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Japanese Progressive Rock presented by DamoX

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jayem View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jayem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2018 at 16:59
All the best to you, may you enjoy the rewards for your lot of efforts !

Yours reminded every New Year that Japan lives in the Future compared to nearly every nation,

JM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2019 at 09:01
Thanks JM!
Last year we had lots of natural disasters (hurricanes, heavy rain and floods, or earthquakes) but the new year will get much better! Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2019 at 10:51
Here's to you, K  Beer (vinho verde !!)
Yours Sincerely
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2019 at 16:37
Wow, Vinho Verde is one of my fav bottles really (especially for green salad, sashimi!).

A good year for you too Jose!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2019 at 23:54
KOENJI HYAKKEI - left to right; Taku YABUKI (keyboards), Kei KOGANEMARU (guitars), Keiko KOMORI (saxophones), Tatsuya YOSHIDA (drums, percussion), AH (voices), and Kengo SAKAMOTO (bass)

Listened to and enjoyed KOENJI HYAKKEI's newest album "Dhorimviskha".

Dhorimviskha (2018) - KOENJI HYAKKEI
Quote The album "Dhorimviskha" created by a brilliant Japanese Zeuhl project KOENJI HYAKKEI has been released into the progressive rock scene in the summer 2018. Every track has an eccentric title (don't know what manner they give such a funky title to a track in), weird melody lines, complicated rhythmic bases, or incredibly technical instrument activities. Surely you can feel it should be an enjoyable creation as well. Or let me say, you can run away from the real serious world through the material in this opus definitely.

They use multi-rhythmic phrases in a repetitive manner, based upon critical drumming, seasoned fantastically with Ah's high-tone voices, Keiko's funkadelic wind instrument plays, Kengo's deep, deeper bass tones, Kei's speedy guitar storm, and Taku's sincere jazzy keyboard shower. Their serious, positive, delightful play is crazy great indeed, even in a incredibly sound bizarre, and the frontman Tatsuya YOSHIDA should be crazy nasty at the drumming or percussion without doubt ... yes without any doubt. Wondering how they launch a novelty different from previous material, and for me sounds more of technique or strength, and less of creativity nor potentiality.

Of course, their performance upon stage drives you mad. I'm looking forward to their gig along with this magnificent album ... yikes.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tribalfusions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2019 at 14:50
Hi all. I was wondering, what were the last Japanese prog bands to have an album chart on Oricon's list of best selling albums in Japan? Has it happened in the 2000s?

Are bands like Ling tosite Sigure, Dir en Grey or X Japan generally considered to have a connection to prog and is there any crossover with those bands/genres and prog in Japan?

Thanks!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2019 at 16:10
^ Alrighty I'll check but it's a tough call to research the whole Oricon's history. Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2019 at 16:11
I've attended QUASER and KADATH's gig in Hiroshima last weekend. Quaser are already in PA but I'm a bit surprised Kadath's not here yet. Let me introduce them plz.

KADATH ... (left to right) Koji 'David' ISHII (keyboards, stick, saxophones), Hiromi SUGAWARA (guitar), Taiji YAGI (bass, voices), and Takashi 'Hatasu' ITOH (drums)
Quote Hailing from Yamaguchi, Japan, a rock unit KADATH were founded in 2010 by a guitarist Hiromi SUGAWARA, who has won a prize for brilliant guitar play, as a guitar-based project obviously influenced by progressive rock scene. In their early days they’ve gigged mainly around Yamaguchi, and released their first album “The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath” titled after a novel by H. P. Lovecraft In 2011. The attendance of a keyboardist Koji ‘David’ Ishii has got to be another cornerstone for their history. They’ve expanded their live activities all over Japan, especially Tokyo or Osaka. In 2016 their second album “Rengoku Gakudan” was released via JPRG Records. In 2018 they were invited to a big Japanese progressive rock event “Prog Tokyo”. Their material has usually been introduced in Europe (Euro Rock Press, a French rock magazine Koid’9, a Polish radio show Dark Zone Music, a website Esensja, and so on).
Rengoku Gakudan (2016) - KADATH's second album
Originally posted by dAmOxT7942's review dAmOxT7942's review wrote:

