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LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


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Lunapark Ensemble biography
In early 1980s, Tetsuto KOYAMA (bass) came across a pop-punk singer named RORIE on the stage of an old rock cafe Muon in Yokohama. Her loud voices could ring his bell soon and plant a strong intention to form a duo with her in his heart. On the other hand, Takashi Satoh, the owner of Pinakotheca Records, called Tetsuto for recording a solo single of Wataru OHKUMA (guitars, keyboards; ex-Zettai Reido) in 1982. Tetsuto got so immersed in Wataru's avantgarde guitar solo or performance that he finally got determined to form a rock quartet.

In the autumn of 1982, LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE were formed as a four-piece rock band and released their debut EP via Cragale Records, Muon's independent label. (This EP was included in the latter of their reissued album.) Although sadly Tetsuto resigned from this outfit for the reason of discrepancy of soundscape among the members in the following year, they could get more avantgarde and create works of originality around Wataru OHKUMA and RORIE.

In the summer of 1984 LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE released a 7-inch single 'Kawaii Watashi No Doppelgänger (Pretty My Doppelgänger)', featuring the brass & horn section or some junk instruments, in collaboration with some session musicians like Tori Kudo (trombone) or Masami Shinoda (saxophone). Recruiting the third LUNAPARKer Shin'ya KIMURA (drums, guitar,saxophone), they intentionally deviated from the 'as-it-is-said' normal style of rock band and broke an accepted theory in rock scene. In the meantime they released one and only mini LP 'Mushi-kui Mandala' (1986), that is even now much talked about as a masterpiece of Japanese Avantgarde Rock scene.

In the late 1980s LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE came back as a typical rock band but could not keep their activity for long and were disbanded in 1989. RORIE left the music scene soon but Wataru is still active as a session multi-player, sometimes gigging with Tetsuto in his band A-Musik.

Their mini LP 'Mushi-kui Mandala' was reissued in 1998 featuring an EP in their early days and some extra unreleased tracks via a Japanese independent label Wax Records.

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LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE discography


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3.00 | 1 ratings
Mushikui Mandala
1986

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LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mushikui Mandala by LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Mushikui Mandala
Lunapark Ensemble RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE were a Japanese avantgarde-experimental sound project and simultaneously might be Rorie's self-expressionism. This reissued album "Mushi-kui Mandala" (in English, "A Vermiculated Mandala") is not simply reissued one but something like a compiled one with the mini-album plus their debut EP, the 7-inch single donut, and some extra or unreleased tracks. What I can say through the entire album, Rorie should be a strong and self-asserted or centered girl, with her loud voices and original way on singing songs. Do not know why she has left the music scene but it's a pity without any suspicion.

Anyway, the main part of this album (from Track 2 to 10) sounds like Avant Folk (not Rock) to me, with some junk percussive stuffs or light-sounded instruments (like a soprano recorder). This music style can remind me Maher Shalal Hash Baz by Tori Kudo - maybe because LUNAPARK had recorded a single "Kawaii Watashi No Doppelgänger" with collaboration from Tori's trombone two years before? Very simple but eccentrically scattered songs are in, where only Rorie did Rock by her voices centering herself. In 1986 this avant-folksy music style could be very original and unrivaled, but sadly not enough for every progressive rock freak I guess.

Oh rather, the latter part of this "compilation" is their eponymous EP itself, that can be more of progressive rock than the chief manager here. Suppose Tetsuto might push pop & ROCK elements into them, and their EP could be well-balanced as an Avantgarde Progressive Rock one.

And the most impressive song for me is the first track "The Scramble Suite" ... featuring a strange pop, an ethnic shower, a funky rock, mystic fruits ... produced by Fred Frith (wow!). This song can include almost all of LUNAPARK essence surely. Wataru's sensitive Acid Folk, Rorie's mysterious tour, Tetsuto's hard-edged granite Rock ... all are excellently shining.

You can see various appearances of LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE in this "compilation". Please enjoy.

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