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Japanese Progressive Rock presented by DamoX

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Psychedelic Paul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2021 at 05:01
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

^ Yep Paul, I'm enjoying your thread really. Especially Jacks are Japanese Proto, let me say.
I'm glad you're enjoying it. I've been listening to all of the Japanese psych albums again for the second time around and discovered a few new ones along the way (inc. Ghost & Green Milk from the Planet Orange), with my particular favourite album being "Nihonjin" by Far Out, which is quite literally, far out! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Progishness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2021 at 07:34
Originally posted by Psychedelic Paul Psychedelic Paul wrote:

I'm a recent convert to the wonderful Symphonic Prog of Ars Nova after they were recommended to me recently by one of our newest PA members - Progishness - on my A-Z of Japanese Psychedelia. Thumbs Up


Have you delved into OOIOO or Angel'In Heavy Syrup yet - two more Japanese all female bands that I unearthed in my quest to discover more female prog - there is an old topic on here that I've taken partial inspiration from (which I can't seem to find now).




Edited by Progishness - March 22 2021 at 07:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progishness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2021 at 07:49
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2021 at 08:38
Originally posted by Progishness Progishness wrote:

Originally posted by Psychedelic Paul Psychedelic Paul wrote:

I'm a recent convert to the wonderful Symphonic Prog of Ars Nova after they were recommended to me recently by one of our newest PA members - Progishness - on my A-Z of Japanese Psychedelia. Thumbs Up


Have you delved into OOIOO or Angel'In Heavy Syrup yet - two more Japanese all female bands that I unearthed in my quest to discover more female prog - there is an old topic on here that I've taken partial inspiration from (which I can't seem to find now).


Yes, I've now listened to all four albums by Angel in Heavy Syrup (twice over) and given them all a 4-star rating too. Thumbs Up

I didn't realise OOIOO was a band name, but I'll give them a listen when I reach the letter "O" in my Japanese psych thread.  Smile 

On the subject of all-female prog bands, I ran a poll of female prog bands awhile ago, which caused some controversy when I included Heart in the poll. Embarrassed


Edited by Psychedelic Paul - March 22 2021 at 08:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Progishness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2021 at 09:30
Polls seem to breed controversy - some that I posted on my old account were deliberately designed to stir things up a bit!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2021 at 17:15
In Japan, OOIOO, Angel'in, Ars Nova, eX-Girl, Tricot, and Kiyo*Sen are here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2021 at 03:10
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

^ Yep Paul, I'm enjoying your thread really. Especially Jacks are Japanese Proto, let me say.
Join the Club. I listened to Jacks' Vacant World again this morning. It's a real Diamond of an album that warms my Heart and when it comes to psychedelia, Jacks have it in Spades! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2021 at 02:41
Finally their first full-length album's come out. Please check it out.

Stories (2021) - KIKU LATTE / CICHLA TEMENSIS
Originally posted by dAMoxT77994422 dAMoxT77994422 wrote:

Crossover.

Quite pop and catchy. Such a creation could be accepted by every art rock fan. "Stories" was released in May 2021 as the first full-length album by KIKU LATTE (aka CICHLA TEMENSIS). Sounds like the current lineup has infused their full energy and intention into the latest opus under such a tough pandemic situation despite the fact it should be in the same vein of the previous ep. Their melodic polarity and sound-strategy in this creation can be called symphonic / artistic, following the extension of one of the art rock giants FOCUS. Maybe because the members, especially Kazumi, are great fans of FOCUS (their passion for the giant can be heard via the last covered track "House Of The King"), and some of Japanese progressive rock followers love symphonic / neo-symphonic / art rock.

