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Ryoko Ono biography
Ryoko ONO, born in Sapporo (currently playing mainly in Nagoya), is one of active Japanese female saxophone / flute players. Already renowned as a collaborator with Sax Ruins, Psyche Bugyo, or Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., whilst recording material for some demo CD-Rs. In May 2012, Ryoko has released her solo debut work "Undine" (featuring a prog masterpiece 'Tarkus' in collaboration with Tatsuya YOSHIDA) via an independent label Doubt Music at last.

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RYOKO ONO discography

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

4.05 | 2 ratings
3.54 | 3 ratings
Electronic Elements
3.10 | 2 ratings
Alternate Flash Heads
3.50 | 2 ratings
Wood Moon (With Rogier Smal)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo And Duo (2004-2007)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Electronic Elements by ONO, RYOKO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.54 | 3 ratings

Electronic Elements
Ryoko Ono Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ryoko Ono is a sax/ flute player out of Japan who is also very much into electronics. She is one half of the SAX RUINS duo and has played with other experimental Japanese bands. I feel that I should have done more homework on this one as I saw it listed under Zeuhl here which moved me to pick this up and it has nothing to do with that sub-genre. This is Avant all the way and most of the songs are repetitive and experimental to say the least. I do like three of the tracks but struggle to enjoy the rest. You should really read Damo's review if your into Avant music because he describes the music here better than I will.

"Polygon" has these heavy beats and random sax expressions throughout while "Tetragon" features organ runs and percussion throughout. I prefer the latter but I'm not big on either. "Depths Of The Sea" has lots of beats throughout that I find it somewhat annoying and repetitive. "Dual" has more drums and beats with dissonant sax coming and going. "Unknown" is a top three. I like the atmosphere to start as sax expressions join in. This one's darker but then it changes before 3 minutes with electronics but they don't last long as the beats take over without sax this time. The electronics start to come and go then the sax returns after 6 minutes. Good song. "Ensemble" is another top three with those vocals that sound they have been processed through something as the sax, beats and electronics help out. Interesting and repetitive. "Sunrise" has these random screeching sax sounds and drums that are just as random as they both stop and go throughout.

"Slut Or Slattern" has what sounds like organ and strings that pulse and slice. Some electronics before 4 1/2 minutes. I do like the spacey calm late which is my favourite part of the album. "Sunset" has percussion and electronics throughout and it's laid back and ambient. Very repetitive as well. The tempo does pick up some around 5 1/2 minutes. "Ubiquitous" is my final top three track. We get sax, piano, bass and a beat as this sounds almost normal but it's not as the sax and piano are avant sounding. I do like it. "Extra" is the closer and it opens with strange electronics as the synths sweep in almost sounding PT-like. Not a fan when it changes before a minute with stuttering beats and electronics. Another change after 3 minutes as a beat and vibes-like sounds take over. Electronics to the fore before 4 minutes then keys as the drums continue. A calm before 5 1/2 minutes as guitar-like sounds and a beat take over. Beats blast again before 6 minutes, electronics too. More of those PT-like synths after 7 minutes. I like those sections.

A tough one for me to enjoy although I certainly appreciate what's going on here. 3.5 stars.

 Alternate Flash Heads by ONO, RYOKO album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.10 | 2 ratings

Alternate Flash Heads
Ryoko Ono Zeuhl

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

3 stars So sorry to hear you're pressed by hard saxophone business Ryoko. ;)

This bizarre album "Alternate Flash Heads" is filled with 99 short improvised sound shots created with saxophone plays by Ryoko in collaboration with a stormy drummer Talow. 99 tracks is the maximum for entry to one CD disc (but sadly less than AxCx's 5643 songs EP lol) and quite swift saxophone play by Ryoko is awesome indeed (and amazingly precisely harmonized with Talow's drumming woohoo) but, by the way, less violent than AxCx naturally (just kidding).

Anyway such a musical strategy like launching another musical atmosphere by every shuffle play upon this CD. In an album titled "No World Order" (1993) by Todd RUNDGREN the same method as above has been adopted over twenty years before. I've got surprised at such a novelty in musical digital world, and Ryoko's creation formed with 99 explosive tracks has reminded me of the amazement in those days, and notified me of another fresh impression for her creation.

Each of her terrific "saxplosion" can be called as a variation of symmetry (including a strange song title), and her "variations" should be basically different from other ones e.g. in the classic music scene. And her saxophone appearances in the whole album are pretty colourful ... in some tracks she snarls against the audience, in other she sounds a tad sensitive, and sometimes launches addictive tonic winks on a regular basis. To shuffle 99 tracks randomly is not bad really but at least for me listening to them just in order should be better.

Dunno if you know but this album sleeve might be drawn with homage to YES' "Time And A Word" released in Japan, that's another interest.

 Electronic Elements by ONO, RYOKO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.54 | 3 ratings

Electronic Elements
Ryoko Ono Zeuhl

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

4 stars Let me say my impression at first; a fantastic jazzy-improvised-electronic creation seasoned with musical / atmospheric tranquilizing agents.

