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Post Rock/Math rock • Japan

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Lite biography
Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2003

Lite is a Japanese instrumental math rock band. The band was formed by Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar), Jun Izawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums). After a series of demos, they released a self-titled mini album in 2005. After touring Japan for the first time they went to the studio to release their first full-length album, "Filmlets", in 2006. After gaining a wider audience with this release, the band went on a tour around UK and Ireland. The band won a reputation for being one of the most combustible live acts around. In November the band made a cover of Radiohead's "Everything In Its Right Place" and was released as part of a Radiohead tribute album.

Lite's music is highly recommended for fans of the complexity of math rock, and the melodic nature of post-rock.

- Ruben Dario (Chamberry) -

See also: WiKi

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LITE discography

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

3.73 | 11 ratings
4.08 | 52 ratings
3.12 | 8 ratings
For All The Innocence
3.85 | 11 ratings
4.25 | 4 ratings
4.09 | 3 ratings

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

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

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

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

4.00 | 4 ratings
3.33 | 3 ratings
A Tiny Twofer
4.67 | 3 ratings
Turns Red
4.50 | 2 ratings
4.00 | 3 ratings
Past, Present, Future

LITE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Multiple by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.09 | 3 ratings

Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Lite is a Post Rock/Math Rock band from Tokyo, Japan, and was formed in 2003 by the foursome of Noboyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar), Jun Izawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums). They have released 6 albums and a handful of EPs to date. Their sixth album, "Multiple", was released in early June of 2019. The album consists of 10 tracks and has a total run time of almost 2 minutes. Each track tends to stay around 4-5 minutes.

The band says that their music combines the melodic side of post rock and the complex side of math rock, combining both for their style. "Double" starts off the album with rapid fire and repetitive guitar notes and a fast drum that almost matches the notes. Soon the bass joins in with the same pattern, then the complexity starts when the 2nd guitar comes in. All of this together makes for an exciting sound, veering closer to the math rock side of things, but still retaining a solid melody. Before 2 minutes, things smooth out a bit as it gets more melodic, but remains upbeat. It returns to a complex meter again later. Great opener. "Deep Layer" contnues with an upbeat sound and comes in with a growling bass and jangling guitar. Again the 2nd guitar comes in and things get more complex. When the rhythm drops out later, there is a repeating guitar pattern and the song develops over that, working back into the main theme.

"Blizzard" starts with a repeating note, a fast clicking rhythm and an almost reggae attitude in the guitar. The second guitar comes in with a nice, deep sound that almost reminds one of the surf sounds of the past, but not quite. A funky pattern comes in later, and you actually feel like you could tap your foot to math rock for the first time. It's a fun and catchy track that should give the band some exposure in certain markets. There is a bit of spoken word in there that sounds like a field recording. The chiming guitars remind you that this is still a post rock band, but the sound is infectious all the way through. The track flows into "Maze" which has a hesitant feel in the processed guitar passage and a light percussive sound keep it moving forward, contrasted with a growling bass. "One Last Mile" has a more math rock sound with the guitar patterns, but the band still isn't afraid to add interesting effects to keep it dynamic. After 2 minutes, a fast strumming pattern makes everything intense and changes in texture keep it interesting.

"Ring" features vocals from two guests. The music is upbeat again with the sounds of steel drums (probably generated effects). The vocals are deep, but appealing with the nice bright sound. The picked notes of the guitars combined with the percussion give it a "Tortoise" like vibe, but the vocals tend to give it a poppy attitude too, but the supporting music shifts around enough to keep it all interesting. "Zone 3" has a definite King Crimson vibe from the Belew era, that metallic automated sound from the Discipline album. The rhythm shifts from complexity to steady keeping things dynamic. Halfway through, it goes into a stop/start pattern before slipping back to the main theme. After that, it goes for a heavier sound at the last part. "Temple" begins with an ascending/descending guitar riff pattern and has chiming guitars playing over the top in a moderate rhythm and sudden bursts of intensity. After a sudden stop, the guitar pattern changes to a more complex sound and things get heavier and the guitars get scratchy.

"4 mg Warmth" begins with percussive sounds, bringing in a slight oriental vibe. Picked guitar notes come across as quick staccato sounds and the percussion becomes tonal. Again, you can hear the "Tortoise" influence in this one as the percussive style continues and then light vibes can be heard above it all. A rhythmic shift at the mid-point keeps things interesting and a melodic guitar line chimes in this time and then it fades out. "Clockwork" continues with the percussive guitar notes and an interesting drum pattern. Guitar chords later provide a intermittent melody and the music alternates from staccato sounds to strummed chords. There is an interesting higher register melody played by what sounds like keyboards, but there are none listed in the credits, so it's some kind of percussive instruments would be my guess. Nice sound.

This is an excellent album which gives math rock a push towards an accessible sound in some places, but still remains dynamic and interesting all the way through. I really love the lighter sound that is present through most of this album, and also the fact that, for Math Rock, the music mostly has an upbeat and dynamic attitude, which is usually missing in that genre. The music is inventive, each track has it's own personality, and the music never seems to get stagnant. The band follows in the footsteps of it's contemporaries like "Tortoise" but, for the most part, veers away from too much experimentation, keeping the sound more accessible and melodic for the masses, but also keeping things innovative for the people that love the more complex side of things. Excellent album.

