far East, Arabian, Hindu, North African), perfectly blended in a jazz-fusion atmosphere to be matched with the sense of adventure and multicolored creativity inherent to the band's most obvious Occidental infuences: Univers Zero, Present and a bit of early Magma. All in all, despite the tension that feels so patently demanding, this band does not emulate the cerebral darkness of the aforementioned RIO bands, only their density and their orchestral equilibrium. Tsuboy, being the 'new kid on the block', really owns the starring role in the band's overall sound, while the rhythm section guys interact in a display of total versatility all through each and every intrincate number. Last but not least, Ogino knows how to create precise bridges between the violin and the rhythm duo, effectively filling the melodic spaces among the violin leads. 'Laya' and 'Death by Hanging' bear a playful spirit, with the former leaning toward the colorful side of RIO and the latter going for a jazzier road. 'Cristao' finds the musicians organically focused on the elaboration of disturbing dreamy ambiences, with a simplistic bass line whose minimalistic impulse sets the pace for the other instruments to create a sonic polyphonic nightmare. After this emergence of sheer disturbance, comes a very convenient contrast, 'Hallelujah', which is obviously more joyful, mostly due to the special fusionesque vibe used by the band. PM's style doesn't let things get too comfortable here - we must remember, after all, that this is a RIO-inspired band. But the playfulness goes on with 'Frozen Shoulders', one of the most amazing pieces of this amazing album: its mixture of Celtic cadences and traditional Japanese colors is solidly displayed on a 7/8 tempo, with the added percussions being somewhat more featured than the basic drum kit input. Next comes a couple of solemn tracks, 'Meat Powdered Bones' and 'It Came from.', which are when PM get the closest they can to Present's prototype. But even then, of course, we must keep in mind that this band always gets to keep its sound from getting beyond the reasonable tortuous. 'Somewhere in Time' meets the best of PM's both worlds: starting with what seems a tight commitment to jazz-fusion, there are some climatic interludes in which the explosive dangers of RIO arise with fire and steel. A special mention goes to the marriage of organ and bass that erupts somewhere in the middle - quite Magmaesque, indeed. This would have made a perfct closure for the album had the last 11 minutes of the album not been occupied by 'D.N.A.'. This is real music from and for the underworld, made out of Vulcanus' fire to set heat in the listener's brain. The initial 4 1/2 minutes of languid ambiences may seem deceiving at first, but the listener should suspect that there's a subtle air of danger hanging around. Then comes a 2-minute section of sinister orchestrations, controlled yet positivley creepy. At 6:30, teh creepy thing turns a bit more pompous and schematized, even including carnival-like adornments. The return of the creepy section feels particularly strong due to the augmented dose of energy portrayed by the violin and the piano, while Tateiwa and Kuwahara sustain the climax in a very consistent fashion. The final solitary piano chords bid a proper farewell to the listener. "Laya" couldn't find a more proper ending than this, and definitely, Pochakaite Malko should already be regarded as masters of current avant-prog.

[I dedicate this review to my prog friend Jaime Akira]

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