Ryoko ONO's solo album "Electronic Elements", featuring her electronic experiments produced with Music Instrument Digital Interface, released worldwide in 2014 via Janus Sounds. Such an album title like "Electronic" or "Elements" had let me curious indeed, and according to my expectation, her avantgarde electronic launcher could make me crazy. I've got, in her kindness, the second edition of this album, with a new track "Slut Or Slattem" and a longer "Sunset" added. Not pure nor fresh but sticky, slimy electronic vatting, that is felt simply awesome.

Here and there we would got flooded with unstable percussive digital bullets and mellotronic sound waves kicking us into an "uneasy trance" upon the second track "Tetragon". On the other hand, in "Slut Or Slattem" we can touch life and death mixed with pain, madness, depression, and at last quietness through her programmed synthesizer gales. What swims beneath "Depths Of The Sea" characterized with dry, swift, and inorganic digital percussion attacks? Difficult to make a definition but that reminds us of something obscure moving quickly along with randomized patterns, at least Ryoko's inner depths of the sea.

Upon "Sunset" are tribal texture, beautiful scape, and remarkable anxiety in the dark ... all of which be expressed with unsteady, rough, tough electronic percussion like a merry-go- round in an old amusement park. The last "Extra" is the compilation of her electronic elements blended with nobility, gorgeousness, scatter, manie, calmness, kaleidoscope, safe and sound. We can make sure that Ryoko should create such a electronic gem quite intensively through this epilogue.

At the same time I feel her saxophone play should be important also in this creation. "Ubiquitous" is a good example, where her enthusiastic saxophone play could drown electronic percussion perfectly out. By the way in the first one "Polygon" her play and the digital percussion killer can get superbly harmonized, crystallized. Another atmospheric departure between a surrealistic quiet electronic and a repetitive saxophone phrase can be experienced in "Ensemble". "Dual" is one of my favourite tracks in this album. Very enjoyable to imagine that Ryoko might play plenty of improvised saxophone phrases to beat electronic percussion completely. Her saxophone play is beautiful, flavourful as well, even if avantgarde or experimental. Wondering how she would record "Sunrise" based upon her crazy saxophone launcher merged perfectly with digital percussion. Very mysterious, and amazing really.

In conclusion, the woodwinds and their luxurious sounds cannot be avoided for Ryoko and us (her freaks) indeed but I'm sure she's left such an excellent solo creation for us. Enjoy such a kaleidoscopic agent.

 Undine by ONO, RYOKO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.05 | 2 ratings

Ryoko Ono Zeuhl

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

4 stars Ryoko ONO, born in Sapporo (currently playing mainly in Nagoya), is one of active Japanese female saxophone / flute players. Already renowned as a collaborator with Sax Ruins, Psyche Bugyo, or Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., whilst recording material for some demo CD-Rs. In May 2012, Ryoko has released her solo debut work "Undine" via an independent label Doubt Music at last.

A fine, fruitful creation by a twisted Japanese saxophonist / flutist who plays instruments like talking.

From the very beginning "genie-Sylph", we can hear one of the most challenging ambience of her. Ryoko's saxophone play might be influenced by a Zeuhl saxophone specialist Yochk'o Seffer, who can play saxophone like "talking, whispering, romping". Her emotional, a bit sensual (oh ... lol) dizzy, lazy sax sounds can be heard as Elf's (or Ryoko's) whispering definitely. As for Zeuhl, a short but funky chirps are shot via "Birds" along with irregular, confusing words, that can be perfectly harmonized with together. This superb, mystic song reminds us something leaning toward Red Balune or Koenjihyakkei.

In "Esoteric" we're able to touch some complex saxophone anchorites with simple and tidy percussive grooves. Or crazily metronomic saxophone duet can be felt in "Morphing" ... as if two Dragons tangle together and fly up with blue teardrops. Terribly quaking palpitation, followed by dreadful calmness, can be seen in "Hologram", as the title says. And another fantastic experiment (composed by Steve Reich) "Piano Phase" Ryoko has completely digested and reconstructed as a splendid sax minimalism. Yes, we can enjoy various appearances and logics via her phantasmagoric play.

And as for "Tarkus", guess everyone says this album is worth getting for only listening to this speedy stuff (nah I do think other tracks be fine too). Enjoy fully with laughing and rolling. In collaboration with Tatsuya YOSHIDA's killa drumming, Ryoko's interpretation upon "Tarkus" is that her avantgarde dancing saxophone dwarves stir such a masterpiece up into disorder with plenty of mischief and unique explosive expression, although her production should definitely be faithful to the basis of the original tune. Amazing for us that her (and Tatsuya's) aggressive sound machinegun cannot get blurred at all, a flood of massive attacks of sound / noise come via their inner space though. Knocked away by their violently quick shots, we can be drenched in masochistic comfort.

Caution ... this album is her first music bomb. Danger really, but recommended for every avantgarde-jazz and Zeuhl fan. Woohoo.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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