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TIPOGRAPHICA

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


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Tipographica biography
Of all the new bands that have emerged from Japan's bourgeoning underground progressive scene TIPOGRAPHICA have got to be right at the top along with HAPPY FAMILY. They are definitely in the RIO vein with noticeable shades of early HENRY COW, PICCHIO DAL POZZO and HARTFIELD & THE NORTH, (free) jazz and instrumental/classical ZAPPA ("Hot Rats", "Waka Jawaka", "The Grand Wazoo", "Studio Tan", etc.). All of the musicians are nimble, adept, and have extremely proficient control over their instruments. Blazing guitar, honking sax - super tight arrangements - brilliant muscianship. If you love mid-70's Frank ZAPPA this band will blow your mind.

TIPOGRAPHICA existed from 1986 until 1998 and who released four albums in the 90s. They play completely instrumental music, basically a rhythmically complex type of jazz-rock. If you like melodic symphonic rock or neo-prog, you probably won't like their music. RIO freaks, jazz or jazz-rock lovers, and fans of ZAPPA or complex music in general definitely should try one of their albums. Any of their four albums is a good place to start. Well, if you like exploring the progressive music, sooner or later you'll have to meet them and acquire their Canterbury inspired New Music. ESSENTIAL!!!

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Buy TIPOGRAPHICA Music


Man Who Does Not NodMan Who Does Not Nod
Import
Pony Canyon Japan 1995
Audio CD$41.33 (used)
GOD SAYS I CANT DANCE(HQCD)(reissue)GOD SAYS I CANT DANCE(HQCD)(reissue)
PONY CANYON
Audio CD$33.36
$37.07 (used)
GOD SAYS I CANT DANCEGOD SAYS I CANT DANCE
PONY CANYON
Audio CD$23.17 (used)

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TIPOGRAPHICA discography


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

4.24 | 15 ratings
Tipographica
1993
4.33 | 14 ratings
The Man Who Does Not Nod
1995
4.05 | 22 ratings
God Says I Can't Dance
1996
4.64 | 15 ratings
Floating Opera
1997

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

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

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TIPOGRAPHICA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 God Says I Can't Dance by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.05 | 22 ratings

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God Says I Can't Dance
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams

3 stars Their activity and mischievous play, seen in the previous live work, are on this twinkling studio album, without any suspicion.

God Says I Can't Dance is TIPOGRAPHICA's second studio work. The previous live album The Man Who Does Not Nod has extremely natural, flexible and comfortable atmosphere and can let listeners and audience enjoy well with their laidback but fully improvised play. From the point of view, we can see a bit more serious potential and a bit more hard-edged style in this album - of course, their relax and free form kept intact. It's a pity that there is no sense of unity between the outfit and audience (obviously because this is a studio work) so I'm afraid we can feel their play slightly less smooth and natural. For example, the first track Friends may sound less friendly and slightly more awkward. Well nah the word 'friends' as they want to say is like this, isn't it? I dunno. However, on the next track TP-1, Break Down, I'm absorbed into the harmony with unpolished brasses & guitars and unnaturally electronic sounds. I wonder if they should shoot the songs of this album as more experimental and more avantgarde, and more serious arrows. Indeed this whole album may, at least for me, be unfamiliar and difficult to understand, in spite of their seriousness for music. (Though the song titles are very funny... :-P) Believe me, their steady and strict play is beyond expression. Despite the fact that almost all songs might be hard to dig and digest, I'm sure we can listen to the album itself with peace of mind.

So in conclusion, let me say, this work might not be essential for avantgarde progressive scene or a masterpiece, but so important and slightly enjoyable one. Recommended, although less familiar than the previous one. Listen and laugh out loudly and comfortably.

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 The Man Who Does Not Nod  by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.33 | 14 ratings

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The Man Who Does Not Nod
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams

4 stars I've seen a real avant-jazz band in Japan playing flexibly.

What a tensive and unequivocal but enjoyable and relaxed play they could give to us! Now the more and more I listen to the live work, the stronger and stronger my impression and amazement can be. At first listen to it! The sharp saxophone sounds can tell us all about the album. Their music style is basically jazzy, funky, freaky, and free-formed one, with complex and improvisatory rhythm and play. Really...really we should be fallen into their battles with a saxophone, guitars, and percussion - especially the rhythm section can make all sounds twisted and sharp-edged but strict and steady...have the key role I consider! Indeed there are lots of 'big waves' with alternative beats (so difficult for the outfit to play, harmonize strictly and steadily), but on the stage they could build the songs up freely, naturally. Wanna say, you can't believe this work be of some of their live performances, can you? I'm sure this recording condition should be quite good with heavy and clear instrumental sounds and, on the other hand their skill of playing should be beyond expression. Their intention and purpose - they should kick the core or medulla of avant-jazz rock deeply into our brain - can move and blow us away without any stop.

