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P.O.N. biography
A Japanese ensemble featuring two members of BONDAGE FRUIT - guitarist natsuki KIDO and drummer/percussionist Masahiro UEMURA - P.O.N. was a one-shot project that delivered a very fresh sort of experimental progressive rock in its sole eponymous release. Actually, this ensemble's line-up was very similar to that of BONDAGE FRUIT since it also comprised a second percussionist who mostly played vibes, plus a guest violinist plays on two tracks in the album. Anyway, the presence of a permanent sax player and the elaboration of a tighter free-jazz foundation augmented with noticeable Zappaesque twists makes P.O.N. a peculiar item within the very creative Japanese avant-prog scene. This album is out of print, I think, so it really is a collector's item for those who happen to love BONDAGE FRUIT and other similar acts.

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4.00 | 4 ratings

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P.O.N. Reviews

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 P.O.N. by P.O.N. album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.00 | 4 ratings

P.O.N. RIO/Avant-Prog

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

4 stars Their terrific soundscape has given me headache, earache, and stomachache ... all of which could be my pleasure, magically.

A Japanese (eventually) short-lived, one-off quintet P.O.N. were gradually kicked off by five renowned artists in Japanese underground music scene - Masahiro UEMURA (drums, percussion; ex-Shibusashirazu, Ground Zero), Junji HIROSE (saxophone; ex-Shibusashirazu), Masaki SHIMIZU (bass), Kumiko TAKARA (vibraphone; ex-Bondage Fruit) and Natsuki KIDO (guitars; ex-Bondage Fruit). This eponymous album consists of ten funnily, funkily titled tracks (e.g. the name of a Japanese pop female singer, the name of a British King, a swindler, or a liar ... lol). Cannot imagine the relationship between a tune and its title at all ... maybe someone has hit upon a word / phrase, that enlarged and broadened their idea for the tune, with their loud laughter I guess, though. Regardless of funny song titles, we can get amazed and have fun with their merciless, heartless instrumental violence. Every player could play strictly and aggressively such complex, polyrhythmic tunes (even if the tunes had come to the world along with well-calculated creation) with others. And surprisingly, every genius is striking, outstanding, and self-assertive for his / her play (!) but at the same time, is pretty balanced, harmonized with each other - namely, there is no frontman nor tomboy who had broken their matured atmosphere, although their eccentricity should be based upon Masahiro's drumming. That reminds me Natsuki's comment; "Cool play, cool tunes cannot be born without our solidarity."

As if all musicians upon P.O.N. ground worked as a united body / soul, P.O.N. could construct such a impressive world with various instruments, various melodies, various riffs, and various energetic protests against pop / rock music. Really cool as Natsuki says.

 P.O.N. by P.O.N. album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.00 | 4 ratings

P.O.N. RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars P.O.N. was the name of a Japanese short-lived side project of guitarist Natsuki Kido and percussionist Kumiko Takara (of Bondage Fruit): besides having released a sole aponymous namesake album, not much more is known about this ensemble, but well? at least the ones who have gotten the chance to listen to this album are fairly aware of the excellent artistic quality comprised by this ensemble's offering for the benefit of Japan's restless avant-garde scene. Generally speaking, the principles of P.O.N. are focused on the revitalization of the zeuhl standard in order to refurbish it in a challenging, colorful fashion. In many ways, this band's sound is related to that of Bondage Fruit's first four efforts: it even includes a double percussive section as well, not to mention the presence of violin as a guest input for two tracks. P.O.N., all in all, additionally states adventures in the areas of avant-jazz and Zappaesque modes here and there, so the sonic display is usually less robust than in BF albums. Almost all pieces are tremendously varied in their inner structures, with relentless modifications and surprising twists: even the themes that last over 1 minute deceitfully appear to be longer than they actually are. 'Yumin #3' opens up the album in a defined deconstructivist way, and soon the framework turns oppressive, especially when a sax solo expands for the second half. ' George Ni Sei #8' starts on a much calmer mood? that is, until an unexpected Dadaist interlude paves the way for a display of dementia and mischief that can only be described as Zappa-meets-Univers Zero. 'Petenshi #2' is a brief playful interlude that somehow anticipates the dreamy nature of the first section of 'Yumin #5'; this piece ultimately sets a free-jazz-dominated mood for a later development. 'Petenshi #4' is a very different interlude, it is very extroverted, a factor that turns out to be quite coherent with the optimistic vibe featured in ''93.8. 12 #1', a piece where the jazz-rock flair works for the enhancement of the vivid colorfulness inherent to the compositional structure. Speaking of humanly impossible guitar solos, Kido brings out a big one in this track: manic, incendiary and full of expressive appeal. 'Petenshi #5' inherits some of the preceding track's extroverted colorfulness, yet a deconstructivist twist takes place, and so we are reintroduced to a logic of musical labyrinths that is perfectly incarnated by 'George Ni Sei #6', arguably the album's zenith. 'Usotsuki #2' y 'George #10' together occupy the album's last 15 minutes. The former does a great job at combining the dreamy jazz.prog nuances of KBB and the agile intensity of Il Berlione; the latter confidently reiterates the tight avant flavors that had greatly dominated the album's repertoire, and it includes yet another unreal guitar solo by Master Kido. It is a pity that this album is so infinitely hard to find, but if you do, just don't miss it, especially if you're an avant-prog lover who can't have enough exploring around the great diversity of progressive endeavors created in Japan for the rest of the world.
Thanks to cesar inca for the artist addition.

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