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Shinsekai - Alice Through The Looking Glass CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 9 ratings

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4 stars (From PA blog "Japanese Progressive Rock presented by DamoX")

An eclectic music space constructed by various musicians, with a terrific Osakan power.

Have you heard about 'okonomi-yaki'? Suggest you have never ... Okonomi-yaki is a common food in Osaka, Japan - a mixture of cabbage, pork, sea foods, and wheat flour, baked like a hot cake and seasoned with sauce, laver powder, red pickled ginger, or mayonnaise. Oh no this is not 'Galloping Gourmet' but the important point I want to emphasize is that Shinsekai's soundscape should be an eclectic fusion with various essence - symphonic, avantgarde, jazzy, psychedelic, electronic, Raga-Oriental, yodel (!), and especially heavy (!!). We can easily understand that by the established fact that all artists supporting this project are much renowned for various scene of Japanese progressive rock, and of course, that this project was around Yu SHIMODA, an Osakan multi-instrumentalist!

Furthermore, surely Suginami Junior Chorus can clad this album in more mysterious and more magnificent armour. The first part Alice Through The Looking Glass Pt. 1 ~ 2 can notify us this situation. After an ethnically beautiful mellotron solo, dignified falsetto chorus completely conquer the part, around heavy riffs by guitar, bass, and drums. Everybody may have never gained such an experience - yep, this eccentricity is absolutely one of the Osakan characteristics. The scene turns on the next song Jabberwocky and deeply heavy riffs and childlike but WEIRD chorus with WEIRD lyrics (about a monster named 'Jabberwocky' under the sunset) launch an all-out attack to us. The content of the lyrics is indeed cheesy like an RPG (because Yu is a composer of computer games or RPGs???) but this exaggerated direction does make this song more dramatic and more serious.

Here on I Love FOCUS (naturally, absolutely naturally the parody of Hocus Pocus!), the Yodel Master has come! Beautiful (but slightly freaked out?) yodel voices ride on the heavy metallic riffs. How queer but amazing the mixture of rock and yodel should be - this richness of ideas lots of Osakan artists have. Not only a heavy progressive style but a very eclectic one inviting various elements in various nations or regions. Another strange song is the next Turn Right On Sennichimae-Indian ... MEANINGLESS! Eerie Junior chorus can go wonderfully into our brain, though. Five Q reminds us ethnically heavy King Crimson during Discipline period and Tony Levin's delightful slap bass solo, like a fantastic speedy progressive machine gun. Well another side of SHINSEKAI is Return Of Progressive Rock 'Tadaima'. Suggest Yu's progressive rock may be complex but enjoyable sound and style featuring Oriental (Japanese, and Osakan) feeling. The song where Suginami Junior Chorus can push their real power should be Hamatai, I wanna say. Cannot understand the meaning of the lyrics at all but sharp-edged chorus is enough amazing for us.

The highlight of this album is the last part - particularly the suite Die Welt Als Wille Und Vorstellung Part 1 ~ 2. This section may be a real copy of King Crimson, Fripp and Bruford! About 15 minute suite is not boring at all for us and let us enough enjoy the heaviness and progressiveness, with altered rhythms and eccentric riffs, inspired (maybe) by Bill Bruford's drumming. Beyond expression about their technique and their harmonized and thrilling plays, all of those can amaze us and simultaneously ease us. The bone marrow of their progressive rock. Music For The End Of Life means such a psychedelic FINE of us 'progressive freaks' ... we can find their various possibility!

By the way, KIMIGAYO is the national anthem of Japan ... please never forget it. ;-)

DamoXt7942 | 4/5 |


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