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YUKA & CHRONOSHIP

Neo-Prog • Japan


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Yuka & Chronoship biography
YUKA & CHRONOSHIP were founded in 2009 as a Japanese Neo-Prog quartet by a female keyboardist / vocalist / composer Yuka FUNAKOSHI, already active as a solo artist for over a decade. Supported with three session musicians - Shun TAGUCHI (bass), Takashi MIYAZAWA (guitar), and Ikko TANAKA (drums, percussion), her gracious ship got launched in the vein of late-70s progressive rock and released their debut voyage "Water Reincarnation" via Musea Records in 2011.

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3rd Planetary Chronicles3rd Planetary Chronicles
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$8.06
$11.39 (used)
Dino Rocket OxygenDino Rocket Oxygen
Import
Musea Parallèle 2013
Audio CD$10.98
$5.99 (used)
Water ReincarnationWater Reincarnation
Import
Musea 2011
Audio CD$24.21
$55.00 (used)
The 3rd Planetary Chronicles by Yuka & ChronoshipThe 3rd Planetary Chronicles by Yuka & Chronoship
Omp Company
Audio CD$180.00
Water Reincarnation by Yuka & Chronoship (2011-07-04)Water Reincarnation by Yuka & Chronoship (2011-07-04)
Musea
Audio CD$90.60
Dino Rocket Oxygen by Yuka & Chronoship (2013-08-03)Dino Rocket Oxygen by Yuka & Chronoship (2013-08-03)
Musea Parall?le
Audio CD$44.96
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YUKA & CHRONOSHIP discography


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YUKA & CHRONOSHIP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 19 ratings
Water Reincarnation
2011
3.92 | 41 ratings
Dino Rocket Oxygen
2013
3.96 | 63 ratings
The 3rd Planetary Chronicles
2015

YUKA & CHRONOSHIP Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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YUKA & CHRONOSHIP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The 3rd Planetary Chronicles by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 63 ratings

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The 3rd Planetary Chronicles
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The 3rd Planetary Chronicles is the third album by Japanese prog band Yuka & Chronoship, featuring keyboardist Yuka Funakoshi as the principal composer and supported by three excellent musicians on drums, bass, and guitar. The album's theme is the development of technology with specific technological advances featured, namely the Stone Age, steam power, flight, radio, and cloning as well as a reference to the concept of a solar-centric solar system and a reference to physics. Like the "Promenade" sequences in Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", there are short transitional tracks which make up a series entitled "Birth of the Earth". This series concludes with a fully developed track over eight minutes long.

The music is largely lead by Yuka's piano, synthesizer and organ work but plenty of spotlight time goes to guitarist Takashi Miyazawa. The music is for the most part gentle, atmospheric, dynamic, and powerful. There are plenty of swooshing keyboard sounds at the right times, aethereal chorus vocals in parts, and the odd recorded spoken dialogue. Only a couple of tracks have lyrics and they are brief.

The music is very close to western prog bands both past and present but with a touch of that Japanese sense of human spirit. It sounds positive overall despite some of the darker moments. It never gets weird and works well as a companion piece to western prog while still keeping a sense of Japaneseness.

Personally, I find the longer tracks more engaging. The album begins like a misty landscape: you can't see (hear) the full beauty of it yet. For me, the album continues to develop interest as it goes along, and "I Am Thee (Awakening of Cloneroid)", the second last track, quickly became a favourite track out of many great tracks.

I will definitely be checking out their second album in the near future.

 The 3rd Planetary Chronicles by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 63 ratings