 Phantasia by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.08 | 52 ratings

Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I can't say math Rock is one of my favourite styles of music but certainly there are exceptions. That "Discipline" album by KING CRIMSON seemed to spawn a myriad of bands seeking to do the same thing. And while impressive when done right often I'm left cold. So yes this Japanese band surprised me with this 2008 album called "Phantasia". I did not see this one coming just like in grade four when my teacher came up to me from behind and hit me on the side of the face with the book she was holding. Well done! Two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer make up this all instrumental quartet and we get some guest cello on the final track.

"Ef" is a top three. I mean how good does this sound right out of the gate. That guitar and bass especially as the drums join in. It settles to a catchy beat before 1 1/2 minutes then laid back guitar joins in. Love that bass before 2 minutes. This is just gravy before 3 minutes, so good! "Control" has a stuttering start before settling in with impressive drumming and guitars. It settles back before 2 minutes but it's heavy, then it picks back up to the end.

"Infinite Mirror" makes me dizzy just thinking about it. This is my favourite track. Fast paced intricate guitar lines as a very catchy beat with bass kicks in. I can't stop moving to this. It builds before 1 1/2 minutes to this insane groove that sounds amazing. It settles back again before kicking back in before 4 minutes. "Shinkai" has Post-Rock styled guitars to start. Drums and bass join in just before a minute and soon that's all you hear as the guitars stop. They're back quickly though. Love the bass and drums on this one. Heavy stuff before 3 1/2 minutes.

"Black And White" has such a clean and clear sound to it just like the whole album. Guitars intertwine as the bass joins in. Riffs before 2 minutes and the drums that follow impress. It settles right down after 3 minutes then builds. Excellent! "Interlude" is just that, a short 1 1/2 minute piece of mellow intricate guitar and what sounds like water. "Ghost Dance" opens with guitar as drums and a full sound kick in quickly. Check out the bass before a minute along with the guitar. Great sound here. A calm then it kicks in hard before 2 1/2 minutes.

"Solitude" starts out with static as melodic and laid back guitar plays over top. It kicks in around a minute, no static here. Again a nice clear sound and it's still laid back. Such a pleasant sound. It kicks in hard at 3 1/2 minutes then settles back a minute later before hitting us one more time like teacher. "Phantasia" has outbursts of power early on and check out that guitar. Nice. So intricate and well played as he picks and strums. Quite an impressive track overall but not a favourite.

"Fade" is my other top three. Oh yeah! A nice heavy sound here with lots of bottom end. It settles back a minute in and settles even more 2 minutes in as beautifully picked guitar leads the way as it builds until they hit us hard 3 minutes in. It settles again and this sounds incredible with those massive bass lines and that guitar. They kick back in at 4 1/2 minutes before settling back one more time. "Sequel To The Letter" ends it with intricate guitars ala "Discipline" then drums after a minute. Cello 2 1/2 minutes in provides a different flavour to this closing number.

So yes I highly recommend this album, I haven't heard anything else by them but this one blew me away.

 Installation by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 11 ratings

Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by R-A-N-M-A

4 stars In my mind, math/post rock is supposed to be one of, if not the, most inherently complex and creative genre. If there is to be any structure at all in a work, it is supposed to be highly unorthodox. Instead, it seems that certain conventions have taken over. Most bands tend to favour big stringy walls of sound, rapid acoustic guitar plucking sequences and two parts bitter for every one part sweet. Which is fine on it's own. I've been staggered by the beauty of tracks by completely unheard of bands p[laying the formula, but when everyone is doing it begins to lose meaning.

LITE doesn't do any of that.

What they play is very identifiably math rock, but they bring so much more to the table. On Installation they've matured beyond when I last heard them on Phatansia. They've dropped any semblance of the aforementioned conventions and in their place they add influences from hard rock, jazz, electronic, classical, funk and even a bit of a west cost surfer sound. They are weird and subtle where everyone else is grand and obvious and I love it.

I opted for 4 stars rather than five because if this album lacks anything it's a real hook. Something to endear you to the album in an emotionally powerful way. What contains instead, is a collection of creative, quirky and yes, (math-)rocking tracks. Installation is an exciting album from start to finish and LITE is a credit to their genre. This album's appeal goes way beyond the album artwork reminiscent of Princess Mononoke. I highly recommend it to anyone. It's what prog is all about.

The album is very helpfully available on Bandcamp. I only had to listen to two tracks before I moved from curious to whipping out my credit card. If I could recommend any two tracks to you, I'd say you should check out Subaru and Nomad.

 Phantasia by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.08 | 52 ratings

Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by R-A-N-M-A

4 stars Post-rock is easily one of the most active and diverse sub-genres going in prog rock today. I've only begun to crack underneath the surface. It's pretty telling how low the exposure is if albums with a scant 20-30 reviews can crack the top 20 here on PA though. That doesn't mean those selections are without merit however, and LITE's Phantasia pretty much proves that.

