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Japanese Progressive Rock presented by DamoX

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2010 at 06:40
Their psychedelia might be a natural phenomenon in the Japanese underground rock scene.


Kousokuya, one of important Japanese underground rock outfits

KOUSOKUYA were maybe autogenously formed as a psychedelic rock trio ensemble around Jutoku KANEKO (guitars, voices) and his girlfriend MICK (voices, bass) in the late 1970s. Mainly at some small live spaces in Tokyo they had appeared and psychedelically amazed the audience by their loud guitar-based sounds. There is no material in their early days left except their first live one at Kichijoji, Tokyo in 1979, that was released as a precious live album via a Japanese independent label P.S.F. Records in 2006.

In the beginning of 1990s, Ikuro TAKAHASHI (drums, percussion) brought KOUSOKUYA's enormous material recorded in their private studio around 1990 to Shigeo Honda and persuaded him to be a producer and engineer for their first album. Shigeo edited and produced the album, that could be released in 1991 as an eponymous analogue LP (and their one and only studio album).

Although sad to say Jutoku suddenly passed away in January 2007, KOUSOKUYA have continued gigging actively around Tokyo in collaboration with lots of guest musicians.


Kousokuya (1991) - KOUSOKUYA, their one and only studio album

KOUSOKUYA are one of important outfits in Japanese underground rock scene, formed by three psychedelic daredevils full of originality. Their position in Japanese psychedelic rock world stands upon especially Jutoku's loud, heavy, trippy, dog-barking guitar solo with Rallizaec feedback facing directly him and his guitar itself. Also Ikuro's flat and simple drumming under flexible kaleidoscopic tempo and Mick's deep creepin' bass sounds both are very important to support all of Kousokuyan family and audience.

Mick's voices sound like, as everyone says, exactly weird incantation or magician's spelling, where are fates of catastrophic and despairing inferno delirium. Maybe for KOUSOKUYA, her no-good voices with uncontrollable tones can season this outfit with much weirdness like ghosts from under (for me not at all though ... very strangely her shouts can be mismatched any other instruments methinks). They all rush into underground, able to be called as their homeground utterly with plenty of colour of improvised free jamming psychedelia. However, let me say that, mysteriously there is a rigid unity around their play continuously. Partially like Acid Mothers Temple Speed Guru's one, Jutoku's guitar solo (beyond expression for me) can go ahead into sanctuary, regretfully with some cheap and cheesy tape effects and mixing.

And who knows the reason they (Jutoku) can effectively use such a simple noise like chopping some randomized guitar chords? His great suggestive loud guitar sounds obviously should be much influenced by takashi Mizutani's exploded feedbackin' ones. (And cheesy voices either? Cannot believe'em ... )

Good stuffs are indeed good stuffs, except some vertiginous voices should break their serious atmosphere into scattered pieces, sorry.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2010 at 07:15
Hi, honganji-san, thanks for your serious kicks (comments). Big smile

Yea, I've not heard Space Circus or Lalena ... soon gonna check'em yay! Star


EDIT: Fixed the spelling of "Lalena". Wink


Edited by DamoXt7942 - July 09 2010 at 08:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote b_olariu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2010 at 07:05
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

Here comes an Osakan progressive rock quartet ... with much humour ... suggested by Bogdan Olariu! Clap


Bunmei OGAWA (from his blog website)

BLACK PAGE were formed in the mid 1980s as a Japanese rock quartet by Bunmei OGAWA (keyboards), Itsufumi OGAWA (guitars), Kohzoh SUGANUMA (drums), and Tsuneo KOMINE (bass) - already all of them had been musically professional. Regardless of their sense of humour cultivated in Osaka, they had played lots of gigs with their astonishing technique - featuring Itsufumi's complex guitar play much influenced by Alan Holdsworth, Bunmei's Emerson-ish thrilling keyboard explosion, aggressive drumming by Kohzoh called 'Tekazu-Oh' (in English, The King Of Full Speed ... sorry no appropriate expression here), and Tsuneo's strictly precise bass-quake. In 1986 BLACK PAGE released their one and only album 'Open The Next Page', in that their terrific technical approaches could be remarkably approved by progressive freaks all around the world, but sad to say, they were disbanded soon after that. Each ex-member is currently active as a music tutor or one of members in newer rock outfits in Japan.


