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ORPHEUS

Neo-Prog • Japan


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Orpheus picture
Orpheus biography
In early 1982, a Japanese obscure rock project ORPHEUS were founded firstly as a quartet in Osaka, Japan by Shigekazu KAMAKI (guitar), Yasufumi KAWAMURA (voices), Hiroyuki NAGASE (drums) and Naofumi OCHIAI (bass). Their formation had been altered step by step, whilst gigging many times in Kyoto or Osaka. Although Shigekazu had stepped down for a while since the following year, the new guitarist and bassist left away soon so that he came back to them as a collaborator.

In September 1983, Yasufumi persuaded all the other members to record material and release an album - the members in those days were Shigekazu (guitar), Yasufumi (voices), Hiroyuki (drums), Masaru KODAMA (bass) and Kazuki HATTORI (keyboards) - finally, their eponymous album was released in late 1983. Sadly they were disbanded soon after a gig in Hirakata Blow Down (Osaka) upon March 17th, 1984.

(Thanks to Shigekazu for providing their information.)

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Keziah Jones - Black Orpheus - Japan CD+1BONUS USD $12.60 Buy It Now 2h 54m
78rpm 12" ZIGEUNERBARON OUVERTURE / orpheus ouverture , VOX ORCH - otto urak USD $49.06 Buy It Now 3h 25m
Very Best of the Glasgow Orpheus Choi - Orpheus Choi Glasgow Compact Disc USD $14.47 Buy It Now 3h 36m
ORPHEUS Ascending ORIGINAL PSYCH LP USD $24.95 Buy It Now 4h 32m
Orfeo(s) - French and Italian Cantatas on the theme of Orpheus, Sunhae Im, Akade USD $12.45 Buy It Now 4h 35m
Orpheus "Joyful" LP original 1968 on MGM VG+ psych USD $7.98 Buy It Now 4h 41m
The Glasgow Orpheus Choir - Old Favourites - Vinyl Record 7" Single - 7EG 8517 USD $9.80 Buy It Now 4h 47m
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5h 28m
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EDITH BRODERSEN Soprano FAUST Orpheus & Eurydice THE BAT.. Danish LP EX+ 1982 USD $5.63 Buy It Now 5h 39m
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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Orpheus/Baroque Concert Japan CD UCCG-5255 2012 USD $20.99 Buy It Now 6h 35m
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BLACK ORPHEUS soundtrack Bonfe & Jobim FONTANA Bossa latin 1964 EX/NM USD $9.99 [0 bids]
8h 19m
ROSSINI OVERTURES ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA DG STEREO LP USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9h 2m
MGM SE-4569 Orpheus - Ascending 1968 12" 33 RPM USD $18.73 Buy It Now 10h
From Now On by Jaki Graham (CD, Sep-1989, Orpheus Records) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 10h 6m
Keuris: String Qt No.1, Orpheus Quartet, New USD $47.82 Buy It Now 10h 19m
Black Orpheus by Keziah Jones (CD, Feb-2004, Delabel (USA)) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 10h 27m
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An Englishman Abroad: Consort Music by Thomas Simpson (The English Orpheus, Vol USD $8.92 Buy It Now 10h 53m
BLACK ORPHEUS - ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (NEW SEALED CD) ORIGINAL RECORDING USD $4.05 Buy It Now 12h 19m
Cast Your Fate to the Wind: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus by Vince Guaraldi USD $10.39 Buy It Now 13h
THE MORRISTON ORPHEUS CHOIR wales land of song no 2 7" Vinyl E.P. MYFANWY USD $11.20 Buy It Now 13h 5m
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MIRIAM MAKEBA Theme From "Black Orpheus" / Can't Cross Over 45 DJ USD $9.99 [0 bids]
13h 52m
Morriston Orpheus Choir. God Bless The Prince of Wales LP. Columbia SX6338. 1969 USD $2.10 [0 bids]
14h 4m
Orpheus by Nightglow. USD $14.27 Buy It Now 14h 19m
Various - Black Orpheus OST (CD 2013) USD $2.09 [0 bids]
14h 23m
BLACK ORPHEUS film soundtrack LP 1959 VG+ Antonio Carlos Jobim Luiz Bonfa USD $3.99 [1 bids]
15h 24m
ORPHEUS RARE SELF TITLED CANADIAN FUNKY JAZZ LP / ALL FUNKED UP USD $14.99 [0 bids]
16h
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Lyre of Orpheus 2 x LP - NEW COPY USD $49.99 Buy It Now 16h 2m
Somewhere Different by Lexi (Brand New CD, May-2002, Orpheus Records) USD $7.97 Buy It Now 16h 13m
Leonard Bernstein New York Phil Orpheus in the Underworld * reel to reel* USD $8.99 [0 bids]