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The 3rd Planetary Chronicles
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Yuka & Chronoship are baaaaack! Caught completely unaware by this fine Japanese band's previous 2013 album, "Dino Rocket Oxygen", I was very skeptical of any kind of future repeat performance and again, I was proven both wrong and foolish. This new album "The Third Planetary Chronicles" is a tremendous piece of modern prog using all the old school techniques with a fresh and vibrant approach that is sure to thrill all progressive rock fans. Yuka is Yuka Funakoshi, a lady keyboard virtuoso who can handle a wide variety of ivories with talent and aplomb, never overtly flashy but very expressive and unafraid to show it. Her piano playing in particular is quietly exquisite, choosing elegant sequences and making the technical look easy in the process. Chronoship are the three seasoned musicians that keep her stoked, probably the finest trio in Japan, led by sensational guitarist Takashi Miyazawa, who positively smokes when asked to do so, aided and abeted by slick bassist Shun Taguchi and tectonic drummer Ikko Tanaka. This is a concept album that goes from the dawn of time, snapping music photographs of milestone events that eventually lead to today and beyond. Technically this is an instrumental opus but what was started on their previous release has now become a hallmark feature that must be immediately identified and illuminated, I am referring to Fuka's voice being multi-tracked as a choir and being liberally used throughout with great effect. This 60s voice style is truly breathtaking as it gives the highly modern sheen (the production is first rate) that organic feel that we can all identify with.

Befitting a concept style, there is a beginning, recurring and ending piano sequence that is ultra-simplistic, even hypnotic but full of emotional gratitude. After the "Birth of The Earth" awakening , we shuffle into "Stone Age" which wastes little time in introducing those sweeping choirs mentioned above, a thoroughly exalting dive into majestic symphonic prog with swirling synthesizers, including a delightful flute patch ascension that really sets the tone remarkably. The tribal drum fills give this a true caveman feel, highly cinematographic and evocative of the conceptual subject. Fuka rips through some spirited soloing that has both pace and substance, leading to another glorious choral passage.

The 2 part "Galileo" suite swoons into the horizon with a first part ("And yet it moves") that seeks to highlight the grand piano as well as a barrage of synths, with some sublime shifts and contrasts, while Part2 "Copernican Theory" revs up the score mightily , as the piano continues its cosmic quest , shouldered by a pulsating drive. Intensely melodic with loads of restraint, you can sense the impending eruption as the synthesizers finally kick in with strong electric guitar support. This piece features some stunning cymbal work from percussionist Tanaka, segueing again into another choral section, egging the delectable piano onward.

After that recurring intermezzo, the epic "Age of Steam" is without question or hesitation, one of the highlight moments here, a simply magnificent piece of symphonic prog. Pastoral acoustic guitar and flute weave to create a dazzling melody, accentuated by a more distinct vocal and choir from Fuka, as the elegant piano takes over before exploding (and I mean exploding, with a churning organ and heavy beat) into a short scorching guitar solo that is way beyond the norm, seething , stirring and growling like some manic beast. Within a few minutes, Fuka saddles her organ and begins to swelter smoothly, slowly urging it towards more and more dissonance and obliqueness, sounding like Kerry Minnear of Gentle Giant fame. The lead guitarist is given another opportunity to shine and he does until the fade out.

Now if that didn't nail you to a cross, the next track will. "Wright Flyer" is taken over by Miyazawa's blistering axe, sliding a metallic phrasing that will turbocharge any propeller, the main choir melody is shatteringly attractive and a soaring acrobatic loop of divine music that only fuels the harpsichord to provide some bucolic release. The ensuing extended guitar solo is one for the ages, loaded with blistering bluster, shrill effects and tortuous finger work that will make you sit up and notice. The choir symphonics' return will provide even more goosebumps and seal the magic.

The effects-laden "On the Radio" serves to perpetuate the concept, where an echoed voice states: 'one thing is certain, the human being should never enter the realm of God'. This leads to another repetitive piano beacon that will ultimately introduce the next chapter "E=c#m", a swelling and manic keyboard manifesto, led by rapid-fire piano ornaments and sprinkled with some whirlwind synth soloing. Our ace guitarist shows off his rather considerable chops once again, blitzing manically with furious determination, a flawless foil for Yuka's ivory romps. This is where the proof of musicianship is indelibly stamped. This is one hell of an accomplished band! Einstein would have been proud.

Time to relax from all the bravado, "I am Thee" explores more exotic horizons, highly moody and affected, adorned by velvety guitar licks and brooding keyboard caresses. There is a sudden acceleration with both choir and instrumental participation, shifting wisps of electronics and that roiling organ once again coming to the fore. A wee angular guitar solo that hints at Vai or Holdsworth, more 'sturm und drang' to keep the heart palpitating. Breathe in the air!