We can easily imagine they would produce this 'concept' album to be acceptable for every art rock fan. The second track "Puppets" has a diversity of progressive rock subgenres like jazz, folk, or heavy, along with comprehensible melody lines and slightly complicated (but not dissected) rhythmic bases. It's interesting that Kazumi's flute sounds involve lots of appearances - soft, smooth, sour, or suggestive. "Blanketed In Morning Fog" and a short story "My Story" are highly qualified symphonic folk highlighting gorgeous flute prima donna. Such an acoustic, dramatic, fantastic line should be approved as their characteristic, I guess. "The Maze" is one of the most beautiful jazz rock stuffs. The frontman Takumi's bass plays and Shingo's drumming completely support kinda complex rhythm turf. Yuup do not forget this act are made up with the rhythm section, right? The longest piece "The Encounter Suite", featuring not only solemn flute sounds but also Yusuke's brilliant keyboard works, shows theatrical developments under melodious circumstances. Each phase has listener-friendly representations, not poisonous moments at all. Hiroyuki's delicate, sensitive acoustic guitar aroma can be enjoyed intriguingly through "Astral Wind". "Muzaki" (means no bloom?) sounds like that every single member plays with others sincerely in a harmonized manner for making flowers bloom.

Their unification in the whole creation is beautiful. Understood enough. Their composition is fantastic and instrumental technique is excellent indeed. Accepted naturally. They might give the audience a delightful fantasy world via this album. Wonderful really. But to be honest, they should have featured more innovation and more originality that they can launch fully by incredible capability and potentiality. They might say no trick nor uniqueness is needed though.
Stories (excerpt)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2021 at 08:40
Hi! Let me recommend another Japanese 'veteran' band. I'll alert Crossover Team.

ALL IMAGES BLAZING
Quote A Japanese act ALL IMAGES BLAZING were founded by Yoshinori KATAOKA (keyboards) and Atsuko TANAKA (vocals) in 2004. They say they have been influenced by 60s or 70s American pop / rock like Motown Sounds or 70s British Progressive Rock scene. Their first full-length album entitled "Multi-coloured" was released in 2014 via Black-Listed Records, followed by "Life" out in 2019 by the current lineup - Yoshinori KATAOKA (keyboards), Atsuko TANAKA (vocals), Yoichi KUSUDO (guitars), MA-KUN (drums), and Hiroaki FUJII (bass). In 2021 "Crimson Red" was launched as their third album.
Crimson Red (2021) - ALL IMAGES BLAZING
Originally posted by dAmOxT7942 dAmOxT7942 wrote:

Wondering where they want to go via this album. A Japanese ‘veteran' combo ALL IMAGES BLAZING, founded by Yoshinori KATAOKA (keyboards) and Atsuko TANAKA (vocals), have been active since 2004. The latest creation "Crimson Red" was released in 2021 as their third full-length album, that Is my first AIB creation ever. They say they have been inspired by oldie American pop / rock or 70s authentic British progressive rock scenes and it makes sense when we find the album's title … it might say they are influenced by one of British progressive rock giants King Crimson. It's a shame we cannot find any similarity to such a big name through their soundscape, but colourful influences by Japanese pop, 70s western rock, or game music. The female voices just like cosplay shows explain this matter, let me say.

Not mention details about every single song but all their material would possess sorta motivation towards an acceptable catchy song. Sounds like they squeeze some so-called progressive essence into their goodie pop stuff. Their instrumental technique is splendid really, whichever we listen to. If they create Japanese pop / rock album, this opus would be more fascinating and more popular for Japanese rock fans all over the world. The first "Roll On Tomorrow" involves superb enchanting images and aggressive attitude. Would like to claim clearly that they should have solidified their soundscape as decent pop like ones appeared in the Japanese pop chart, without seasoning any ‘so-called' progressive flavour like complicated rhythmic bases or weird melodic distortions. In this sense we rock fans would feel sad via this latest production, where they are wasting their excellent artistic talent. Cannot call this album progressive, A good album nonetheless.

Thank you for reading this blog, that I've posted after a long hibernation. Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2021 at 08:45
^ I thought maybe you'd been away on a Japanese psych trip. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2021 at 17:22
Originally posted by Psychedelic Paul Psychedelic Paul wrote:

^ I thought maybe you'd been away on a Japanese psych trip. Smile
Yeah recently Shostakovich's been catching my heart. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2021 at 23:35
All Images Blazing added to Crossover.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2021 at 01:03
Another obscure gem related to Japanese Progressive Rock Scene is in front of me ... thanks to Andrew (Gordy) for recommending such a good stuff.