16h 42m
ORPHEUS IN ENGLAND: DOWLAND & PURCELL NEW CD USD $18.80 Buy It Now 16h 46m
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Jazz Impressions Black Orpheus Super Audio CD SACD Hybrid USD $49.99 Buy It Now 17h 6m
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The Celebrated Glasgow Or... Glasgow Orpheus Choir 10" record UK USD $19.56 Buy It Now 17h 55m
Stravinsky / Orpheus Chamber Orchestra SHADOW DANCES (DG 2894534582) 2000 CD USD $1.49 Buy It Now 18h 8m
Still Not Over You [Single] by Exhale (CD, Mar-2002, Orpheus Records) USD $5.57 Buy It Now 18h 24m
VIVALDI La Cetra OPUS 9 ORPHEUS Stereo 12 Concerti 3 LP Bx MONTEVERDIANA Stevens USD $29.00 Buy It Now 19h 15m
THE MORRISTON ORPHEUS CHOIR wales land of song no 2 ep SEG 7878 uk 7" PS EX/VG USD $6.13 Buy It Now 23h 29m
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G. Monteverdi - Orpheus With His Lute [CD New] USD $14.24 Buy It Now 1 day
ORPHEUS MALE CHOIR RHOS FOR THOSE IN PERIL VERY GOOD (VINYL ALBUM 1976) USD $8.06 Buy It Now 1 day
GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR - SIR HUGH ROBERTSON : THE ISLE OF MULL : Vinyl Album USD $10.92 Buy It Now 1 day
Stravinsky: Three Greek Ballets (Apollo, Agon, Orpheus), London Symphony Orchest USD $11.68 Buy It Now 1 day
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Orpheus Jazz-Love Songs CD NEW USD $17.03 Buy It Now 1 day
OFFENBACH - ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWOLD [Minkowski] 2 CDs USD $11.20 [0 bids]
1 day
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78 RPM 10" Record Orpheus Quartet Pretty Baby & Give Me All Of You Victor 18162 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ORPHEUS SELF TITLED 1st LP 1968 MGM STEREO SE-4524 US PSYCH ROCK RECORD ALBUM USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
78rpm BLACK DYKE MILLS BAND orpheus in the underworld overture 1 USD $21.03 Buy It Now 1 day
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Offenbach ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD Passon Mesple Senechal Burles Trempont NM USD $20.06 Buy It Now 1 day
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MORRISTON ORPHEUS CHOIR / HM ROYAL MARINES - A Grand Night For Singing - Ex LP USD $8.40 Buy It Now 1 day
ORPHEUS QUARTET - Schubert: String Quintet In C Major D 956 - CD - Import - Mint USD $47.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Orpheus My Life / Music Minus Orpheus Red Bird 45 Promo USD $24.00 Buy It Now 1 day
COPLAND: Appalachian Spring, Orpheus USA DGG CD NM USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
6527 159 - STRAVINSKY - Orpheus / Jeu De Cartes DAVIS London SO - Ex LP Record USD $11.20 Buy It Now 1 day
ALEESE SIMMONS-I WANT TO BE YOUR LOVER-ORPHEUS 45 RPM DJ SEALED LP 1988 USD $12.77 Buy It Now 1 day
Monique Miller by Monique Miller (CD, May-2002, Orpheus Records) USD $1.85 Buy It Now 1 day
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds ?- Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus (2CD Digipak) USD $3.88 [2 bids]
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THE (ORIGINAL) GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR - 10" LP - VOL 1 - EX+ USD $2.10 [0 bids]
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THE (ORIGINAL) GLASGOW ORPHEUS CHOIR - 10" LP - VOL 2 - EX USD $2.10 [0 bids]
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Faris - Offenbach's Orpheus In The Underworld LP VG+ Angel 35903 Vinyl Record USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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ORPHEUS discography


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

3.95 | 2 ratings
Orpheus
1983

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

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ORPHEUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Orpheus by ORPHEUS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Orpheus
Orpheus Neo-Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Orpheus is probably the most obscure Japanese band I had pleasure to listen to. They only to manage record one self-titled LP in 1983 before they completely vanished. It seems that this album hasn't even been re-released on CD, so it's not easy to find it out!

