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De Lorians - De Lorians CD (album) cover

DE LORIANS

De Lorians

 

Canterbury Scene

3.88 | 54 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars While Japan has easily been the most adventurous nation to adopt European progressive rock and take it to unexpected places, the myriad bands that have emerged from this island nation have preferred to dabble in the excesses of avant-prog, zeuhl and psychedelic rock over other styles of prog and the most English subset of prog of all, the Canterbury Scene has been virtually ignored however there have been a scant few acts to venture into what may seem like forbidden territory. Despite referring to a specific city in England, the sounds created by early Soft Machine and Caravan have been popular across the European mainland with many bands adapting them into their own sound pools. Just think of bands like Supersister, Moving Gelatine Plates and Picchio dal Pozzo.

Japan has been loathe to jump onto this bandwagon but the bands Mr Sirius and Stubbs dabbled in Canterbury flavors all the way back in the 80s but it's been crickets ever since really. In 2019 two Japanese bands made their debut and both are from Tokyo. The mellow sounds of Moleslope perfectly captured the more serene nature of Canterbury sounds augmented with pop crossover appeal in a purely instrumental delivery retro sounds of another time and place and this other band DE LORIANS took the more adventurous route and crafted its debut on a darker roller coaster ride that offers many of those fantastic hairpin turns and prog excesses that the classic Canterbury stalwarts were well known for.

DE LORIANS' self-titled debut is a virtual tribute to the excesses of the wild free-for-all 70s when no limits were perceived and the only goal was to achieve a sense of musical bliss unparalleled in the history of humankind. This Japanese quintet that consists of Genki Goto (electric bass, cello), Hyozo Shiratori (electric piano, organ, vocals, theremin, saw), Soya Nogami (electric guitar, vocals), Syzeuhl "Meme" Joyer (drums, percussion) and Takefumi Ishida (alto saxophone, saxello, synthesizer) is the real deal as it faithfully delivers the retro sounds of England's most revered form of prog in splendid jazz-rock fusion bliss. And as with its fellow countrymen Moleslope, offers nary a glimpse that this is a band from the island nation of sushi and Toyota factories but rather crafts an almost imperceptible impression of lush verdant hills of England's musical city of the southeast.

Like any really good Canterbury style of music, DE LORIANS excels in teasing the jazz-rock chops into deliberately unpredictable time signature deviations, an expansive pastiche of tones, textures and timbres along with a creative display of instrumental dynamics, brilliant tight-knit interplay and the proper mix of authentic 70s organ zeitgeist augmented with sizzling saxophone skronk and intoxicating Zappa-esque infusions of avant-prog paradise that keeps the music from even approaching snoozeville. Barely squeaking past the 32 minute mark, DE LORIANS runs the gamut of Canterbury expectations from lush pastoral to reckless angular abandon with guitar fueled excesses accompanied by psychedelic fusion wizardry and off-the-beaten-path journeys into perilous explorations that offer one of the most interesting examples of contemporary prog in the field of the Canterbury sounds. Zappa-esque adventurism is evident with skydiving adrenaline rushes to be found.

While the band sounds somewhat like a strange hybrid of classic Hatfield & the North's softer moods along with the more daring workouts of National Health, in many ways the band offers new Canterbury visions unrealized. While musically sounding like a flawless fusion of English jazz-rock, there are brief moments of spoken word snippets in the band's native Japanese but for the most part this is an all instrumental affair and what a truly brilliant one it is! These five guys have displayed the ultimate love a genre by mastering all of those wily antics that made the subset of prog so war and inviting while bedazzling the listener with some of the most technically proficient chops to be experienced. Personally out of the two Japanese bands that delivered Canterbury retro albums in 2019, DE LORIANS is the one that does the most for me. While Moleslope provided a nice dreamy crossover approach, DE LORIANS cranks things up to 11 and goes for the gusto with a ridiculously satisfying first offering. THIS is a band to watch out for!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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