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Space Circus biography
A surprisingy unknown group from Osaka that released two albums in the 70's; SPACE CIRCUS was a quartet where the members on both albums were bassist Hajime OKANO, drummer Yoshikazu OGAWA and guitarist Yukinao SANO . Except switching keyboard players, between the two albums they also changed their sound as well, going from clasic fusion to giving a nod to space rock on the second album. Okano Hajime's guitar playing can also be very reminiscent of Andrew LATIMER, so SPACE CIRCUS can be recommended to fans of CAMEL and even DIXIE DREGS. To OKANO we can be thanful for the recent reissuing of these excelent albums and adding some bonus live material.


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SPACE CIRCUS discography

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

4.00 | 11 ratings
Funky Caravan
3.25 | 9 ratings
Fantastic Arrival

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

SPACE CIRCUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Funky Caravan by SPACE CIRCUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.00 | 11 ratings

Funky Caravan
Space Circus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars One has to wonder how this group went over in the far east. The music is straight out of the Mahavhishnu/RTF mold - precise musicianship, tight riffs, clean sound. The melodies are harmonius and engaging on each song, I particularly like how the stylistic shifts play out on the sequencing.

The opener, Alibaba, hits right off the bat with a thick bass line, shuffling drums and hazy synths. 30 seconds in the riffs start. Funky and tight! A winner right from the get go, somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Beck in his fusion period. 3 and a half in, the mood shifts somewhat to an almost canterbury feel. Excellent track.

Second is Network, a pedestrian effort that could be Bob James.

African Reggae is the third song, it has neither an African nor reggae feel. In fact, this wouldn't sound out of place a Steely Dan album or the soundtrack to Bosom Buddies. A somewhat bluesy, jazzy soundtrack feel to this one, very polished and clean just like Steely Dan and the guitar in the middle is reminiscent' of Skunk Baxter.

The second side opens with the monster title track, a tour de force through funk, fusion, middle eastern raga, and everywhere in between. A triumph for the band and a bona fide classic.

The way we were is a slow guitar guitar jam that speeds it up a bit halfway through. Another song with a soundtrack feel.

Spring Wave is the closer, reminiscent of Sea Level to my ears. Happy, rollicking with lots of piano. Some Dixie Dregs thrown in for good measure. This is a great song and a fine way to end an uneven, yet very interesting album for those of us that can't get enough fusion.

I'd say this is three stars for most progsters, I happen to really like Steely Dan and Bob James and find the filler to give the record a certain charm in my collection. It's a nice record to have, surprising nobody's reviewed it. I've owned it for some time now.

3 and a half overall because of the killer title track, I'll round it up to four for the charm factor and the fact these talented musicians are Japanese gives it four stars. I know nothing of the band other than what is here, I was lucky enough to have a buddy burn the lp for me he scored in Vancouver. I know this record is easy enough to find, curious why there's no buzz at all about Space Circus. The follow up is excellent as well.

 Fantastic Arrival by SPACE CIRCUS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.25 | 9 ratings

Fantastic Arrival
Space Circus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Space Circus, what an intresting name for a band. They caught my atention few years back when I"ve discovered new to me japanese prog/jazz rock bands from late'70's. This band coming from near Osaka formed in mid '70's and releasing 2 albums before gone into oblivion. Thier second offer from 1979 named Fantastic arrival with a very intresting cover art is the best from the two. Quite inventive in places jazz rock with fusion elements and aswell with a clear progressive aproach make from this album a very worthy and enjoyble ride. The album is all instrumental with plenty of memorable parts like the first 2 pieces that opens the album Heavy Duty Space Dragon and Demon blast. Great musicianship , specialy the guitar work is quite inventive and has some spacey moments that are truly great. The rest of the instruments are not behind having spectacular parts, the drumer is very busy but he can offer some slow chops of the highest calibre, the bass is very proeminent in places with intresting and inovative passages. Some influences from Dixie Dregs specialy on Demon blast, some Camel prog rock warmness and here and there space prog is melted with the rest giving a special atmosphere. A great forgotten little album from the land of the rising sun. 3.5 stars, fans of prog rock and aswell jazz rock can easely dig this release, worth it for sure. Two bonuses ends the album but are not as excellent as the album itself.
Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

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