Open The Next Page (1986) - BLACK PAGE

BLACK PAGE was a short-lived Japanese progressive rock outfit formed in Osaka around a twin technical unit Ogawa Brothers - Bunmei (keyboards) and Itsufumi (guitars). The 70s British Progressive Rock scene including Alan Holdsworth or Keith Emerson seems to exert a great influence upon their music style and soundscape, therefore their play in the album Open The Next Page sounds to place great importance upon speed and technique in playing. We can feel their strong intention through Itsufumi's Holdsworthy guitar, Bunmei's Emersonish keyboard, or 'Tekazu-Oh' Kohzoh's thousand-handed (!) drumming. Listen to the beginning of this album and in "Go On" we can hear some younger bands' similar style (the opening by Bunmei's delightful keyboard solo can remind me Yu Shimoda's synthesizer sounds in Shinsekai's album). Some reviewers including me say voices are weak and not smooth regretfully, but despite of vocal instability, they can carry on incredible plays with heavy technique. Their composition is also fantastic ... sometimes dreamy, sometimes tragic, and entirely dramatic atmosphere's' can be fully around us listeners. Bunmei's plays in "Tsuki-Otoko To Stick (a man on the moon and a stick)" sound like Rick Davies' (Supertramp) ones. Jazzy, symphonic, and sometimes heavy missiles are shot from the Black Page launcher. We can be struck heart-painfully especially by the suite "The Story Of A Melodious Stone / Admiration / Trip To Faraway Place / Good Bye". On the contrary, there is also something ambient or monotone-psychedelic like "Toku Kara". We can be gradually filled up and pumped up with their colourful and eclectic regimen. Recommended for Eclecticians.


Thank you for reading this blog, and again thanks Bogdan for your fantastic recommendation! Hug
 
Tanks Damo for your kind words, I'm waiting to see this band added soon. Glad to help , but where will be in eclectic zone or jazz fusion?????
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2010 at 18:14
Originally posted by b_olariu b_olariu wrote:

Tanks Damo for your kind words, I'm waiting to see this band added soon. Glad to help , but where will be in eclectic zone or jazz fusion?????
Big smile

Guess they can be fit for Eclectic ...
If you have mp3 samples (not mp4 video ones), you can recommend to Eclectic or JRF Team, with my STRONG support! Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote b_olariu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2010 at 04:10
ok, I will make from my CD the mp3 files and give to eclectic team.Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2010 at 04:23
Originally posted by b_olariu b_olariu wrote:

ok, I will make from my CD the mp3 files and give to eclectic team.Thumbs Up
Thanks OOKINI! Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2010 at 09:57
Some years back there was an incredible Japanese guitarist that sounded like Joe Satriani a bit and he had a cool video clip. It was a one off and I wish I could remember his name it was something like Yomoto or just one name but it was just him and he was awesome lead guitarist - no lyrics but great music. I think he played a Flying V guitar or something, its a bit vague.
I wonder who it was, do you know? It was on a mainstream rock show on TV.
Never heard him again after that.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2010 at 06:16
Another pioneer of Japanese Psychedelic Progressive Rock world. Cool


WHITE HEAVEN (from the inner sleeve of "Out")

The roots of WHITE HEAVEN lay in a Japanese psychedelic rock outfit named Living End formed around the frontman You ISHIHARA (guitar, voices), in the early 1980s. The founding members were You, Ken MATSUTANI (guitar), Ken ISHIHARA (drums), Tetsuya SAKAMOTO (guitar), and Takayuki NAKAGOSHI (bass). Matsutani left in the following year for forming his own band MARBLE SHEEP (AND THE RUNDOWN SUN'S CHILDREN) and Michio KURIHARA (guitar) - a guitarist who could give psychedelic starshine to WHITE HEAVEN - took his place.

Through playing lots of gigs at Yaneura or Koenji in Tokyo, and changing some members without changing music style, WHITE HEAVEN released their debut album 'Out' in 1991 (only 500 vinyl copies), that could highly appreciated all around the world and had been traded at an extremely high price till the reissued CD came out in 1995. Out of Japan, they could be taken up in a special article by an English psychedelic rock magazine 'Ptolemaic Terrascope'. Though they released albums actively - 'Strange Bedfellow' (1993), 'Next To Nothing' (1994), and 'Levitation' (1997), WHITE HEAVEN were disbanded in September 1997 suddenly after their last Osakan tour.