This monumental disc ends with "Birth of the Earth-Embryonic" which serves to recap the concept in one 8 minute + epic finale, with all the usual suspects described above taking a bow. Can't say enough about the effusive piano work here, can't drool enough over the sweeping synthesizers, the majestic melodies and the engrossing choral passages that give this release so much depth and suspense. The electric guitar is sensational, the bass/drums are powerful, confident and bold.

Like in a great sci-fi movie, the insistent piano coda sears itself into the mind. And then, silence?.

5 universal archives

 The 3rd Planetary Chronicles by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 63 ratings

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The 3rd Planetary Chronicles
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Japanese band YUKA & CHRONOSHIP was formed in 2009, and I understand that the band at least initially mainly was the creative vehicle of composer, vocalist and musician Yuka Funakoshi, the remaining members of the band mainly renowned as highly skilled and talented studio musicians. The band have three studio albums to their name so far. "The 3rd Planetary Chronicles" is the most recent of these, and was released through UK label Cherry Red Records in the fall of 2015.

As one might suspect from the title of this CD, this album is one that explores a set theme or concept, in this case the history of the Earth from the stone age and, I guess, well into the future. As I'm working with a digital version of this production I don't know how well this concept is outlined, and as this is a mostly instrumental production the songs themselves do not indicate strongly how far reaching the concept is either, other than the name of the songs indicating that these chronicles cover ages past, present as well as yet to be.

Similar to a steadily increasing number of artists, Yuka & Chronoship appears to have chosen a take on progressive rock that isn't easily placed inside any of the subsections of the progressive rock universe. They come across as a unit that have well thought out ideas about what sounds and effects to use at any given time, and use them without any thought on how the various details or the sheer totality of them fits into a context or not. As such, this isn't a band to seek out if your taste in music is towards a band that stays put within a narrowly defined corner of the progressive rock universe.

A recurring feature throughout is the use of the piano to provide core motifs, more often than not in the shape of delicate, wandering patterns that only gets to dominate whenever the composition in question hone in on the more sparsely arranged, fragile moments, and is otherwise more of a supplemental feature adding a delicate presence to the proceedings. Another recurring feature is the use of Yuka's vocals as a nonverbal, atmospheric textures, basically the voice used as an additional instrument. This gives the songs an almost sacral, organic presence that can be mesmerizingly beautiful, and those who tend to enjoy such effects can note down this production as a must buy due to this detail alone.

Otherwise the compositions alternate between multiple and different types of stylistic expressions, as regarded from within a progressive rock context admittedly, with subtle references to bands like Pink Floyd, Camel and arguably Genesis as well tucked into the brew, with compositions that range from pastoral oriented fragile sequences to dramatic neo progressive rock in general style, but also with room for some cinematic interludes and occasional lapses into jazzrock and funk-flavored sequences as a natural part of the proceedings.

The end result is a distinctly modern sounding take on progressive rock, a fairly eclectic album but also one that maintains an accessible sound and atmosphere throughout, with occasional nods towards some of the great names in the annals of the genre as, perhaps, something of an incidental feature. When that is said, the manner in which this production unfolds and the general nature of the material makes me suspect that those with a taste for 80's and 90's neo progressive rock might be something of a key audience for this CD, alongside symphonic progressive rock fans with a something of a liberal taste and a certain affection for skilled, contemporary bands in general.

 Dino Rocket Oxygen by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 41 ratings

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Dino Rocket Oxygen
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Yuka and Chronoship passed by my progressive radar and I did not pick up the blip, shame on me. So, my delightful Aussie-Byrd-Brother friend and colleague then wrote a definite review that managed to seduce me (which is the whole point of reading his reviews) into delving further into this unique package. And what a deal this is, a rollicking adventure of instrumental cheek, very retro at times, a cinematographic travelling circus of sounds and images. It turns out that this may be the best Japanese prog recording (with all due respect to KBB- Four Corners' Sky) ever! At least to my finicky tastes. First of all, it's brilliantly constructed with three segments that have mini-suite tendencies. Dino is for the 3 part Dinosaur's suite, R is for Rocket, owner of 5 booming pieces while the Oxygen section comprises of three acts. The instrumental crew is composed of the talented Yuka Funakoshi on Keyboard & Vocal, Takashi Miyazawa - Guitar & Choir, Shun Taguchi - Bass & Choir and Ikko Tanaka ? Drums. They are all most accomplished technicians who have a deep sense of feeling as well.

