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Il Berlione biography
IL BERLIONE are a powerful Japanese quintet that had started in the early 90's. Their music is entirely instrumental, somewhere in between Canterbury and jazz fusion; Soft Machine springs to mind. However, they're highly original unit meandering from RIO/avant moments to the most stellar Fripp/Crimson ideas.

The emphasis is on guitar (played by Naoya Idonuma), but other instruments are convincing as well, sometimes bordering on extraordinary. Other members of this quintet are Kazuo Ogura on bass, Hirofumi Tanigutchi, on keyboards, Hiroo Takano on saxophone and Tappi Iwase on drums & percussion. Masahiro Kawamura replaced Iwase on drums for the second album.

They head released two albums for the Japanese Belle label, 'Il Berlione' and 'In 453 Minutes Infernal Cooking' in 1992 and 1994 respectively. Their self-titled debut is highly recommended.

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3.85 | 14 ratings
Il Berlione
3.31 | 13 ratings
In 453 Minutes Infernal Cooking

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 In 453 Minutes Infernal Cooking by BERLIONE, IL album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.31 | 13 ratings

In 453 Minutes Infernal Cooking
Il Berlione Eclectic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Il Berlione is one of the more overlooked bands around here, this of course must change because this is truly an exceptional and an exciting new band to discover. Although adopting an italian band name, they are 5 japanese dudes, all brilliant musicians combining saxophone, xylophone and keys with their guitar, drums and bass. It seems the band had a short lifetime since they have released only two albums in the course of two years, and faded away like they were never here. "In 453 Minutes Infernal Cooking" is their second album, released after their superb debut it seems like the band cooled down a bit and went for a more jazzy kind of eclectic rock, out goes their RIO/avant weirdness stuff and their aggressive wildness,making their debut so great, leaving us with a more laid back jammy approach. Although this is more jazzy tinged album, they can still heavily rock when they find it appropriate, listed before under jazz rock the eclectic sub genre is more defining of their music.

There is no arguing this band is capble of playing, the musicians are outstanding and the band works as an overall, they are tight and cohesive without straining to much, i love that about them! The music like i mentioned before is above all eclectic, jazzy progressive and rocky when needed. The material is not as good as in their debut, in this 70 minutes album the band has very good moments and some mediocare moments, almost boring, bordering elevator music at times, what manages to save them is their great playing. It looks to me like some of the tracks here lacks a certain amount of punch, instead of focusing on a good idea, they are going around it, examing it and not attacking it. They seem to choose the easy laid back way, and the whole thing sounds too jammy and while doing that, misses the point and leaves the listener unimpressed, knowing he could get so much more. Said that i still think for you who already knows their debut should have this as well.

Out of the whole album i think at least more than half is good, the rest is mediocare but never bad. Every member has it's own moment to shine, saxophone is already all over the place and maybe dominating the album, drums have a solo track, piano have a solo track and guitar has a solo track as well. Keys are somewhat pushed aside here, and does not shine at all, i already know guitarist Naoya Idonuma is phenomenal but here he has good moments at best and not amazing, featuring some good solos and some uninspired ones, it's like a different guitarist in the lineup. Sax is sometime very good and sometime very cold and boring, drums are maybe the best, having few drum sounds which is nice, Masahiro Kawamura manages to be brilliant and very exciting.

The album starts very promising with an interesting track, that takes all the band's musical styles and squeezes them into less than two minutes, they go from weird to hard rocking to eclectic to jazzy, loose and very tight together, cool idea, well done and very exciting. Highlights are 'Koenji Sake Bar' which i used it's amazing opening 45 seconds as my ringtone!! 'Human Head Soup', 'At the Foot of Polyethylene Tree' featuring great playing by all members and good ideas executed well. Other tracks all have good ideas but some are not developed well. Solo tracks flows good with the rest of the album but does not lift the album up since it is not a joint effort. The album ends with the first track being played in a reversed order, again pretty cool and well done.

Overall a good album but nothing to be too excited by. I would suggest to go for their amazing debut first. I wish this wasn't their last album, since i haven't found any information regarding the musicians after this album, where they went and who they teamed up with. 3 stars will be just fine.

 Il Berlione by BERLIONE, IL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.85 | 14 ratings

Il Berlione
Il Berlione Eclectic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars A jack-in-the box of various pleasure - such a phrase may be suitable for Il BERLIONE I guess.

They had played understandably about some physical discomfort or illness, weird phenomena, enjoyable memories, or actions like cynic. It's natural each of their sounds or noises could be complex and eccentric. However, at the same time it's amazing all of their stuffs could be harmonized strictly. Very sharp- and hard-edged brass kicks and piercingly cold percussion knocks. Regardless of weirdness of their song titles (about physical troubles or dreadful phenomena mainly), their atmosphere upon playing stuffs could be kaleidoscopic and colourful with plenty of instruments and their unique sound structure.

The first track "Electrostatic Hotel" can be their stronger theme I guess. They played not statically but dynamically, with complex phrases based upon their rhythm section and funky saxophone sounds, for a static electricity, nonetheless. We can listen to such a case here and there ... Sometimes they play for relieving us and sometimes for punching our brain, with unexpected perfume flavour based upon strongly alcoholic stimulation sounds. They played fuzzily, noisily, irritatingly (in a good manner) under soundscape like King Crimson's "Starless And Bible Black" in "Make You Die, Your Brain", and ethnically, meditatively in "The Engei Suite". On the contrary, authentic jazz rock like "Kouenji, Memories In The Rain" (consider this song should be their beginning as an avantgarde jazz project) we can touch.

As a result, through the whole album we can feel their "kaleidoscopic" and "phantasmagorical" gem box named Il BERLIONE. Let me recommend, as a Japanese, such a fantastic album to you all.

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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