You ISHIHARA, through playing in his following band THE STARS, is currently active for producing a Japanese psychedelic outfit YURA YURA TEIKOKU.


Out (1991) - WHITE HEAVEN, a dawn of Japanese psychedelia

Listen, and enter into such a pungent guitar battle between Michio and You.

How 'bout that! We will unintentionally shout like that. The first track "Blind Promise" knocks us crudely with Michio's loud and perverse guitar solo. You's voices are a bit lackadaisical for encouraging their soundscape but we can be immersed into his passion and effort to sing loudly. Suggest lots of Japanese psychedelic rock artists should try to head forward this song ... such an importance we can feel directly from the sounds full of originality, not close to Rallizes nor to another loud psychedelic band like High Rise or Kousokuya. All-English lyrics can notify us that they should try to make a big success all over the world from the very beginning.

Basically their melody line was based upon psychedelic pop scene, including a drone ballad like "Dull Hands" or "Fallin' Stars End" (You's voices get cheesier especially in them, slow ballads) and a rough boogie like "My Cold Dimension", but trust me they can show themselves at their best in the longest, most apathetic, most terrorised track "Mandrax Town". Guess You should be like a dog that bite a thick bone as a vocalist (sorry!) and all instruments and the controllers could act like warriors in a war, art of war. And the last "Out", the masterpiece in this album, is very graceful and pathetic psychedelia ... an attractive dessert after a psych dinner.

As a Psychedelic Progressive Rock Specialist Team member, and as a Japanese Psychedelic Progressive Rock Researcher, I cannot avoid recommending this terrific album to you.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2010 at 06:45
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

Some years back there was an incredible Japanese guitarist that sounded like Joe Satriani a bit and he had a cool video clip. It was a one off and I wish I could remember his name it was something like Yomoto or just one name but it was just him and he was awesome lead guitarist - no lyrics but great music. I think he played a Flying V guitar or something, its a bit vague.
I wonder who it was, do you know? It was on a mainstream rock show on TV.
Never heard him again after that.
Hi, Scott.
Sorry but too little info to search the guitarist ... Okay gonna let you know if I can find him. Wink

Yomoto ... Yamamoto? Kyoji Yamamoto is a leader of a Japanese hard-rock outfit Vow Wow.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoji_Yamamoto

... Correct? Smile


Edited by DamoXt7942 - June 28 2010 at 07:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2010 at 18:44
Oh yeah, now grant SaltyJon's request.
Let me introduce another Tatsuya & Makoto's project ... MUSICA TRANSONIC!


Asahito NANJOH (Musica Transonic, High Rise)

Asahito's sudden request could construct a temporary premier psychedelic project.

MUSICA TRANSONIC were formed by three ardent, impressing individualities under Japanese psychedelic rock scene - Asahito NANJOH (bass; ex-High Rise), Makoto KAWABATA (guitar; ex-Acid Mothers Temple), and Tatsuya YOSHIDA (drums; ex-Ruins) - as an improvised, free-styled psychedelic progressive rock outfit in 1995. They have very unique style that each player produces heavy, loud, confusing psychedelia based on simple riffs with insistence on musical attitude and with support of the others, simultaneously.

MUSICA TRANSONIC released six albums for five years, sometimes in collaboration with Kenji Haino (voices; ex-Fush*tsusha).


Musica Transonic (self-titled) (1995) - MUSICA TRANSONIC

You can imagine how pleasantly they should be playing together in this album.

As if we can see their delightful faces and appearances. From the very beginning, we can be shocked and immersed by their extremely loud attacks via their psychedelic launcher. Completely improvised ensemble with remarkably simple riffs of tremendous scattered noises and music notes, they can throw into our brain mercilessly from start to finish. Indeed cannot understand obviously what they emphasize with their free-formed instrumental explosions, but I do consider it's no bad to feel their magnificent skills and talents, and especially much power for them to enjoy playing. All of them - Tatsuya's flexible and impressing drumming, Speed Guru's firing guitar solo, and ... let me make the assertion ... Asahito's seriously strict bass solo without any blurring. Asahito has entirely supported his own band High Rise's play and style, and he can let us know how his bass play should be aggressive, extreme, crazy, and hedonistic. :-P

