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Indo-Prog/Raga Rock • Japan

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Floating Flower biography
Floating Flower is a side project and musical trio formed by the japanese guitarist and psychedelic guru Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple). The music explores the acoustic-sacred harmonies of indian raga music and the traditional facets of nepal ethno-folk . It's largely acoustic, dominated by epiphanic sitar vibes, ritual percussions, spiritual chants and entrancing guitar tones.

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4.00 | 4 ratings
Floating Flower 1st
2.95 | 3 ratings
Floating Flower 2

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 Floating Flower 2 by FLOATING FLOWER album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.95 | 3 ratings

Floating Flower 2
Floating Flower Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

3 stars Bubbling Earth

This is a side project by Acid Mothers Temple guitarist Kawabata Makoto that seeks to embrace the gentle parts of the Indian raga sound. There is a focus on some Tibetan maybe Nepalese folk sensibilities here, but no matter how you slice this baby, it is bound to make you feel chilled and just like the name of the band suggests: Floating.

A three man band here, although with a hefty woman in charge of the vocalisations, Floating Flower is just about the most relaxing band you'll ever come across. I guess this is the sort of kick that most other people get out of a band like Iona, - though I must confess being slightly more enamoured by this lot. Breezy, shimmering, chill-out ragadelic folk mantras beautifully conveyed through sparse and to the point instrumentations, leaving the listener in a state of bliss and harmony. Oh yes, this one is for all you long haired folks out there, although I would like to think that many others could enjoy this stuff - perhaps even adore it like yours truly. There is a gentleness to these pieces that wraps around your body like an affectionate snake of fog. It's music of clouds and structure-less sky creatures flapping about on the big blue movie screen above.

What I like most about this release is its frugal approach - the way it paints a thousand pictures of windswept skies with but a humble guitar, tabla and those ethereal lingering female vocalisations. I am deliberately using the term vocalisations here, because that is essentially what they are: Beautiful wistful yearning singing that fills up the airwaves like a huge feminine presence. It acts as the main instrument, and whether it flies around in high altitudes or seldomly scraping the deeper and generally more menacing vocal chords, it is indeed what steers this airy castle-boat of sound. Much to my surprise the guitar is not that big of a deal. It strums along like a folky vagabond with a few chords up his sleeves - strumming slowly and rhythmically away - not in any hurry to get any where, just perpetuating a wooden acoustic foundation. Then comes the thing that makes my heart sink into the ground and turns my skin outside-in - cripples my speech patterns and stays with me long after this album has run its course. Here I am talking about the tabla. Crystal clear and high in the mix, it slushes its way into the very heart of this recording. People who have trouble understanding why this instrument is considered to be holy in India; you should check out his album. It's very rare that I get goose-bumps from the rhythm section, but on here those splashing textures from that tabla literally sends chills down my spine.

Apart from those obvious instruments, you do get treated to some violin and e-guitar, which both add a windy and effervescent characteristic to the pieces.

If it weren't for the underdeveloped nature of this thing, I would have rated it higher - maybe even as a masterpiece, had the different potentials been reached, but as it is, - this album gets a bit too repetitive for its own good. However, throw it on the stereo a hot humid afternoon and listen to it for a good 20 minutes, and the universe suddenly starts speaking to you, and the earth begins to bubble up through that tabla. 3.5 stars.

 Floating Flower 1st by FLOATING FLOWER album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.00 | 4 ratings

Floating Flower 1st
Floating Flower Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The music of Japan that had derived in the 90's gave the part where established established by the band and flow of diversity spread well for the market. If the market and the diffusion of Prog Rock in Japan consider the part of eminence, the part of information might be less than that of foreign countries. Or, established of the listener might also have small number of parts.

However, music that had already passed to foreign countries in the band in Japan after the 70's and established music had the acceptance besides the flow and the forecast that Japan had thought about. The band in Japan that acquired the fan in foreign countries has already had the stimulation of each other and the relation by being imported oppositely in the market in Japan.

The relation by the member of the band and the flow of the exchange were done between a lot of bands in the market of Prog Rock of Japan after the 90's. And, the band that takes charge of the item of psychedelic in the item of a lot of Prog Rock that exists in Japan is various. However, in that, the known band might be especially "Acid Mother Temple" also in foreign countries. They are called "AMT" by the alias. The member who belongs to this band has activity and the exchange as a musician who always bears the nucleus of Prog Rock of Japan. The music tried as one group that Makoto Kawabata of the guitar player of this AMT had derived from one experimental part and psychedelic was this "Floating Flower".

Detailed details to which this group is formed are not actually so known. It is a point said that the music character that becomes the formation and the nucleus of the group by Makoto Kawabata as a result is advocated if it enumerates it as a guessed point. And, Tethuya Kaneko that takes charge of Tabla and the guitar exists. And, Yuki that takes charge of the song, Violin, and Sitar exists. It is said that these two people were always visiting India and Nepal. Perhaps, it is guessed that the music character that the element of Raga Rock that the other two people cultivated in the part of Acid Folk that Makoto Kawabata advocated unites well was completed as a result.

Part of construction of sounds of united musical instruments and music characters. And, the element to make shaman recollect it is constructed. The repetition of the transformer and the trip included in psychedelic and Raga Rock will be able to be caught enough as a united music characters. Each member's music character and the cultivated power of expression are united splendidly by this group and expressed.

"Shizuku no youni" makes the tension with good melody and rhythm of flowing Violin. The guitar and the rhythm in close relation to the song of Yuki that expresses an enchantment song decide the part of Acid Folk and Raga Rock constructed with a minimum unit. The repeated composition with a pastoral flow and the scat might be the expression that has already been established methods as much as possible.

As for "Joshokiryu", the sound of the decoration included everywhere is effective. There is a part of Trip Music and Trance as an impression, too. However, the part where the sound of Sitar and Tabla completely decided twines is expressed without the sense of incompatibility. The scat that Yuki does gives a very acute angle expression. They might have tried to construct originality as one chemical reaction because of various sounds. Psychedelic and Acid Folk will be nuclei. The flavor of Raga Rock included there has established originality.

It is a tune that a pastoral element and an enchantment element exist together as much as possible in "Yasei no uma no tategami ga suki". Melody of steady rhythm and repeated guitar. Sound of effective decoration in close relation to it. And, it is partial of the song of Yuki that gives the impression like the cantrip. The performance creates one space in union.

As for "Fuwa fuwa", the flavor of complete Acid Folk and psychedelic is expressed well. And, the melody with the rhythm and the anacatesthesia of steady Sitar twines on average as an element of Raga Rock. The tune advances while continuing a transparent feeling and the anacatesthesia. The impression to which the gaga expression by an experimental limited element and the repetition is united as an impression of this tune and the album might be given to the listener. It is likely to succeed in the expression of an original effect in the music character by introducing an effective sound everywhere.

One establishment and purpose might be expressed well as music made in the flow that derives from psychedelic in Japan and the item of Acid Folk. The expression of the music character that they had already advocated expresses the element of psychedelic and Raga Rock well.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to toroddfuglesteg for the last updates

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