The pre-historic monster suite kicks off stubbornly with a swirling tempest of mellotron eerily reminiscent of "Watchers of the Skies" by the Genesis crew, eventually blending in various synthesized twirls as well as other keyboard compliments. If you are going to wear your influences, well, wear them well! Bombast, grandiosity, pomp and utter ceremony. The mood on the 7 minute + "Which Came First, The Dinosaur or the Egg? "is appropriately grandiloquent, explosive and lavish, Yuka displaying a Jürgen Fritz-like talent on a wide variety of ivories, allied with some sizzling guitar rants , a thundering bass guitar rambling and some seriously precision-tooled drums. There is in fact more similarities to classic Triumvirat than anything else, Yuka has that fluid knack for melody and technique that seemingly comes very easily (wish I could be born with such a gift!). At times, playful, adventurous, creative with a little dose of insanity, the suite travels over many glittering musical horizons. Miyazawa allows his axe to run riot, bending, molding and flickering like some man on a mission. "Ruler of Earth" keeps the tension on full throttle, Yuka provides extraordinary piano work once again, showcasing technique, virtuosity and command. This has a blues tinge that becomes obvious with the Gilmourian solo (a stunner), playing tag with the synthesizer. This asteroid ends the dinosaur section (sic!). Aptly titled, the Ray Bradbury dedicated Rocket suite has a different attitude, booster- powered prog engines are given a brief countdown and then 'Lift-off!'! "Cutting Gravity" follows its mission command orders and blasts into space with aplomb and grandiloquence. Nervous, fiery, explosive, the jet-propelled players really unleash speed and power in perfect harmony and interlocking instrumentation. The finale with the impulsive drumming, the rattling bass and the crazed guitar riffing is phenomenal. Once the Chronoship has attained its orbital sequence, the mood becomes more contemplative, as "Skygazer" permits a gentler conceptualization, a breezy choir-led travelogue that has a definite retro early 70s feel, with harmony "lalala' singing that is thoroughly enchanting and sorely missed in today's often over technical displays. The piece ends with a smart lullaby you will all recognize. Super cute! A brief snippet of classical music, someone walking, an acoustic guitar twinkling a la Steve Howe., "An Arrow of Glittering Music" only serves to announce the impending arrival of the "Blue Astronaut Helicopter", a deliriously fabulous synthesizer workout that mirrors the swirling swoosh of the rotors, keeping the Sea King airborne, as it scoops the beleaguered astronauts out of the salty brine. On "Beyond the Fence" they go rollicking along undaunted, the groove is relentless, upbeat and melodically astute, to the point of surprise as the ingenious vocoder (I am rarely a fan of this contraption) 'how-hows' with the piano. Yuka delivers a heartfelt little vocal that only further seduces. There is a slight nod to the Buggles, "I Love You, Miss Robot" in the overall experimental feel.

"Oxygen" is the final chapter, a nearly 19 minute extravaganza that will take your breath away (pun!) and it kicks off with a near calypso beat, marimba styles keys, raspy guitar shoots through like some tropical storm, and the bass and drum crew get to do the polyrhythmic thingy. Bubbling, overpowering and driven, the mood just intoxicates further into submission. Lot of overt winks at Wakeman and co?as there is little doubt that Yuka has spent many hours at the piano, learning the need for lyrical beauty and not just technical form, "O2" is her spotlight showcase, easily formulating bright sounds and captivating melodies that actually visualize the music perfectly. The bombast offers up contrast (hmm, that rhymed!), windswept eloquence, magical swooning to brooding shimmer, all the fluent elements are there! "O3" resupplies the breezy, high-pitched vocals (though they act as an instrument, really), fueling both the brash guitar rampage and the pushy beat to conclusive heights. Military snare drums, spooky synths loops, odd voice effects keep the flow ongoing, a sweet musical hiss filled with creative adjuncts. An album that ends on choir mellotron generally gets me something fierce, being a sheer sucker for that glorious sound. A tremendous instrumental display, easily a classic. I actually like the 'faux Dean' cover art, it's blue-ish sheen permeates the tracks.