"Rengoku Gakudan" ("Purgatory Band" in English) veiled in a horrible, weird sleeve, has seen the light as the second (currently the newest) album by a Japanese rock quartet KADATH. They have gigged mainly around Yamaguchi (upon the west side of Hiroshima) for about a decade (so they cannot be called as a young combo) and released two full-length albums. All of the four talented members, apparently inspired by 70s British symphonic scene and especially Japanese symphonic progressive rock vanguards, discharge authentic, dramatic Neo-symphonic heatre. Sounds like their sound texture cannot be related to such a dark sleeve pic. And their melodic appearance or musical method is so delightful and acceptable enough not to be clearly distinguished from lots of similar units all over the world. Anyway I've attended their gig recently and got immersed in their highly qualified live performance. Hiromi's guitar play is crazy brilliant, and the rhythm section by Taiji (bass) and Hatasu (drums) launches solid steady sound basis. And let me say, actually David's keyboard should define their soundscape itself, with his crystallized play. The strict formation and technique can be heard also in this opus.
The first track "Rengoku" is the highlight of this theatrical creation. Regardless of the title, beautiful melody lines based upon deep, heavy rhythmic turf catch your heart. Speedy guitar versatility and clear keyboard full of comfort are vivacious really. The following "Kitsune" sounds pretty so heavy, metallic just like King Crimson (Wetton / Bradford / Fripp Era) enough to drive you crazy. "Shinigami" means death or reaper but is too lively and glorious to remind you of death itself ' guess they all would play with full motivation and enthusiasm ' it tells so. "Tsuki No Uragawa" is one of the most melodic and gentle songs in this album. David's saxophone sounds are superb bluesy, inorganic. Taiji's voices of passion are impressive in the epilogue "Kawakiyuku Tabibito". The Anthem for mystic incarnations goes up beautifully and powerfully.

In conclusion, their skillful play and elaborate composition, workmanship are splendid indeed. And I'm sure they will produce more and more innovative material from now on. A promising gemstone.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2019 at 16:12
And KADATH have been in as a Neo combo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tribalfusions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2019 at 16:25
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

^ Alrighty I'll check but it's a tough call to research the whole Oricon's history. Shocked


Thanks! Let's make it easier and limit it to the 2000s then :)   What would your guess be before actually looking up the data?

I do have one other question for you: in all the forums I know on jazz, fusion or prog, I almost never see anyone from Japan participating. Do you think that is that mostly because of the language barrier?

Is there a specialized Japanese equivalent to Progarchives or Progressive Ears where people are discussing this sort of thing in Japanese?

Thank you for providing such an informative thread in general!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tribalfusions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2019 at 22:06
Does anyone have any ideas about the questions I asked?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2019 at 02:08
Originally posted by tribalfusions tribalfusions wrote:

I do have one other question for you: in all the forums I know on jazz, fusion or prog, I almost never see anyone from Japan participating. Do you think that is that mostly because of the language barrier?
Exactly. I know some prog websites and forums posted in Japanese, and sadly quite a few Japanese (except Kaz or me Tongue ) think themselves not good for discussion in English or so ... Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tribalfusions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2019 at 03:47
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

Originally posted by tribalfusions tribalfusions wrote:

I do have one other question for you: in all the forums I know on jazz, fusion or prog, I almost never see anyone from Japan participating. Do you think that is that mostly because of the language barrier?
Exactly. I know some prog websites and forums posted in Japanese, and sadly quite a few Japanese (except Kaz or me Tongue ) think themselves not good for discussion in English or so ... Unhappy



I'd love to look at those discussion forums if you don't mind sending the links.

Is there more discussion on Facebook on prog in Japanese or some equivalent to Progarchives or Reddit? Are most prog fans in Japan aware of Progarchives and so on?

Thanks!





