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NEGASPHERE

Symphonic Prog • Japan


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Negasphere biography
Negasphere hail from Japan and were formed in 1977. Kawasaki Kaoru founded the group and played keyboards on both studio albums. In the initial stages of the band the sound was closer to Led Zeppelin rather than the Symphonic sound they would soon adopt, and Kaoru played bass also. Majima Hiroyoshi joined in 1981 giving the band a more definitive sound with his electric guitar playing. An instrumental album was released "Seishinkougakuyo Henyo", and a self titled cassette with music that was influenced by Atoll. There was a revolving door membership in the rhythm section, but finally stability came in 1982 with the addition of Tokutake Hiroshi on bass guitar, and later ex Mahojin member Sugano Shiro on electric drums. In 1983 they were joined by keyboardist Yata Toru and Negasphere hit the studios to release their debut album "Castle In The Air" in 1984.

The band played live with a number of vocalists but before recording the debut the latest vocalist retired leaving them without a singer for the album. Majima stepped in to sing and the band felt the sound was successful enough to maintain utilising the guitarist as lead vocalist for the year of 1984. The following year the band released their second album "Disadvantage" and opted to add a new vocalist Hirata Shiro who would lend her clear vocals to a more refined Symphonic sound, and allow Majima to focus on lead guitar. A live album was released in 1991 with some recorded material from 1985 and 1986 "Negasphere 1985-1986", with different band members to fill in for retired members, such as Bassist Keiichi Tezuka, drummer Toshihiro Domen, guitarist Osamu Watanabe, and Pianist Toru Yata. 5 songs were recorded on 6th May 1985 and 3 were recorded on 5 October 1986 at Silver Elephant, Kichijoji.

The band's sound may appeal to those who enjoy music from early Genesis, UK, T-Rat or Eloy.

~ Added by AtomicCrimsonRush ~

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NEGASPHERE discography


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

2.95 | 2 ratings
Castle in the Air
1984
3.00 | 1 ratings
Disadvantage
1985

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Negasphere 1985-1986
1991

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NEGASPHERE Reviews


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 Castle in the Air by NEGASPHERE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Castle in the Air
Negasphere Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Among the lesser known names of the Japanese prog scene, Negasphere started in 1977 under the guidance of bassist/keyboardist Kawasaki Kaoru.In 1981 they were joined by Majima Hiroyoshi and Kaoru devoted himself only to the keyboard parts.Reputedly the band had a self- titled live cassette out around the time.Problems with the line-up prevented the band from recording an official LP and the problem was solved with the addition of ex-Mahojin Sugano Shiro on drums, Yata Toru on keys and Tokutake Hiroshi on bass.Finally a LP entitled ''Castle in the Air'' saw the light in 1984 on L.L.E. Records.

The sound of Negasphere was exactly in the middle of GENESIS-inspired mellow Symphonic Rock and the more fiery Symph/Fusion style of U.K. with good arrangements, extended instrumental parts but also a very mediocre recording quality.The band keeps a nice balance between vocal moments and long professional instrumental sections and there is always a mood for changing themes throughout.So a calm, mostly symphonic section with dreamy keyboard work and sensitive guitar parts is often followed by sharp and often double synth attacks, dynamic interplays and powerful grooves with an evident HOLDSWORTH edge on the guitar solos and a sound close to WAPPA GAPPA or MONGOL.Vocals were never the strong point of Japanse bands and Negasphere make no exception.Still the lyrics are sung in English with a bearable performance by Hiroyoshi.The biggest flaws come from the below average production and the plastic sound of electric drumming.

A very rare record by Negasphere yet a recommended release for fans of 80's Japanese Prog and all those who love the combination of 70's Classic Prog with Fusion.

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