4.5 T-Rex booster air bubbles

 Dino Rocket Oxygen by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 41 ratings

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Dino Rocket Oxygen
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Yuka Funakoshi captains the Chronoship through three musical suites on this album - one inspired by dinosaurs, one by rockets and one by oxygen. Each suite has its own distinct style - for instance, in the Dinosaur Suite Yuka pulls off a clever musical joke by bringing out a playing style reminiscent of the classic prog keyboardists of the 1970s, whilst in the R Is For Rocket suite she plays in a more spacey style. Backed by a competent band. Yuka has crafted a solid instrumental neo-prog album which will tickle the fancy of many prog lovers, and it makes me want to see when and where this Time Lord and her crew are going to materialise next.
 Dino Rocket Oxygen by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 41 ratings

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Dino Rocket Oxygen
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars If it's one thing I love, it's a good instrumental prog album, and frequently throughout the year I'll blindly order several and more or less hope for the best. I'm rarely let down, but once in a while a particular disc will really stand out, and this is the case with Yuka & Chronoship's second album, `Dino Rocket Oxygen' - yes, just get your head around that title for a minute! Along with PTF's violin/piano fusion driven debut `Percept From...', this work displays ample proof that Japan is producing some exquisite modern progressive rock, however this one is in a more proudly retro and hugely symphonic style instead. Led by female keyboard virtuoso Yuka Funakoshi, the four- piece play vintage-styled progressive rock that fans of modern bands adopting the style such as Glass Hammer, Trion and Willowglass will instantly fall for. Even the Roger Dean designed lettering of the band's logo on the front cover should be a bit of a giveaway to the kind of prog the listener will discover inside. Anyone who loves the keyboard dominated moments of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis, Camel and Pink Floyd, as well as some just good old classical bombast all performed with the usual Japanese technical skill will simply adore this one.

Although the star of the album is, of course, Yuka Funakoshi herself, the rest of the Chronoship band are all exceptional musicians as well. Takashi Miyazawa's electrifying guitar soloing takes on some delicious twisting turns, drummer Ikko Tanaka has no shortage of foot tapping yet restrained grooves, and Shun Taguchi likes to gently hold back then break through to the foreground with some seductive and prominent fluid bass runs when suitable. All of the musicians are perfectly restrained, never showing off but still offering numerous exciting and professionally executed solo spots.

The three extended suites offered on the album are broken into 11 tracks here. The `Dinosaurs Suite' (13:57) opens with a heartbeat set to a Mellotron veil that's worthy of being a Watcher of the Skies. Yes, that's regal scratchy Mellotron right from the second the disc starts, it even reminds me of the beginning of Twin Age's `Lialim High'. The piece soon moves through a range of tempo/time changes back and forth, bombastic sections of fiery fusion balanced with slow-burn emotional bursts. It's Triumvirat-styled one minute, smoother mid-70's Pink Floyd the next and given a classical grandiosity for good measure. Yuka's supremely confident piano and dazzling Wakeman styled Moog solos are incredible, and just listen out for her tense and heartfelt classical piano solo spots in the third act, simply sublime.

The `R is for Rocket Suite' (24:34), (dedicated to author Ray Bradbury) begins in a tense and a blood-rushing up-tempo stomp, lots of bluster and noise amongst the pounding drums, with Yuka's spiraling piano runs and Mellotron washes bringing a near orchestral sound to the music. Not quite heavy enough to be metal, it more reminds me of Italian band Il Giardino Onirico's album `Perigeo' from 2012. The second section, `Skygazer' is a beautifully upbeat spacey chill-out with an impossibly lovely melody and nice soothing wordless sighed harmonies similar to Camel's `The Snow Goose'. I cannot explain how much this piece makes me smile! A brief acoustic Steve Howe- like interlude, a heart-quickening sleek rocker full of chiming guitars, whirling Moogs and Vocoder treated voices follow, before wrapping on a mellow yet somber ballad. One of the few proper brief vocal passages, Yuka painfully cries `Goodbye green fields of my hometown, my mother, my friends, my schoolyard in summer breeze...', and it makes for a nice emotional reflection to end on.