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2019 at 22:53
Originally posted by tribalfusions tribalfusions wrote:

Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

Originally posted by tribalfusions tribalfusions wrote:

I do have one other question for you: in all the forums I know on jazz, fusion or prog, I almost never see anyone from Japan participating. Do you think that is that mostly because of the language barrier?
Exactly. I know some prog websites and forums posted in Japanese, and sadly quite a few Japanese (except Kaz or me Tongue ) think themselves not good for discussion in English or so ... Unhappy
I'd love to look at those discussion forums if you don't mind sending the links.

Is there more discussion on Facebook on prog in Japanese or some equivalent to Progarchives or Reddit? Are most prog fans in Japan aware of Progarchives and so on?

Thanks!
Equivalent ... nah not familiar at all. In fb some small groups can be seen here and there though.
And not many Japanese progressive rock artists nor fans know PA sadly. Gonna promote more and more. Star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2019 at 01:05
Hymn To The Immortal Wind (2009) - MONO
Quote A veteran rock combo MONO is known as one of the most important Japanese post rock project prides. This album “Hymn To The Immortal Wind” was released in 2009, namely in their ‘matured’ days, veiled in a dark but dreamy sleeve grandeur. Basically their powerful creativity for so-called progressive rock should be based upon authentic drone, shoegaze post rock but dramatic sound toxicity is worth drinking via musical material, let me say.

From the beginning “Ashes In The Snow” quiet, repetitive but deep heavy guitar fuzz phrases knock your heart really. Magnificent expectation for their vivid sound vision can be heard at first. Not anything special nor eccentric around you indeed, but why cannot you lean forward? Mysterious melodic confusions would be continued via “Burial At Sea” followed by “Silent Fright, Sleeping Dawn” drenched with downtempo sorrowful stream through their instrumental fragility.

“Pure As Snow” is full of purity like the title but simultaneously crazy convoluted heaviness and serious explosive sound vertigo ... the subtitle “Trails Of The Winter Storm” is telling enough. Via their opuses you could not feel of immortality but continuous empty dream. Another tragedy is “Follow The Map” the shortest track filled with simple but meaningful melodic phrases. One of highlights “The Battle To Heaven” sounds kinda pain for getting hopeful future despite of distant painful past ... at least for me. And the epilogue “Everlasting Light” should be the heartwarming eternity, flooded with noisy but optimistic melody brilliance and majority.

Such a theatrical creation would let you know a wild snow shower once in your rock life. Not innovative but fascinating really.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cristi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2019 at 01:17
Mono's new album is amazing, one of the best post rock albums I've heard lately. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2019 at 01:19
Originally posted by Cristi Cristi wrote:

Mono's new album is amazing, one of the best post rock albums I've heard lately. Smile
Must check! Big smile Thanks for heads 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 01 2019 at 21:30
Kazuhisa UCHIHASHI / Ryoko ONO at Live in Tokuzo (Nagoya, Japan)

A new avant era has come with this brilliant creation! Big smile

Loop Heaven (2019) - UCHIHASHI KAZUHISA ONO RYOKO
Originally posted by dAmOxT7942's review dAmOxT7942's review wrote:

Heavenly sound gems dazzling upon the two tops.

The album "Loop Heaven" created by two of Japanese avantgarde prides Kazuhisa UCHIHASHI and Ryoko ONO was released upon May 1st, 2019 ... this day should be memorized as an anniversary, the dawn of Reiwa in Japan. We Avant-Prog fans are so glad such a memorial day has come, with such a brilliant album released (not overestimation indeed). I've not known such an experimental instrument like "Daxophone", that launches weird wind-instrumental sound effects originated from crazy electronica. Really absorbed in satanic majesty via this mysterious equipment, and pretty surprised that Kazuhisa is one and only Daxophonist in Japan. Trust me, interestingly, the Daxophone played by Kazuhisa approaches massive humanity or human nature, not only machinery texture. And Ryoko's aggressive but charming saxophone frameworks get merged, harmonized, and universalized with organic Daxophone world.