I have yet to hear a post-rock album that has completely knocked my socks off but there certainly are moments of brilliance throughout the genre. Phantasia probably has as many of those moments packed into one spot as I have yet found. It tends to stray from many of the habitual sound walls, waifish chord progressions and generally fatalist mood typical of the genre in favour of a meticulous and aggressive jazz-rock attack. Maybe that makes it more math rock?

I don't really know. All I know is that I like it and that more people that just the 20 who have bothered to laid down reviews up until now should scope it out. 4 out 5, well recommended.

 Phantasia by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.08 | 52 ratings

Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What caught my attention about Lite´s PHANTASIA, firsthand, is the guitar counterpointing structures they build around basic (not simple) Rock n Roll riffs. California Guitar Trio like but eletcrified and around their own compositions. So, of course, they are not discovering fire but they play well with it.

Well tempered alike the California Guitar Trio, the sound structures move towards Rock as such. No big detours from that style. Of course I am talking about the musical structures that gave birth to Prog and other Rock related music (such as Post/Math Rock). So music wise the astonishing "kick" these guys possess is how far they take such a played-out structure without becoming an over the line studio-production project nor an imitation of an imitation. No! It is in fact quiet the opposite. These guys can create all these "magical" transfigurations by hand without the aid of any other thing but focus and unpretentious talent.

(Yes! If lucky they could be the band that turns out in your next wedding party and play this whole effort -effotlessly).

The well-attained results of course are close to Prog´s Post Rock/Math Rock, also the intention of and range of scopes, as the varied visits to the protocols of "Progland" during the trip. BUT!! Everything sounds so fresh because they are so elegantly- unpretentious!! -

Each song works out perfectly, one before and after the other. So of course is an A to Z album, no "spare" parts are included. LITE sounds like a tight well versed-enseble, each member in its own element in a "VOCAL-LESS album". ( i mean come on! All music played with instruments is "instrumental").

No big stars out-shining each other, no! Absolute team-work! The BIG thrill here is how well they hold the whole album into a "one long-hold" highly creative and focused ride without losing intensity, touch nor inventiveness.

****4 Rock solid PA stars.

PS:Also their 2014 Installations album is quiet a treat!! (No time to review it, for now.)

 For All The Innocence by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.12 | 8 ratings

For All The Innocence
Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by seb2112

3 stars This new LITE album took me by suprise, had no idea they had anything in the works, so I had no expectations at all. Just pressed play and hoped for the best. After a useless, minute-long intro of random noises, the album was off to a good enough start. Tracks 2, 3 and 4 were typical Lite, upbeat math rock with that fun japanese feel they share with their countrymen Te. Track five is another waste of a minute long sample with a decent but easily forgettable guitar riff over it. At track it all changes, from there on, Lite ventures into much more math pop/electronics territories. Although it works well on track number 6, reminding me of the better momment's on Battle's latest release, the tracks after that are too soft, catchy and nothing close to being math for my taste (like the lesser momment's on that same Battles record!)

I ended up keeing 4 of the 11 tracks (or rather 4 of the 9 real tracks if we disregard the two minute long noodings they included on this album) so I'd say it's not even half good. But the songs I did like were on par with my favorite momments of earlie Lite records, so I'll give it a 2.5 rounded up to 3. If you enjoyed Battles new album in it's entirety, then expect to rate it a 4 star album as the poppier and ironicaly LITEr songs are well done, just not what I personnaly enjoy from my math rock bands

 Phantasia by LITE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.08 | 52 ratings

Lite Post Rock/Math rock

Review by burritounit
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars One of the best albums of 2008.

Lite is a math rock band from Japan with a very optimistic sound, post rock influences and a much moved/dynamic nature. It's not every day where you get a math rock band with such an addictive and unique sound, high quality and to say the least with incredible "danceable" energy (easy way to describe their sound). Phantasia is an album with barely no flaws, all the songs have their own essence and peculiar-catchy rhythm like Ghost Dance, Black And White, Solitude and Phantasia to point out a few.

Though being a math rock band, some of the songs seem to be driven by a post rock atmosphere in songs like Shinkai, Interlude, Solitude and Fade. This combination creates a balance and thus making their sound more melodic unlike other math rock bands that tend to create angular melodies.

The introductory song: Ef is one that easily catches the attention of your ears entirely with some sort of heavy riffs and intense drum play (though most songs have this energy outburst of the drummer). Black And White is very good to, with a very post rock oriented intro repeated in the midst of the ending. On the other hand Shinkai has a very atmospheric feel with a crescendo feel in it, as well as Solitude which follows a similar formula. In my opinion one the most standout songs would have to be Ghost Dance. It has the most "danceable" feel in it, just as its name implies, easily followed by Phantasia, which is even more energetic and explosive and the drums are very extreme. The closing song: Sequel to The Letter and Infinite Mirror remind me much of Battles but with a more melodic touch in them and that particular essence that Lite offer.

In conclusion Phantasia is easily one of the best albums of 2008. It's addictive, energetic, melodic and very well composed with many memorable moments. If you liked Battles then you will have no problem loving this one.

Highly recommended!

Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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