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Koenji Hyakkei


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Koenji Hyakkei Hundred Sights Of Koenji album cover
3.82 | 98 ratings | 12 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Loss (3:54)
2. Doi Doi (6:37)
3. Molavena (4:32)
4. Gepek (4:06)
5. Yagonahh (3:46)
6. Ozone Fall (4:19)
7. Zhess (2:10)
8. Zoltan (4:17)
9. Avedumma (7:06)
10. Sunna Zarioki (4:49)

Total Time: 45:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Ryuichi Masuda / guitar, synth, vocals
- Aki Kubota / keyboards, vocals
- Shigekazu Kuwahara / bass, vocals
- Tatsuya Yoshida / drums, vocals

Releases information

CD God Mountain ‎- GMCD-012 (1994, Japan)
CD Skin Graft Records ‎- GR90CD (2008, US) Remixed & drums re-recorded by Tatsuya Yoshida

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy KOENJI HYAKKEI Hundred Sights Of Koenji Music

KOENJI HYAKKEI Hundred Sights Of Koenji ratings distribution

(98 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KOENJI HYAKKEI Hundred Sights Of Koenji reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by horsewithteeth11
4 stars Before I start my review, I would like to mention that it will be on the remastered version of the album, as that is the one I own and I have yet to hear the original version at the time of this review.

Koenjihyakkei was a band whose name I had heard mentioned by other Magma fans around these forums. Many of said fans who had heard Koenjihyakkei highly recommended them. I was naturally intrigued, and after reading their bio and hearing a few samples on YouTube, I figured they might be a band I would enjoy immensely. And as it turns out, I was correct. Their debut, however, was actually the last album that I ever heard of their first four. And while it is probably my least favorite, it's still an absolutely thrilling release.

While Magma is very much more minimalistic at times, Koenjihyakkei is much more frantic. Think jazz rock on crack, because I can't really think of a better description. I thought Magma's vocals were over the top sometimes, but Koenjihyakkei's make me feel that Vander is actually quite relaxing when he shouts and screeches sometimes. Tatsuya Yoshida is also an absolute beast in terms of drumming. His style is very frantic and he is all over his kit most if not all of the time. This is high energy music, and for some, it may be fairly tiring on the ears. And yet, you can't deny the vibrant energy that the band inserts into each of their songs, be it from female vocal chants or Yoshida's complex drum patterns. The one thing that makes Hundred Sights stand out most from the rest of Koenjihyakkei's discography is that it has much more of a folk influence than later material. It's actually kind of refreshing to hear some of the musical influences from their homeland that are absent on future Koenjihyakkei releases.

Again, while this is my least favorite Koenjihyakkei album, it is still filled with high-quality material. I would expect nothing less from the Tatsuya Yoshida-led material I've heard so far. This album definitely deserves a 4 star rating, and anyone wanting to hear good modern Zeuhl is highly advised to check Koenjihyakkei out.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars The diversification of a variety of music characters existed surely for the music of Japan in the latter half of the 70's. Of course, the market of music in Japan drew the flow that derived to music with the originality that Japan had the influence for Punk Rock and New Age Rock and at that time and was flooded.

It had the flow to which the wave of techno and Punk Rock derived in the market in Japan and in advanced music, it was also true to have exhausted a lot of bands that surely expressed those music characters. And, time when the band that pursued an original music character at the same time by independent production had begun to appear rapidly happened in the 80's, too.

Existence as a part to draw flow that pursues originality in the flow and to work on music. And, the band that is related of Tathuya Yoshida as existence that begins to receive the evaluation in the market from the home country to foreign countries for the creation and the activity of music at this time and the music character will be able to be called existence beyond price as the band that exists in Japan.

It might surely have had the influence from the creation, directionality, Magma, and This Heat if it thought as a flow to which this band that led Tathuya Yoshida established the music character. And, it is possible to think about the flow and the derivation from "Ruins" that began to be created in the latter half of the 80's as a pair.

The expression of Tathuya Yoshida that has already advanced "Ruins" as an activity of music goes back to the time of 1985. Music character that is reminiscent of Magma. And, it is partial of the song and the chorus who has them absorb "Kobaia word" and interpret it. They surely derive to this band. The expression of the music character derived this band and here might have had the base as a flow surely including "Ruins" at this time.

This band was formed in 1991. At that time, they were daring the project that performed the tune of Magma in live. They will surely have been bases of this band. And, they announce this album in 1994. The music characters of them initial including "Ruins" gradually include the element of Prog Rock from the part of Hard Core. And, Magma and the Kobaia word might be absorbed as a theme in the unique aspect and the method of the expression have already been established since this time.

Establishment as creation and pursuit of these music characters exactly. And, it is caught music also in Japan as existence that one of Koenjihyakkei is valuable as the existence of the band in Japan that has received the evaluation in foreign countries.