Ensemble Pearl (Left to right: Stephen O'MALLEY, ATSUO, Michio KURIHARA, Bill HERZOG)
Originally posted by Gordy Gordy wrote:

Ensemble Pearl are an international psychedelic/doom/ambient project, formed in 2009 to score a multimedia theatre piece by choreographer Gisèle Vienne. Inspired by and named after the collaborative Brian Eno and Harold Budd record, the band consists of Stephen O'Malley (of Sunn O))) and numerous projects), drummer Atsuo (of Boris), guitarist Michio Kurihara (formerly of Ghost and White Heaven), Bill Herzog (formerly of Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter), violist Eyvind Kang (of Secret Chiefs 3 among others) and violinist Timba Harris (of Master Musicians of Bukkake).

O'Malley describes their style as "[c]osmic heavy rock sounds in an area between Link Wrey [sic], Earth "Hex", and early Tangerine Dream. Inspired by '50s-'70s rock and contemporary music productions." Their sole self-titled record, featuring material written during their tenure with Vienne, was released in 2013 on Drag City, with a Japanese edition issued by Daymare Recordings featuring an additional disc of alternative takes and mixes. Ensemble Pearl will appeal to listeners of Earth, Barn Owl, Scattered Purgatory, Ash Ra Tempel, Ghost and Boris.
Ensemble Pearl (2013) - ENSEMBLE PEARL
Originally posted by dAmOxT7942 dAmOxT7942 wrote:

Ordinarily mentioned but it sounds like this album discharges their dark life and lifestyle in the past, present (in the year this album was released), and future. A multi-national one-off project ENSEMBLE PEARL released only one eponymous album related to their homeland Sunn O))) or Boris. Drenched in spacey / doomy / depressive / psychedelic ambience, their short story goes forward slowly but steadily. The four geniuses, who get inspired by lots of psychedelic / Kraut / electronic vanguards and already had walked through various combos, expressed their 'dark catastrophic fantasy' upon this creation in a fascinating manner. A kind of heavy, lengthy trip is quite tough to digest completely but we can enjoy their so-called kosmische musik launched from their inner minds.

The first jab "Ghost Palade" is pretty sensational. Repetitive schizophrenic attacks only with two keys (!) should catch the heart of the doom freaks. Too sticky and slimy for the first shot but the viscosity is also good I guess. A similar vein to Domo or Perizona can be found through this track. "Painting On A Corpse" or "Giant" is veiled in dissected harmonies and exaggerated sound environments. Feel free to jump into them. We can be filled with their infernal noises, that also give us some mysterious comfort. "Island Epiphany", not sure what the title says, involves complicated oscillation and slowtempo psychic-agents-ish mind-driven movement. Great feedback by the twin guitars reminds us of the similarity to Les Rallizes Denudes, and dreamy ambient drumming takes us into another dimension. No need to consider deeply but better for us simply to follow the sound horizon created by them. The last "Sexy Angle" is not sensual at all but addictive hallucinogenic niches we can find out via the longest, slowest, darkest improvisational propaganda. Not so strong nor impressive but full of charm and magic.

To be honest, not novel nor innovative this opus is (even in 2013), but we can say this should have been produced fully with their sincere mental condition and playful minds. I feel so ... but it's slightly tough for me to listen to this album repeatedly haha.
https://ensemblepearl.bandcamp.com/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2021 at 01:46
And Ensemble Pearl added to Post / Math.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2021 at 05:14
Hi, every Japanese Progressive Rock fan!
Let me recommend another promising Japanese Symphonic Rock project. St. Claire are a new six-piece combo founded by a brilliant keyboardist / composer Yuko ANZAI in April 2020.

