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KAM-PAS-NEL-LA

RIO/Avant-Prog • Multi-National


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Kam-pas-nel-la biography
KAM-PAS-NEL-LA were formed in 1996 and only performed together once, at the Festival Beyond Innocence at the Xebec Hall in Kobe, Japan on 10th October 1996. The band consisted of four well known members of the Japanese Avant-garde scene.

Haco is a Japanese female vocalist who has made many solo albums in her own right, but also as a member of other Japanese bands, including Happiness Proof, Hoahio, Mescaline Go-Go and most notably, avant-prog band After Dinner. She has also worked with many other avant-prog musicians and bands, including Fred Frith (Henry Cow), Otomo Yoshihide (Ground Zero), Cassiber, Guigou Chenevier (Etron Fou Leloublan) and Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Samm Bennett was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1957 and has had a very intriguing career for over 20 years (as a drummer, percussionist and sampler). He moved to Tokyo in 1995 after 11 years in New York and has been involved with many different musicians, including Keiji Haino, Hans Reichel, Eugene Chadbourne and Ikue Mori since his time there. He has also recorded with some avant-prog bands in his day, including Curlew, Doctor Nerve, After Dinner and with Zeena Parkins on Something Out There (1987) and with Haco on Midi Creative (1995). He released his second solo album in 2004 called Secrets of Teaching Yourself Music.

Zeena Parkins is unusual in that she plays the acoustic and electric harp (but is also a multi-instrumentalist) and is always innovating with the harp sound. She was born in Detroit, Michigan and has appeared on over 70 CDs as a guest performer, with many different musicians and bands, including Tin Hat Trio, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Nels Cline, Yoko Ono and even Bjork and Hole (the Courtney Love band). Zeena has also been an official member of Fred Frith avant-prog bands No Safety, News From Babel, Skeleton Crew and Keep the Dog.

Kazuhisa Uchihashi is the founder of the Festival Beyond Innocence, which is a yearly music event in Osaka. His background also involves avant-prog and noise and he was guitarist in two major Japanese bands: Altered States and Ground Zero. He has also worked alongside Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins, Koenjihyakkei, Samla Mammas Manna and Soft Mountain), Bob Ostertag, Charles Hayward (Camberwell Now, This Heat, Massacre and Quiet Sun), John Zorn's Cobra as well as Haco.

The recording of their performance at Festival Beyond Innocence was finally released on CD in 1998 on FB...
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4.00 | 1 ratings
Kam-pas-nel-la
1998

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 Kam-pas-nel-la by KAM-PAS-NEL-LA album cover Live, 1998
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Kam-pas-nel-la
Kam-pas-nel-la RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by laplace
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Generally, if Haco is present in a group, their musical output will reciprocate between manic, improv-riddled pop decompositions undecided on whether they should be formal or informal and rhythmic, repetitious ambient collage. The short-lived Kam-pas-nel-la project continues this proud tradition on their single album, captured live in front of pleasantly confused fans.

The music comes in pulses, mostly being based on very short notes and patterns thanks to Zeena Parkins' wonderfully understated calculations in each song, while Haco's voice acts as a linchpin - a very formal and expressive one - which grants the band more creative space in which they invariably fool around in a good-natured and texture-enhancing manner. These are catchy songs, if I dare say that, and each has enough detail to be an enjoyable listen past the first. If you want comparisons, then aside from other Haco creations I'll nod towards Stormy Six's Al Volo and Cassix project sound - or if you'd like a more well-known reference point, imagine a permutation of the King Crimson ProjeKcts featuring a demure female singer and a sampling artist - but this album is much more deconstructed and fragile, being less reliant on the guitar and more on each musician's mood at the time. Nothing But Faces is a stand-out track, verging on post-rock or tranquil chamber music via traditional means.

There are improv spots too, which either consist of frenzied, bouncy shred (thanks in part to one Mr. Uchihashi, who plays with rich irony throughout the album) or deep, dowsing arcs of woeful but lovely noise performed on some amplified string instrument or other... the exception being the solo by Mr. Bennett, which is a percussive suite performed on an extensive bank of sampled effects, including ambient rain spatter, detuned wind instruments and, occasionally, something that actually sounds like a drum. This marvel links in to the hilarious No Pain, No Gain where Haco stars, singing incredibly motivational and good-natured lyrics in a strained, amateur-ish, even drunk manner over detuned and transient guitar power chords and comedically mistimed bursts of synth nonsense. To a select (read deranged) audience that includes this reviewer, this is how beauty sounds.

Ok, I've convinced myself that Kam-pas-nel-la deserves a four, so a four I award. Don't forget to investigate After Dinner and Hoahio if you like the ambient side of this, and Happiness Proof's self-titled album if you want more off-centre pop. It's a pleasure to give another favourable review to one of my favourite artists. =)

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