A steady rhythm twines round "Ioss" with the song that overwhelming Kobaia influences to a heavy melody and the chorus. Word and chorus's complete composition power. It is a tune to decide their existence exactly.

"Doi Doi" shifts to the part where complete power is demonstrated from the solo of the song with the tension. Chorus of complete Kobaia. And, the female chorus part and the part by the orchestra might be complete Zeuhl. Solo of the guitar is also overwhelming.

A melody that is reminiscent of the music scale of Arabia and an original song of "Molavena" are impressive. Progress of rhythm advanced in fast Passage and original Chord. And, the composition by the division of labor of the chorus and the song is established. Development advanced as the melody of the keyboard is emphasized has overwhelming power of expression. The development of the rhythm and the melody that puts fast and slow is also splendid.

"Gepek" starts from the construction of heavy Riff. Composition of song that comes in succession and continuousness of tension. Part where various rhythms are multiused. Line of Bass to contribute to tune. The composition is complete.

"Yagonahh" starts by the melody that is very reminiscent of the music of the Middle East. Flow of rhythm that completely buries space and carries it out. It might be in the method of processing the space as one of the charms of Magma. And, the rhythm of this band will have the method of overwhelmingly burying the space. The construction of the chorus part and the melody that develops with the complexity has originality.

"Ozone Fall" is heavy Riff of the guitar and a chorus part. Melody in close relation to complexity. And, the song and the chorus by complete Kobaia. Tension and rhythm intermittently repeated. Overwhelming composition power is demonstrated.

"Zhess" is a part of refined song and chorus. And, it is partial where Syncopation was multiused and is partial of Blast Beat. Or, it flavors about a few Jazz in close relation to a chaotic melody. It is expressed well as development with diversity.

As for "Zoltan", the chorus twines round the melody of a beautiful organ well. The chorus in close relation to development that is reminiscent of the hymn also demonstrates originality. It is likely to be able to listen to the part where they are not simply mimicking Zeuhl.

The melody of the keyboard that shines in the rhythm of the shuffle gets on "Avedumma". Originality is expressed in the progress of bright Chord. Song and chorus who develops one after another. Flow of rhythm that continues dash feeling. The composition and power to involve are overwhelming.

"Sunna Zarioki" is a part of the song and the chorus who is reminiscent of the march as the dash feeling is continued. Development that puts fast and slow while changing the rhythm one after another is expressed.

The existence of men who have them express it as a part of Zeuhl that Japan thinks about is valuable existence also in the home country. And, the music characters of men who have them express Zeuhl splendidly interpreted are always paid to attention in the band in Japan that another has.

Review by Sinusoid
5 stars Koenjihyakkei have always been lumped in the Zeuhl genre (rightfully so) because of their operatic vocal style, the repetitiveness of some of their musics and the bizarre word scheme they use. HUNDRED SIGHTS sees the blossoming of Koenjihyakkei's unique, idiosynchratic type of Zeuhl but with much more variety than future albums possess.

The dominant style here is the operatic, keyboard centric deal that fans of the 2000's Koenjihyakkei are used to. But this album tends towards the RIO spectrum much more than any other album in their history. In a sense, if you thought the band was crazy before, you clearly haven't heard HUNDRED SIGHTS.

The style here doesn't seem far removed from Ruins; the addition of keyboards and guitars allows more holes to be filled here than Tatsuya could do on a Ruins album. The crazy Ruins stuff is prevalent on ''Gepek'', ''Ozone Fall'' and ''Zhess'', although the last one has a punk/RIO vibe. The Magma influence is also at its most prominent, and it's not just because there are a few ''Zeuhl Wortz'' and ''Hamtai'' recitations; ''Ioss'' and ''Sunna Zarioki'' really channel the band's inner Magma and inject copious amounts of Red Bull into it.

This Zeuhl/RIO thing gets pretty wacky almost to the point where songs are great but indescribable, such as ''Molavena''. Any safe, melody addicted, symphonic/neo prog stalwart will find reason to pull every last hair out of their head listening to this album as it is nothing like their definition of prog. It is a relentless torture chamber of noise, mostly due to the synth choices and pounding drumming. Surprisingly, Koenjihyakkei manage symphonic restraint on ''Zoltan'', a very soft drone thing very unusual for the band.

Fans of the future Koenjihyakkei might recognize the band's signature sound in ''Avedumma''; it's the only one off the album that could fit on a later effort. But the mostly relentless pace, the obtuseness of the music, the crazy aura are all attracting factors. It's the most unique of the Koenjihyakkei discography that's worth a spin or five.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Debut album from the Japanese Zeuhl collective Koenjihyakkei. At times it sounds almost more teutonic then Magma, adding a power and aggression to Magma's classic sound that was non-existing in the 70's. Yes, this one is really wild, insane, over the top, bombastic, hermetic, uncompromising and delirious.