The `Oxygen Suite' (18:53) frequently contrasts more sedate, floating synth/electronic passages and gentle atmospheres with heavier and relentless hard-rock sections. Amongst some playful and hypnotic bubbling electronics from blissful synths and pianos, frantic Dream Theater-like instrumental trickery and grand electric guitar solos that wouldn't be out of place on an Ayreon album weave seamlessly together. The album ends on a terrifically confident vocal passage from Yuka where she announces `Just like oxygen, my heart starts to breath, and hopes are there in my hands...'

Although almost as keyboard dominated as fellow Japanese female-led band Ars Nova, Yuka & Chronoship are not as aggressive and frequently attacking as that other band, and they show a lot more variety. Although I've had the album for several months, I wish I'd properly listened to it earlier, as it would have likely ended up in my personal Top Ten for 2013. Exquisitely produced and exceptionally performed, `Dino Rocket Oxygen', easy to track down on Musea Records, should be on the top of the list for anyone craving strong instrumental music. It's got a strong rock sound in many sections that fans of heavy prog may enjoy just as much as the symphonic listeners, but anyone who enjoys (mostly) instrumental works by passionate musicians can do no wrong by grabbing this album. This is one Ship that takes flight to the highest heavens!

Four stars.

 Dino Rocket Oxygen by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 41 ratings

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Dino Rocket Oxygen
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Yuka & Chronoship's record "Dino rocket oxygen" was released earlier this year and I have listened to parts of it for a long time but I haven't listened to it all until tonight and I must declare it's a very tight and lush release. The band is ruled by Yuka Funakoshi who sings(a bit) and plays keyboard. Her band mates are Takashi Miyazawa (guitar), Shun Taguchi(bass) and Ikko Tanaka(drums). This Japanese band was formed 2009 and has earlier done one record and this one is their second.

I find this music lovely, really. They play a retro style progressive rock. It's almost instrumental apart from some vocals in some of the last songs. The record is full of symphonic pleasure and the 70s are always present in these songs. I have hard to pick favourite tracks but "Dance with dinosaurs" and "Ruler of the Earth" are two lovely tracks amongst others. All instruments make their job to finish this progressive journey: the keyboards sound sometimes like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and sometimes like something else, the guitar has both a heavy rock approach and a more melodical progressive one and the bass and drums are also magic.

I hope others will find and enjoy this record from this very talanted Japanese band. I am so happy they are not trying to make prog like pop or use ingratiating vocals. They are honest and interesting and I recommend them. If I would complaim on anything it could be the (almost) lack of vocals. More vocals experiments would have been nice. The cover isn't either very arousing. Indeed they have taken the Roger Dean style with their sign but the cover is very boring. Though is the record very good. Four stars!

 Water Reincarnation by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.16 | 19 ratings

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Water Reincarnation
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Japanese project from Tokyo, started in 2009 by female keyboardist and singer Yuka Funakoshi, who has been around since late-90's, producing a few solo albums.Her chronoship includes three more musicians, the more experienced of who seems to be bassist/composer Shun Taguchi, formerly with Sense of Wonder.The core was completed with guitarist Takashi Miyazawa and drummer Ikko Tanaka.The quartet debuted in 2009 with the album ''Water reincarnation'', released on Musea Records.

As expected, the music is very keyboard-oriented with different influences, ranging from Classical Music and Neo/Symphonic Rock to powerful Fusion.The album is mostly instrumental with alternating pompous and more sensitive arrangements and passages, based on the changing use of acoustic and electric guitars and, of course, the heavy presence of Funakoshi's keyboards.Lots of her ideas are based on double keyboard workouts with emphatic textures in a modern Symphonic Rock mood, while the music can get very atmospheric at moments, led by the dreamy English vocals of Yuka and the dominant piano lines.A few tracks have a dicreet Fusion flavor with more virtuosic delivery, akin to BILL BRUFORD's or DEREK SHERINIAN's albums, but even these contain some careful melodious themes, while a light Canterbury touch can be detected here and there.Overall Yuka and her crew focused on producing demanding and adventurous musicianship, without ever losing a balanced sense of melody.

