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Masahiko Satoh And The Soundbreakers - Amalgamation (Kokotsu No Showa Genroku) CD (album) cover


Masahiko Satoh And The Soundbreakers



3.78 | 14 ratings

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3 stars A thousand ideas in two tracks

A strange beast this one. Sporting the odd missile launches, Hitler speeches, gunfire, manic fusion without direction and a thousand different ideas all happening at once - Amalgamation is truly the essence of its name.

I came into this album by way of Japanese organist Hiro Yanagida who has played with a lot of big names from all over Japan - including Milk Time. Once I sunk my teeth into this mildly bizarre musical venture, it suddenly dawned on me, that he only features on the first cut. The fact that he sounds unlike anything I've heard him on before also contributed to my initial disappointment, but as you all know, sometimes these progressive records have a way of sneaking up on you like some stealthy sonic ninja.

Imagine 4 or 5 different musical motifs all fighting for the spotlight during some 15 minutes. Take a dash of explosive and wild Hammond organ fire - jettisoning itself into the unknown with all kinds of bubbly and unnecessary flourishes. Then add feminine 18th century violin segments with a mouth full of honey. Blasting fusionéros drumming with the additional swooping bass lines to go with it. Somewhere in between all of this musical mayhem, you get treated to some rather tinny sounding guitar meanderings, that for some reason work like a charm. TADAHH!! That was the first side...

Then you have the whistling black smith that starts off the second piece - only to be drowned out by an insane overwrought saxophone coming from a place of pain and suffering. Bonzo big band circus drums - and an altogether bizarre atmosphere fills the air. Beautiful ethereal chu chu train vocals steaming up in the music - accompanied by a decisively more warm and welcoming aura - now greeting the shimmering organs that fight for the right to steer the tune together with the free-jazz drumming and the mad saxophone - that by now sounds like a tortured songbird strapped to a flaming hot barbecue.

I know what most of you people must be thinking by now: Man oh man - where can I get this album, because I am soooo into tortured birds!!! Well then my friend hang on a minute, because sadly the misery of the cuckoo is, just like the rest of this album's madness, funnelled into something approachable and earthy. Whether we're talking early fusion grooves - or slow organ lead lullabies, somehow you always end up in musical territories with a wholesome foundation of rhythms that groove and female vocals that sensuously melt the butter on your eyelids(Don't ask, but it sure helps).

I had this album playing here the other day, when the doorbell suddenly rang. I forgot to turn the music down, so when my ancient grandmother stepped into the doorway - I felt the awkwardness and unbridled power of the saxophone in full force: It literally crept up my pants like a slithering Gabon viper - ending up like a huge bulk of ice cubes on my chest:

'What the hell is that racket in the back?!?!!??'

Now my grandmother doesn't normally swear, but on this occasion, my guess is that she found herself slightly bewildered and estranged by the situation, which is so unlike her and how she proposes to live life. She needs to be in control of things, and right there she didn't have the slightest clue of what was going down - neither did she quite comprehend that what indeed was emanating from the stereo was in fact music... Well it was, and as I unsuccessfully was trying my best to convey what I thought about some music that seeks the unfathomable and bizarre - and how such a thing can be utter brilliant and mind-blowing, she turned around and walked straight into the garden, kindly asking me to direct my parents out there, if I at some point encountered them during my day....

So there you have it: Don't approach this, if you're over 70 and have spend most of your life listening to music from the 40s. Elderly women watch out - this will probably not be for you, unless you are going through your second adolescence and want to irk your husband with a bunch of raunchy and confusing organ n' saxophone tunes that reek of chilli and garlic. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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