Whatever everyone says, here is the most loudly aggressive psychedelia by three eccentricities and egocentricities. Psychedelic Progressive Rock freaks' must.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2010 at 18:58
That's one of the groups I've not checked out yet...I've heard good and bad things about it, but I'll eventually end up with one or more of their albums.  Tongue  Sounds interesting though!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Truth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2010 at 20:45
Sadly I've only heard but one Japanese band, Acid Mothers Temple.  But they know how to rock  Rawks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2010 at 01:49
Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

That's one of the groups I've not checked out yet...I've heard good and bad things about it, but I'll eventually end up with one or more of their albums.  Tongue  Sounds interesting though!
Ahhhh, very prolific! LOL

And yup, we'll evaluate them as a Psychedelic Progressive Rock outfit anytime soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2010 at 01:54
Originally posted by The Truth The Truth wrote:

Sadly I've only heard but one Japanese band, Acid Mothers Temple.  But they know how to rock  Rawks
Thanks, Phil Collins (Not really) ... oh, what an avantgarde naming! LOL
Anyway, which album have you heard? Rawks
My recommendation is their second "Pataphisical Freak Out MU!!".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A Person Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2010 at 11:22
Musica Transonic sounds like it is right up my alley. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2010 at 17:52
Originally posted by A Person A Person wrote:

Musica Transonic sounds like it is right up my alley. 
Thumbs Up

I've listened to their debut shot only yet, but can easily imagine each one should have just the same earachy sounds as the first. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2010 at 11:23
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:



    
    
    
Today let me recommend a very problematic outfit and album ... Takeshi InomataTakeshi INOMATA,
currently known as one of the most renowned and most influential jazz
drummers in Japan, was born at Takarazuka, Japan in 1936. His father
(an oboist of Takarazuka Revue Company), his elderly brother (a genius
jazz trumpeter), and The Benny Goodman Orchestra whose album he had
again and again listened to in his teenaged days could influence much
on him and as a result he appeared on stage as a drummer at age 16. His
terrific talent and enthusiasm for drumming surprisingly improve and
develop his technique, that could let himself win the prize of Swing
Journal Magazine's newcomer award in 1957. He showed his ability of
jazz drumming in US Camps (later he mentioned he had played drums with
smell of butter and hamburger steaks around him) and joined for a jazz
outfit Westliners, but an enthusiasm that he wanted to play borderless
music made him form SOUND L.T.D. (Limited), a progressive
jazz-rock outfit. In those days such a mysterious and perverse creation
might confuse every rock & jazz fan and reviewer. Now Takeshi makes
a large contribution toward training younger jazz musicians and making
a record of the history of Japanese jazz, and simultaneously stands on
many worldwide stages , e.g. Carnegie Hall or Apollo Theater. Innocent Canon (1971) - TAKESHI INOMATA & SOUND L.T.D. A borderless creation by borderless musicians. One
of the matchlessly eccentric sound kaleidoscopes - even in Japan every
reviewer called him as a musician with a warped soundscape. Yes, he
might be a confuser (in a good sense). Amazingly, Takeshi promoted
Noriaki KANOH, a young and promising photographer, to a narrator (free
talker?) in this album. Such a strategy we could not find in another
one in 1971. Anyway, 1971 was a golden year for Japanese progressive
rock scene, as I've mentioned again and again ... and the credit of
Kimio MIZUTANI can be found on lots of album sleeves in that year. Even
in 'Innocent Canon', Kimio's aggressive guitar solo can lead all
instruments and all listeners. And yeah, Takeshi's strict drumming
absolutely can support this 'air' and 'ground'. The narration by
Noriaki (currently he's called 'Tenmei' though) is sometimes lazy,
sometimes unique, and sometimes ardent. Mysteriously, for me his talk
was boring previously, but to listen to this stuffs again and again has
interested me in his fuzzy fascination for music. This album
cannot be discussed only under the category of jazz-rock, though
Takeshi was (and is) a renowned Japanese jazz drummer indeed. Kimio's
heavy guitar and ethnic sitar, Toshiaki YOKOTA's mind-altering flute,
and especially Noriaki's flat narration - all elements can make these
songs more psychedelic and more avantgarde. Listen to the first track
Introduction directly ... heavy, headaching, hypnotic riffs and
enthusiastic but level narrations are very typical upon Japanese
psychedelic progressive rock scene in the early 70s. In the next The
Death Of Janis
(dedicated to Janis Joplin) Toshiaki's flute solo is
very mind-blowing, in spite of Noriaki's sensitive talk. The third Go
For Nothing
has violent 'NO!' voices and at the same time a delightful,
pleasant jazz ensemble ... this contrast is wonderful. Alone, the
sixth, is very impressive with Oriental fragile mood by Kimio's sitar.
We feel impulsive tension even in the last song Epilog, where Jun
SUZUKI's whistle be very comfortable indeed. Highly recommended as a very strange footprint on Japanese music scene. Sound L.T.D. - a borderless sound unitThank you for reading this blog.


