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Yonin Bayashi - Isshoku-Sokuhatsu CD (album) cover


Yonin Bayashi


Eclectic Prog

4.03 | 68 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This Japanese classic has six insightful reviews here already, but it's always nice to lift into the frontpage spotlight these less known rarities and share one's own reception of the music. This one came to my knowledge in 2014, when a member of our local prog-loving circle of friends received the cd from his girlfriend as a souvenir from Japan. She had -- on his request -- asked for a Japanese prog classic in a music store. None of us knew the band in advance, but we all thought it was an excellent choice when we listened to it together.

So, Yonin Bayashi were a foursome formed at the beginning of the 70's and this is their debut album. Their most important influence was Pink Floyd whose epic 'Echoes' they had performed in their own way. Naturally that influence can be heard here, but not too directly at all. The opener 'Hamabeth' is an experimental 43-second instrumental focusing on electronic sounds. 'Sora To Kumo' (= The Sky and Clouds, according to Keishiro) is a groovy song in which I sense a jazzy vibe akin to early Steely Dan, or one-off Tonton Macoute or Cressida's eponymous debut. The male vocals are rather ordinary, in a good way, not pushing into the centre of attention.

The next track (the title meaning A Festival) is 11 minutes long and progresses from one mood/style to another, including also a hard-rocking el.guitar centred section. All in all the album's music is an interesting, albeit very Anglo- American sounding mixture of psychedelic early prog, classic rock in the vein of Wishbone Ash or The Doors, heavier moments and the forementioned jazzier touch. On the 12-minute title track I hear some Nektar (especially on melodies and vocals), as well as certain sonic echoes of Floyd's 'Echoes', especially on the rhythm section. It is powerful and at times approaches slightly cacophonic frenzy, but it doesn't lose the plot entirely. Impressive indeed.

The instrumental final track is again round five minutes and relatively mellower. "Deep Sorrow of a Ping Pong Ball"... all right. Here the focus is on the airy, jazzy keyboard work of Hidemi Sakasita. The two bonuses on the cd release are pretty good too. What I have by now listened to of Japanese prog, mainly symphonic prog from the 80's, this album has a character quite different from the majority, and is an undisputed vintage classic. Four strong stars!

Matti | 4/5 |


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