Although we may not have notice this be a live album without applause between some songs, let me say that the audience should be an invisible (inaudible?) instrument and also the audience could make the songs with the band together. Otherwise, I guess this tension must not be born here.

Yes, this brilliant masterpiece could be born from the ground of the earth, without any artifacts or artifices.

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 God Says I Can't Dance by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.05 | 22 ratings

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God Says I Can't Dance
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To understand the meaning behind the title of this album they tell us a little story in the liner notes that ends with "God, who's fed up with imitation and sampling, takes off his headphones and shouts, I CAN'T DANCE WITH THIS!". I was very pleasantly surprised with this album. I was expecting music that went a million miles an hour and stopped on a dime only to blast off again. Not so at all. This is mostly mid-paced complex music with a mixture of melody and dissonance but more of the former. Horns and drums lead the way with a definite Zappa flavour although there is a Canterbury and Free Jazz vibe as well. Most of all these 6 Japanese men play at a very high and intelligent level.

The first track "Friends" might be the most interesting of the bunch. It's just so cool to listen to the way the different instruments work together yet seem to stagger each other. It works though.Horns, organ, bass and drums lead the way early before vibes come in. Drums take over 7 1/2 minutes in. "Control Tower Says, TP-1, Break Down" is eerie to open then horns and drums start to come and go. Intricate drum patterns with horns follow as the haunting mood ends. Vibes before 3 minutes. Some raw guitar 5 1/2 minutes in. Great sound 7 1/2 minutes in as guitar continues. The tempo picks up late. "White-Collar Worker VS Black Rubber Man" is experimental to start before drums and keyboards join in. Nice deep bass lines 2 1/2 minutes in. A change 5 minutes in as horns take over. Keys and drums join in. Organ before 7 minutes. Some dissonance 9 minutes in with some great drum work to follow.

"And Then Last Ship Is Going" sounds really good early with the bass, drums and guitar. A change before a minute as vibes and horns come in. Soprano sax 3 minutes in and organ after 4 minutes. Guitar before 5 1/2 minutes sounds fantastic. Drums, horns and vibes dominate late. "Japanese Room (We Have No Zen)" is deep and dissonant to open. It turns melodic and smooth 4 1/2 minutes in as horns come in. Love the guitar 5 1/2 minutes in that goes on and on. Great track. "Laughing Photograph" opens with soprano sax, drums and vibes. The bass 1 1/2 minutes in is really good. Impressive drumming 3 1/2 minutes in. The tempo picks up late. "Forest Tipographical II" is laid back early but picks up before 2 minutes. Lots of horns. It kicks into a higher gear before 6 minutes with blasting horns and powerful organ runs. This is fuller and more aggressive.

Easily 4 stars.

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 Floating Opera by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.64 | 15 ratings

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Floating Opera
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cometa Rossa

5 stars If you like Zappa's (jazz-rock-) instrumentals like "RDNZL", "Moggio" , "Envelopes" or "G-Spot-Tornado" and tunes like "Inca Roads" or "Florentine Pogen" (even if the latter had no vocals), then you MUST go for Tipographica CDs - same level of musicianship.

"Floating Opera" could be Tipographicas best. But "God says, I can't dance" is also great and shoul be available easier.

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 The Man Who Does Not Nod  by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.33 | 14 ratings

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The Man Who Does Not Nod
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

5 stars Well, again I have the greatest pleasure to be the first reviewer of the record! So - This is Tipographica's second effort and the only live album (altogether they have released four albums) but what an album! After the very good and much more than promising debut now we can listen already the highest class of symbiosis between compositions and musicianship + "band-perception" in concert-feeling. Yet another bunch of humourous, intelligent, adventurous and psychedelic compositions. Naked Lunch, King's Golden Toilet and The Man Who Does Not Nod are unforgettable voyages! Together with "light" tones of soprano sax we can be fond of "darker" tones of tenor sax. And the last composition "A Smell Of Gunpowder, And A Flavor Of She" is surprising "tipographical" ballade - full of gentleness and delight! Of course one of the best-sounding combos available in theese "archives"!!!

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 Tipographica by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.24 | 15 ratings

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Tipographica
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

4 stars This first record of Japanese avant rock band Tipographica shows to the listener the direction of their further surprising musical adventures. We can hear sextet what includes guitar, bass, keyboards, drums/percussion, sax and trombone. The biggest musical relationship seems to be with Frank Zappa's instrumental works because of humorous approach to Music but in spite of this fact very original. Maybe "band-perception" isn't yet so brilliant as on their next albums but this solid debut is anyway a real jewel of Complex and Intelligent Progressive Music! Their next three albums can "correct" this "mistake". Very worth to discover - the later recordings are even better - 4,5 stars really!!!