This creation consists of only one long (about 50 minute!) track where the two tops play and chase flexibly and explosively. Various elements (tribal, oriental, percussive, Zeuhlish, dramatic, dreamy, nightmarish, or so ...) can be heard all around, maybe inspired by many musical vanguards around them. I'm sure this album should be recorded without having a break nor breathing (they say this album was live-recorded upon February 6th, 2019) but quite amazed that their powerful play continues with lots of energy from the beginning until the end. There is no blur nor dissection between the two phones. It's impressive through their improvised formation we cannot hear any confusion nor inertia, but exciting sound "mass" in a strict, steady manner. Guess they themselves might be unified perfectly with each other under ultimate situation. Do hope to attend their gig for the sake of clarifying superb phenomena. Let me say this opus should be one of the most poisonous prescriptions in 2019, not an environmental music (lol). Enjoy.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2019 at 20:31
Reflection (Out upon July 27, 2019) - Yuji MUTO & Mieko SAKAI

My fantastic mate Yuji MUTO (guitars, ex-NEXT ORDER, RYORCHESTRA) will release an album full of improvisation in collaboration with Mieko SAKAI (drums, percussion) upon July 27, 2019 ... let me recommend, please! 

The Japanese duo Yuji MUTO & Mieko SAKAI’s debut live creation ”Reflection” has been recorded as an improvisational gig at Jazz Club Intelsat upon February 3, 2019. Yuji MUTO, already renowned as the leader / guitarist / producer of NEXT ORDER, has joined various rock, metal, or jazz projects like SHIBUSASHIRAZU, ALEVAS, RYORCHESTRA, or some freely improvised units around Nagoya. The drummer Mieko SAKAI, who played piano in her adolescent days, has attended lots of jazz combos, especially free improvisational projects or been active as a solo artist. The debut album “Reflection” was released upon July, 27, 2019, via Bomba Records (Japan).
Originally posted by dAmOxT7942 dAmOxT7942 wrote:

You cannot avoid Yuji's phantasmagoric guitar expression and Mieko's drumming in a full-minded manner.This newest call titled "Reflection" created by a super duo Yuji and Mieko was performed and recorded upon stage via an improvised gig. Quite amazing to know the reason the two brilliant artists can get perfectly harmonized and crystallized under such an improvisational situation, and you can realize each player should completely understand the other one, simultaneously tense atmosphere at a gig, in collaboration with the enthusiastic audience.

The first titled track is kinda great touch. Slow, gentle guitar stream in the beginning gives you massive expectation. Percussive, dramatic, and sometimes assertive drumming drives you crazy. Their synchronized battle of play sounds like a dragon flying up to the heaven. Through the second "Desert Yellow" you can hear sorta tough circumstance upon a desert along Yuji's crazy heavy guitar explosions, and something shining via Mieko's strict but heartwarming drumming and percussion play. Colourful sound diversity can be noticed, according to Yuji's guitar sounds inspired by rock, jazz, metal, and so on,

The last and the longest one "The Beginning" can be recognized as one of the most primitive improvisational chasing for the duo. Here is definite flexibility-flooded sound appearance. Speedy, fire-flamed musical crosstalks, dramatic phases like a moonshine, deep, heavy interactive performances will remind you of Eiliff's "Close Encounters With Their Third One". Musically "alternative" should be here for them, let me say. But at the same time simply enjoyable. It's a pity I could not attend their fantastic gig ... wish I could have peered and contemplated their super-artistic play.

Thanks to Yuji for providing such an excellent album. The sleeve is quite fantastic too!
Thank you for reading this blog, and sorry for my looooooong hibernation. 


EDIT: The drummer Mieko's had her first baby upon July 11, 2019. Congratulations! Big smile


Edited by DamoXt7942 - July 17 2019 at 04:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2019 at 04:19
And finally Yuji MUTO & Mieko SAKAI have been added in JazzMusicArchives. Thanks John and Slava! Big smile

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