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ZLETOVSKO

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


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Zletovsko biography
ZLETOVSKO (a Macedonian word according to what they say), founded by Isao HORIKOSHI (keyboards, voices) and Shigekazu KUWAHARA (bass, voices; ex-member of POCHAKAITE MARKO and KOENJIHYAKKEI), actually got started as a keyboard-based British-styled progressive rock trio in 2002.

In 2009, they ran across a tremendous turning point at Lars Hollmer's tribute concert. Their session with Tatsuya YOSHIDA (drums) and Kei FUSHIMI (guitar) upon the stage let them reform ZLETOVSKO as an experimental / avantgarde quartet influenced by Magma, Zappa, This Heat, and their bases U.K., Camel, Gentle Giant, or Emerson, Lake And Palmer.

Through plenty of gigs mainly around Tokyo, they have released their debut eponymous album in 2013.

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4.04 | 8 ratings
Zletovsko
2013

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 Zletovsko by ZLETOVSKO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.04 | 8 ratings

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Zletovsko
Zletovsko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars I remember a little discussion about Zletovsko and the connection with CAMEL. The influences are probably various, but the last track of the album has something reminding to them other than the title.

The lineup is standard: drums, keys, guitar and bass. Effectively the first track has a fast rhythm, with keyboards closer to Keith EMERSON or Rick WAKEMAN than to Peter Bardens.

Each track seems to be different from the previous. On Rat & Dragons the drummer continues his very hard work, I imagine him in a pool of sweat, but there's also a great guitar part. Important to say, the band members are very skilled. Imagine a sort of NIACIN but very uptime like a punk band. I suspect that they are great and spectacular on stage. In particular Totsuya Yoshida, the drummer, is incredible.

With "Gepek" the first vocals arrive. This is a crazy song between the GONG of Angel's Egg and the GENTLE GIANT but also with some Zeuhl-like repetitions.

"Prelude" is referenced as Improvisation. Is it really so? The piano solo opening the track is a surprise. First because the drummer is quiet. He doesn't play initially. Second because the pianist seems to know very well where to go. But after a while all the instruments are in the jam whch is also the longest track of the album. A jam with free jazz parts, but again, the keyboardist seems to know exactly what is doing.

"The Golden Apples Of The Sun Part 1" is again centered on the keyboards. Here it sounds more Emersonian. There are also sounds that can be heard on the final of The Endless Enigma. Naturally the guitar makes its great work, too. During the guitar riff the keys seem silent leaving drum and bass the duty of supporting the solo. The guitar remains to play some chords when Isao Horikoshi is back and squeezes the keys with an impressive solo. The final sequence is very similar to that of The Endless Enigma.

Screams and electronics open the second improvisation: Interlude. Noisy and psychedelic. Knowing that it's going to be followed by The Golden Appless...Part 2", it's like it's doing what "The Fugue" does on Trilogy, but it's completely unstructured. Six minutes of pure noise interrupted by short parts of piano, drums solo and guitar. The second half of the track features also some crazy vocals.

Part 2 is another collegial effort with guitar and keys altenating their riffs with very fast notes while the rhithmic section does a great work. It ends like Part 1 with an orchestral sequence of chords.

"Zelor" is a strange sort of military march or maybe a tango. It's the craziest track of the whole album. Parts of it sound like contemporary classical music interrupted by an electric guitar riff. I can't tell what the signature is.

"Bikuni" brings a sudden change. No drums and keynoard chords reminding of the harmonies of Claude DEBUSSY contaminated by the bass first and by vocals then, sometimes in falsetto. The melody is in some parts very pleasant, but in other parts, combined with screaming falsetto it becomes dark. It features another excellent guitar riff.

Finally, "Camel Clutch". It's again uptime. The signature may remind to early Camel as well as the melody played by the keyboards. Too few to see a true connection, really. Maybe the band has noticed some far similarities and has decided to entitle the track in this way. It's the most melodic track of the album, even if "melodic" is not an appropriate word to describe it.

An excellent debut album by a very skilled quartet.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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