St. CLAIRE
Quote St.CLAIRE are a six-piece Japanese Art Rock project founded in April 2020 by a frontlady / keyboardist / composer Yuko ANZAI. The lineup are Yuko (keyboards), KIKO (vocals), Ayaka TOMINAGA (violin), Eiji MORIGUCHI (guitars), Sunao HIKIDA (drums), and Hiroaki FUJII (bass). They released the debut album entitled "Claire's Fantasy" in May 2021 created with Yuko's composition for over a year.
Claire's Fantasy (2021) - St. CLAIRE
Originally posted by dAmOxT7942 dAmOxT7942 wrote:

Let me say this is sorta sincere and faithful performance according to so-called Japanese Symphonic Rock that lots of Japanese progressive rock fans love. A Japanese project St. CLAIRE were founded as a symphonic rock sextet in April 2020 by a keyboardist / composer Yuko ANZAI who possesses classical and pop music bases. This debut album "Claire's Fantasy", released in May 2021, is filled with Yuko's imagination and soundscape all over, that had been warmed up in her inner mind for a year or more. The concept of this opus sounds like that one of  Japanese Symphonic combos Teru's Symphonia meets orthodox pop / rock. 

The departure "Dawning" has energy and enthusiasm for opening the curtain. A cappella voices in the beginning are also splendid. The melodious atmosphere rings the bell of the listeners who love Japanese crossover progressive or something. We could feel their intention firstly to show their appearance via this track. The longest track in this album "Strider" sounds quite refined and settled altogether. This involves various melodic and rhythmic appearances reminding us of the similarity to Citizen Cain or British Symphonic vanguards. Anyway, am I the only one who can hear some homage to the vanguards? "Hand In Hand" is another 'authentic' symphonic progressive rock driving us smile. Very impressive are Eiji's smooth and flavourful guitar playing and Ayaka's violin sounds full of passion. "Claire's Song" the masterpiece of this album (I guess) is a theatre of Yuko's artistic keyboard plays. Under a calm situation, a musical affair by delightful sound combinations of the keyboard and the violin catches our heart comfortably. In "The Place" we can enjoy positive voices and active melody lines, and do not forget such a catchy movement dominant all over the song. Pleasant indeed, and somewhat tragic, don't know why though.

In conclusion, this creation is good as an art rock-seasoned pop music. Just as a piece of buttered toast spread with massive honey, it sounds a bit too sweet. But it's well understood because listener-friendly melody lines or vibes would 'unwittingly' go ahead of complicated symphonic innovation to catch their heart in a direct manner. In addition, Kiko's voices are too powerful and beautiful to support other instruments. Actually Sunao and Hiroaki's rhythm section is rigorous and supportive enough to unify all 'individualistic' instruments completely ... If not, every single instrument runs around assertively. A fantastic opus for their debut creation. Recommended for every Japanese Symphonic Rock fan. ;)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2021 at 01:50
And St. Claire added to Symphonic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2021 at 10:07
^ And got a PM from the leader of St. Calire Yuko ANZAI. What a surprise.

We together have discussed a wide variety of her musicscape. Good to hear she has created her own musical world on her debut album without any intention to produce progressive rock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2021 at 18:11
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

And St. Claire added to Symphonic.

Hi,

Very nice and I enjoyed listening to it ... 
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David_D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 14:11
I haven't been following this thread, so I don't know what has not been mentioned but anyway, I'd like to tell that my absolutely favourite Japanese album is, and has been since the middle of 70's, Stomu Yamashta's Raindog (1975) which also always has been one of mine very most favourite albums in my whole collection. It can allmost get me entirely bananas when I hear it, and I've never got tired of it after all these years - even I didn't hear it in the 80's as that was mostly my mainstream Rock period.

Edited by David_D - November 05 2021 at 14:13
quality above quantity, and PopcoRn almost beyond
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David_D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2021 at 05:20
Some other Japanese albums I'm very fond of are:

Far East Family Band - Nipponjin (1975)
Flower Travellin' Band - Satori (1971)
Osamu Kitajima - Benzaiten (1974)
Bi Kyo Ran - Bi Kyo Ran (1982)
quality above quantity, and PopcoRn almost beyond
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