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SIDE STEPS

Crossover Prog • Japan


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Side Steps biography
Japanese quartet SIDE STEPS was formed in 1990 by Atsunobu Tamura (guitars), Hiroaki Itoh (keyboards, programming), Koichi Iwai (bass) and Ichiro Fukawa (drums, percussion). And unlike most band projects, this foursome have have steadily continued on without ever having to deal with a line-up alteration. They have recorded a good number of albums over the years, although not all of them have seen an official release. At least not yet.

1994 saw the release of their official debut effort Steps on Edge. Out and Out followed in 1998 and Alive in 1999. The latter their first live album. Two more studio efforts followed, Points of View in 2001 and Verge of Reality in 2005. Their most recent effort to date appeared in 2007, in the shape of their second live production - Alive II.

Side Steps official website

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SIDE STEPS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy SIDE STEPS Music


Alive IIAlive II
Import
Musea 2007
Audio CD$17.26
Out-&-OutOut-&-Out
Import
Musea Records France 2001
Audio CD$223.04 (used)
Verge Of RealityVerge Of Reality
Import
Musea 2005
Audio CD$17.49
$43.56 (used)
Steps On EdgeSteps On Edge
Import
Musea 1993
Audio CD$13.17
$2.67 (used)
Points of ViewPoints of View
Import
Musea 2001
Audio CD$12.65
$9.99 (used)
Out-And-OutOut-And-Out
Musea 2003
Audio CD$16.99
$40.06 (used)
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SIDE STEPS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SIDE STEPS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
Steps on Edge
1994
3.09 | 4 ratings
Out and Out
1998
4.00 | 3 ratings
Points of View
2001
3.33 | 3 ratings
Verge of Reality
2005

SIDE STEPS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Alive
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Alive II
2007

SIDE STEPS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SIDE STEPS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SIDE STEPS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SIDE STEPS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Out and Out by SIDE STEPS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.09 | 4 ratings

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Out and Out
Side Steps Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Side Steps were primarly a live beast and what followed the release of ''Steps on Edge'' was three years full of monster live activity.From these intense performances two live works came out, ''Live 96'' and ''Live 97'', issued in the respective years.But soon enough another studio effort was to be prepared and its recordings finished at the end of 97'.The new album ''Out & out'' was released on Marquee in Japan and Musea Records in Europe.

Six long instrumental tracks full of technical and virtuosic plays is the offer of Side Steps on this work with the opening ''Another Encounter'' carrying on the style of the previous album, somewhere between MR. SIRIUS and ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, with dynamic and angular guitar solos and lovely keyboard textures with a light symphonic touch.As the album unfolds the Jazz Rock inspirations become more evident with extended improvised parts thrown in well-crafted compositions.The band however never the abandons the smooth melodic themes with evidence on the synthesizers and piano of Itoh, but the style becomes more and more guitar-driven with pronounced jazzy influences and powerful Jazz/Fusion breaks and gears.''Go Together'' shows a different side of the group, a somewhat relaxed New Age/Jazz piece with mellow guitars, bass and keyboards around.The main core of the album though is full of intense interplays and extreme solos with also lots of scratching rhythmic parts and some more dissonant textures.The lighter moments with the calm guitar solos and the dreamy pianos recall also the works of GARY MOORE.Very solid album with some of the best guitar parts you can meet in the genre.

No question, this is another must-have for lovers of Jazz/Fusion and rising guitar heroes.But the album can be a pleasant listening for anyone loving tight and virtuosic instrumental Progressive Rock with jazzy colors.Recommended.

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 Steps on Edge by SIDE STEPS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.00 | 4 ratings

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Steps on Edge
Side Steps Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Side Steps are an instrumental jazz-rock band from Japan, who have so far released nine albums, and this is a reissue of their 1994 album 'Steps On Edge'. They are an instrumental act and are all undoubtedly extremely strong musicians, but I did find myself thinking of them more jazz-lite than a band with real depth. This is unfair as there are some extremely fine passages ? during "Triumphal Return" guitarist Atsunobo Tamura seems to play a solo at breakneck speed forever. He moves up and down the frets making musical sense of what is going on behind him, but this album must have seemed fairly dated when it came out ten years ago, let alone now.

When they gel, they are quite some force to behold but a lot of the time I get the impression that these could be Americans with big cheesy smiles saying "look at me ? I'm clever". Very mean I know, sorry guys. I do have to confess that I did enjoy playing the album but whether I would return to it frequently then that is another matter altogether.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

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 Steps on Edge by SIDE STEPS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.00 | 4 ratings

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Steps on Edge
Side Steps Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Japanese Prog/Fusion band, found in Waseda in 1990 by guitarist Atsunobu Tamura.Side Steps debuted the same year with a self-produced work and silently begun to put live performances on their schedule.Two more album followed in 1991 and 1992 (''Side Steps 2'' and ''Against the wave'' respectively), while all three of these releases have never seen the light out of the Japanese borders.A fourth effort followed in 1994, the CD ''Steps on edge'' with permanent members Hiroaki Itoh on keyboards, Koichi Iwai on bass and Ichiro Fukawa on drums, reissued in 2003 by Musea Records.

Excellent teamwork on this lovely album full of well-composed and balanced compositions, characterized by its shifting moods and gears.''Steps on Edge'' contains seven mostly long instrumental compositions, based on fiery guitar solos, flashy synthesizers, flexible bass lines and powerful drumming, ranging from virtuosic passages and technical solos to ethereal piano breaks and melodic textures.It is a typical example of Japanese Fusion with strong jazzy overtones and even atmospheric symphonic leanings on the keyboard parts, reminiscent of MR. SIRIUS, but more on the Fusion than the Prog side of rock music.The guitar work of Tamura has a light HOLDSWORTH edge on it and his ideas are definitely the highlight of the release.However the numerous keyboard themes and the solid rhythm section make ''Steps on edge'' an album full of nice interplays and balanced instrumentation.

Fans of MR. SIRIUS, BRUFORD or MONGOL should definitely check this album out, this is certainly a pretty good discovery by the Musea team.Melodic and at the same time technical Fusion with a rich sound, of course strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Alive II by SIDE STEPS album cover Live, 2007
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Alive II
Side Steps Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars Smoother than silk and tighter than the proverbial duck's arse.

These Japanese guys sure know their jazz and their jazzrock, and on these 8 live recordings they play amazing music, at times pure jazz in structure and with ample room for improvisational details, soloing, instrumental build-ups and all else you'd expect. In addition, ever present smooth synths and occasionally some cool blues-tinged atmospheres emphasise the fusion part of this band's stylistic repertoire. And the compositions are groovy as hell too.

While this 2007 production may not be the traditional jazzrock your parents or grandparents might want to give a spin, those who have an interest in the fusion of rock and jazz should at some point check out what this fine Japanese band are up to. By preference one of their live productions, as the musicianship in itself is a fascinating part of the overall whole.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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