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 Floating Opera by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.64 | 15 ratings

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Floating Opera
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

5 stars This brilliant bunch of creative music is really true masterpiece!!! Extra class musicianship, top-notch studio work, very adventurous and intelligent compositions plus perfect and juicy spectrum of sounds! I got this CD two weeks ago and cannot stop wondering about all those highest qualities of Real Cultural Shock! But - could anybody say where to get two first recordings of Tipographica (this kind of task seems to me impossible - I have heard only God Says I Can't Dance before Floating Opera and - both are essential)? Well, Japanese weird RIO-ish experimental all-instrumental jazz-rock combo having Italian-language name Tipographica was active during nineties of XX century. They released altogether four albums, first two of them are unfortunately out-of-print and impossible to get... In addition to guitar-bass-keyboards-drums they enriched their soundspectrum with saxophone and trombone, also with mokkin (xylophone of Japanese Kabuki theatre) and other percussion instruments. The music has relationship with Frank Zappa's jazz compositions, Henry Cow's instrumentals, Picchio Dal Pozzo's Abbiamo-Tutti-I-Suoi-Problemi-era, Santana's Caravanserai-Welcome-era, Mahavishnu Orchestra...and many more...and sometimes hints to Japanese folklore... Surely my all- time-favourite band among Japanese rock-releated music ever! Fave tunes? All the record is one big fave tune... But the really burning saxophone solo in Highway At Samurai Play comes into my mind. Unfortunately I have the greatest pleasure to give five stars in these progarchives- page (and everywhere in general) quite seldom. But today is probably the last this-kind- of-celebration-day in this year. Five stars really to Tipographica!!!

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 Tipographica by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.24 | 15 ratings

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Tipographica
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by slack4justice

5 stars Personally, Tipographica does many things for me. They bring back a sound similar to my favorite era of Zappa, and they bring a swing and level of interest to free jazz. Now, the free jazz elements of Tipographica are apparent but the amazing ever-switching and flowing patterns that Tipographica pull off are remeniscent of Gentle Giant in a mental hospital. Their grooves and melodies are so clear and tightly arranged as well, Tsuneo channels the spirit of Zappa better than any who have attempted. Speaking of main-man Tsuneo, on tracks like Blue Heaven Be Unsolved, he has brought back Zappa's sneering guitar lead, and beautifully executed. Now, if this sounds like plagiarism, don't be fooled, this album is like an evolution or maybe even a step-up from The Grand Wazoo, those of you who miss this and want something fresh, Tipographica is the ticket. When you have such a distinct style as this from such great influences while constantly surprising throughout the entire album...and when you have a band that plays like they can do Zappa's '74 repertoire with one hand...and when you have a drummer who makes it sound like Vinnie Colaiuta never left Zappa's group, you'll have an amazing album. This entirely instrumental album speaks in fresh new languages, continuing where many bands like Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, and Henry Cow left off, Tipographica cannot be overlooked. This debut album is phenomenal.

9.7/10

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 Tipographica by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.24 | 15 ratings

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Tipographica
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars This japanese band it's probably one of the most strange and supsrising of the 90's. Wirh a unique sound and complicated arrangements, they walk through jazz, RIO, prog and many other tendencies (included, of course japanesefolk) with emphasys on sax and keyboards. Pay attention to "Naked lunch", "Prostitute robot" and "Forest tipographical". Well, all the songs of this debut album are really great and extremely well composed. Maybe just for fans of avant garde and bands like Volpauk, U Totem, Blast, 185 or Dorctor Nerve, but you have to try this because it's a surprising experience...

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 God Says I Can't Dance by TIPOGRAPHICA album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.05 | 22 ratings

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God Says I Can't Dance
Tipographica RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer

5 stars TIPOGRAPHICA are very hard to describe, which is probably why they were one of the most interesting band of the 90s (unfortunately, the band recently decided to part ways). The musicians, consisting of guitarist, bassist, drummer, and a small horn section seemed influenced by Frank ZAPPA's 70s jazz compositions, and especially Ruth Underwood's crazed percussion work-outs. However, the rhythms on "God Says I Can't Dance" are really unique, and don't seem directly influenced by ZAPPA. I've heard their unique rhythm work being called "arhythmic" (tons of starts, stops, 90 degree turns, tempo changes). Yes, you could definitely say that. But the band is great at creating grooves out of those irregular rhythms, giving the music a strange danceable quality to it (like ZAPPA's catchiest work). The interaction between musicians has a playfulness to it that is typical of most of the experimental Japanese bands. TIPOGRAPHICA are a perfect introduction to the Japanese prog scene.

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