After listened to Takeshi Inomata's "Innocent Canon" album, I was really very pleasantly surprised. Recorded still in 1971, it contains very energetic mix of early jazz-fusion, brass-rock, some psychedelic heavy prog with touches of Japanese avant-garde. With accent on more atmosphere,than on technical side,there are enough place for heavy guitar soloing, brass arrangements (on a manner of early Chicago or Dreams) and even long free-jazz pieces. Japanese prog scene, better known for me by its some psychedelic and zeuhl bands (and many soft-fusion teams as well)presented its early psyche/fusion face on this album.I am not sure about the place, but I think this artist should have his place on PA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2010 at 04:33
The following work of MUSICA TRANSONIC - А Πιλγριμδ Σολαχε (1996) - is a bit more polished.



Just like the previous 'exploded' confession by three loudspeakers, MUSICA TRANSONIC has come back to us with a bulky mass of improvised loudness. Needless to say, neither pretensions nor modesty in them and their second work А Πιλγριμδ Σολαχε, but uniquely we can find some more 'refinement' in it than their debut one. Exactly there was some improvement on their recording quality (not intentionally?), but I guess, one of more important point is that they could have something united or arranged well upon this work.


А Πιλγριμδ Σολαχε (1996) - MUSICA TRANSONIC

Listen to the first track, and this can remind us the middle part of 21st Century Schizoid Man - some battles among Fripp's guitar and Greg & Micheal's rhythm section - you know? Basically they played impromptu and freely, but we can feel some stability in them, despite of a certain crazy loudness in their debut. Without any suspicion, Makoto's guitar can be very loud and aggressive, with such noises like peep-peep-shoot-shoot, and Tatsuya's drumming can also be flexible and intentionally scattered, like some arrhythmia in a dancing heart. Let me insist upon this -  Asahito's bass solo has very steady potential energy, supporting the other instruments and players entirely exploded on their own way.

Not only massive attacks, but something folksy and relaxing in such as sixth tracks. Of course, a completely improvised aggression should be in the last one. Japanese loud psychedelia, with colourful variation ... very fascinating album.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2010 at 04:45
Originally posted by snobb snobb wrote:

After listened to Takeshi Inomata's "Innocent Canon" album, I was really very pleasantly surprised. Recorded still in 1971, it contains very energetic mix of early jazz-fusion, brass-rock, some psychedelic heavy prog with touches of Japanese avant-garde. With accent on more atmosphere,than on technical side,there are enough place for heavy guitar soloing, brass arrangements (on a manner of early Chicago or Dreams) and even long free-jazz pieces. Japanese prog scene, better known for me by its some psychedelic and zeuhl bands (and many soft-fusion teams as well)presented its early psyche/fusion face on this album.I am not sure about the place, but I think this artist should have his place on PA.
Good point! Clap

And also for me it's slightly difficult to classify them appropriately ... now under evaluation in Psych Progressive Team (because I do consider this album should have much psychedelic elements just like others from Japan, a progenitor nation of psychedelic rock), but may be fit for Jazz Rock / Fusion subgenre.

Oh well Slava, you can take'em to JR/F stadium. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2010 at 04:54
Keishiro-san,

You almost make me believe any Japanese music is psychedelic

(0r, in other words, if any music,looking as Japanese, is not psychedelic, it's fake for sure)

So - let's start from Cosmic Psychos Team, and then, if they wouldn't find Takeshi psyche enough, we'll make a next step
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