Keyboard lovers will simply fall in love with ''Water reincarnation''.A nice, little pearl with well-structured pieces filled with both warm and intricate moments.Recommended.

 Water Reincarnation by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.16 | 19 ratings

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Water Reincarnation
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Yuka & Chronoship are a Japanese quartet led by talented keyboard maestro Yuka Funakoshi. Water Reincarnation is their debut and marks them out as a band with considerable talent. Whilst there's no doubt that Yuka Funakoshi is the star of the show here she's surrounded herself with an equally talented band adding bass, guitar and drums.

Whilst neo prog is the order of the day on the ten compositions, light jazz rock elements are occasionally present, all played with slick professionalism. The music is largely instrumental, highly accessible, melodic and immediate with a dense sound, in large down to the rich keyboards - all high tech stuff, don't be looking for melotrons here. Funakoshi is also responsible for the vocals which in the main are used as embellishments - she rarely sings actual words if you catch my drift. Think a less ethereal Enya. Piano is the lead keyboard, the synths providing a dense backdrop with electric guitar sometimes coming to the fore. It's all very tight and precise, kept in check by the use of programed rhythms alongside the real thing.

My only complaint is that this is all just a little too smooth and slick and a bit more fire with a few rough edges would be welcome. The fiery guitar solo from Takashi Miyazawa that closes final track Kiribali is just too little too late. Nevertheless Water Reincarnation is an enjoyable listen and worth checking out for those who enjoy this kind of thing.

 Water Reincarnation by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.16 | 19 ratings

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Water Reincarnation
Yuka & Chronoship Neo-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

3 stars Terrific playing skills, great composition, and fine songs created by YUKA & CHRONOSHIP - where will they go since now?

YUKA & CHRONOSHIP were founded in 2009 as a Japanese Neo-Prog quartet by a female keyboardist / vocalist / composer Yuka FUNAKOSHI, already active as a solo artist for over a decade. Supported with three session musicians - Shun TAGUCHI (bass), Takashi MIYAZAWA (guitar), and Ikko TANAKA (drums, percussion), her gracious ship got launched in the vein of late-70s progressive rock. This three supportive session musicians - they have obviously excellent technique though - are veiled in black clothes and strictly give support to Yuka the keyboard heroine. However we can realize apparently their magnificent sound-earth produced by their strict playing.

The first track has kicked me completely out - Yuka's graceful electric piano solo has cleaned my mind, and suddenly their Chronoship tries to go on a voyage for a new trip, with the engines growling, soon after this gracious moment. Yes absolutely suitable for such a fantastic voyage, Yuka's keyboard solo, full of hope, goes ahead with not only enthusiastic aggressiveness but fragile beauty, over heavy and deep riffs, created by the three powerful gems. Contrary to this mixture of beauty and power, the following track "Pilgrim Ocean" shows vast and quiet ocean, with Takeshi's sharp-edged guitar diamonds and strict rhythm basis by Ikko and Shun. Yuka travels gracefully around upon her clear keyboard boat. Enough atmosphere of cool, cool water and clean ocean we can feel in these two songs.

Upon flat surface of the water, calm and sound fishes can swim without corruption - in the "Archaic Aquarium". We can feel the novel texture in untouchable and addictive bubbling tones and chords. a bit difficult archaism for us, but we cannot help being grabbed into the sound aquarium. Like this, the last "Kiribati" is filled with Oriental flavour - just as if an ethnic dancer kept dancing in altered state of mind. There's a grace as well as mystery, and just the collaboration is their character methinks.

It's a pity for me that their progressive dimension co-exists with another one, named pop essence, easy to understand for everyone. Each song can be splendid, well-composed, without any suspicion. However, I'm afraid that simply an enumeration of good songs may cancel out goodness in every song. Wish this album could be more-structured minutely by all splendid tracks. Their aim or respect, whether for a concept album or for every song's personality, I cannot feel enough via this album.

In conclusion, let me send them my impression "promising" - hope they can do more and more wonderful explosion under the progressive scene. In this sense, we will lose nothing by checking their debut gem.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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