Orpheus' eponymous album is filled with rather good but derivative neo/symphonic prog with hard rock touches, in general very similar to work of much more popular band from Japan - Novela. Nothing spectacular, but if you've already collected all records of Novela, Gerard, Vienna and alike, you should also check Orpheus 'cos you will find "more of the same".

This long-play includes 5, rather long tracks:

1. "Tsurugi No Mai" - the shortest track begins with thundering sounds of some huge storm followed by...naive-sounding "lalala" singing. A bit like kindergarten chorus :-). But don't worry and don't run away from the speaker 'cos after few seconds "proper" music kicks in! Soon "Tsurugi No Mai" appears to be rather simple but enough enjoyable hard rock song in the vain of Scheherazade. Especially middle section with Moog synthesizer/guitar solos is good. And one thing is sure from the beginning: Yasufumi Kawamura's voice is very similar to Hisakatsu Igarashi (Novela, Scheherazade). So if you don't like over-the-top, shrieking vocals it may be not a perfect choice for you to listen to Orpheus...

2. "Mermaid" - another track is a truly nice mini-suite (almost 10 minutes long). After first part with sea waves sounds, acoustic guitar guitar lines and soft vocals, before 4th minute we enter into dynamic, full-blown symphonic hard rock piece. Vocals become more "screamy" in this point but they are still catchy enough to deliver what we expects from such kind of music. Guitar is sharp, keyboards are floating and background Hammond organ chops are decent enough to provide us with fantastic prog-rock paradise.

3. "Les Sylphides Suite" - another long epic begins with sober church-like organ motif, truly magic moment. Later we have standard but surely entertaining symphonic prog music surely influenced by early Novela and Genesis. Around 5th minute tempo significantly rises and Shigekazu Kamaki's guitar riffs become more evident. Kazuki Hattori's keyboards are also decent, but especially his swirling organ parts are the most enjoyable for me, sometimes they bring lots of dynamics to the music and sometimes they create heavenly mellow atmosphere (like between 8:37 - 10:15 minutes). Fantastic epic with many memorable fragments and overall captivating ideas.

4. "Ai No Yosei" - it's a shorter, much more straightforward track, filled with up-beat drum and guitar work. There is also wakemanish synthesizer solo which should please symph-prog fans and in general Hattori's organ/keys lines are always nice to listen to. I would call it prog-inspired hard rocker.

5. "Shi To Shojo Suite" - opus magnum of the album: 14+ minutes long epic! I like that in this track Hammond lines are much more audible and sharp than in previous songs, where keyboards in general sounded to "muddled". I suppose cheap recording production... But anyway "Shi To Shojo Suite" is a magnificent suite for me. Yasufumi Kawamura's vocal is truly passionate here and whole band seems to deliver all the goods. Fast, adrenaline-driven fragments are mixed with atmospheric ones in a perfect balance here!

To sum up, I can say that Orpheus could be a real competitor for Novela and Gerard, so it's really a pity that they didn't manage to continue and disbanded soon after their debut was released. The only real problem I had with this album is very poor production values which made many keyboard parts sound too buried in the background. But I guess it's not band's fault, just like it's not their fault that it still wasn't remastered and recorded in CD with decent quality (anyway I don't know anything about it, so I listened to it from rather low quality vinyl transfer). But don't worry, if you overcome recording issues, I can assure you that the quality of the music itself is very high and all fans of Japanese 80's prog should enjoy Orpheus.

As I said target listener for this band are people who also like such formations like: Novela, Scheherazade, early Gerard, Vienna, Starless, Rosalia and alike.

4 stars from ozzy_tom

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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