The albums is what would happen if Guapo recorded an album with true operatic Magma vocals. The music is intense, tribal and hyper-active. The opening suite Loss/Doi Doi is magnificent, über-Zeuhl and vibrant. Molavena starts a bit less energetic but gets more avant as it goes along, still melodious and beautiful in its own weird way.

Gepek takes another turn and becomes almost industrial noise rock accompanied by a swinging jazz rhythm, as such recalling the good old Foetus projects from mr. Clint Ruin/Jim Thirwell. It's certainly equally frightening and challenging. Yagonahh takes us further down into the lunatic asylum and does an extra twist on the crazy circus vibes from Samla Mammas Manna.

Ozono Fall returns to the Zeuhl chorusses of the opening tracks but quickly gives way to another look into the insane minds of these artists. The experience is powerful and disconcerting. The next remarkable stop is Zoltan a very modernist and ethereal Kyrie Lyson. Avedumma provides quite a contrast and starts with a Yes-y intro before firing off into another frantic drum&choir attack.

Not recommended without proper Zeuhl-initiation and the ability to accept the beauty of something that on initial encounter looks like the chaotic noise of a bunch of lunatics. For me this album sits perfectly in the middle between Magma's MDK and Guapo's Five Suns and is almost as deserving as those titles.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I really want to like this band, honestly ! This band is led by Yoshida that famous Japanese drummer who's involved in all kinds of avant projects. He's been a big fan of MAGMA for many years and this project has allowed him to pay homage to them and also play this style of music that he loves.The problem for me is how over the top the music and vocals are.This is noisy, loud and bombastic, all of which describe the things about music that i'm not into. Now i'll admit that this album which is the debut isn't as crazy or insane as the ones that follow, I just wish it was more rhythmic like MAGMA is. It's funny because there are many Zeuhl bands out there that I love just as much or more than MAGMA, this is one of the few Zeuhl bands I have difficulty with for the reasons i've stated. Okay there's my disclaimer.

"Ioss" has those multi-vocals with a beat. It gets pretty intense before 3 minutes. "Doi Doi" opens with keyboards and vocals and it turns a lot fuller in a hurry. Guitar after 4 minutes as we get a ripping instrumental section. Vocals are back 5 minutes in.The song ends as it began. "Molavena" is chaotic with normal singing. Some female vocal melodies before 2 minutes followed by vocals. "Gepek" features outbursts of noise before it settles in with vocals. Bizarre. Some yelling and screaming going on as well.

"Yagonahh" has some prominant bass early with keys and drums. Vocals a minute in. Female vocals 3 minutes in and male vocals follow. "Ozone Fall" has some guitar a minute in then it turns heavier with vocals. Insane and noisy. "Zhess" sounds like a soundtrack to a riot. "Zoltan" is surprisingly mellow to start. Vocal melodies join in.This is dirge-like as the organ continues throughout. "Avedumma" is uptempo with guitar,bass and drums. It changes before 1 1/2 minutes to a more bombastic sound. Vocals join in. Male and female. Good song. "Sunna Zarioki" is uptempo with lots of drums and vocals.

An excellent debut where they try to change it up once in a while at least. I guess I prefer my Zeuhl less frantic and noisy. I'm in the minority apparently. 3.5 stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars The debut Koenjihyakkei album is quite transparently constructed as a tribute to the classic Magma sound, with the use of vocals and martial rhythms being cribbed from the key Magma albums more or less directly. Whilst the album doesn't feel especially original, it is at least both a loyal and a competently performed tribute to its great inspiration, with particularly good percussion work from band leader Yoshida, who has clearly studied the work of Christian Vander in sufficient detail to construct this loving and painstaking reconstruction of the Magma sound circa Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh or Kohntarkosz. However, this time around at least I don't detect enough of an individual spin on the zeuhl sound which in my view is needed if an album such as this is to rise above three stars.
Review by Dobermensch
4 stars Their first recording is my last to review. To be quite honest, it's just as brilliant as the other three. Completely unhinged frantic vocals coupled with some real muscle in the form of frantic, erratic drums and bass make this another unforgettable album from these Jap masters of the genre.

Koenjihyakkei were clearly the only band that could ever leave Magma sobbing in a corner, due to their colossal confrontational stance. They are as hard as nails and thankfully had the recording technology to capture their power in its full glory.

Sounding like Magma's fidgety spoilt brat twin, it wails and screams. You know the type - the ones that throw milk bottles from their prams into startled mothers faces.

'100 Sights of Koenji' has a lot more guitars present than future releases where they are gradually replaced by keyboards. This album will either give you a splitting headache or will leave you grinning like Cheshire cat... like me.

The only downside to this great band is the fact that their albums all start to sound a bit similar to each other - as if they've taken things as far as they can and end up battering their heads off of a brick wall in frustration. Maybe that's why they've been silent for the last 5 years...

With no apparent news of a break up, I eagerly await something new from probably the best prog band of the last 15 years.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Among the most chaotic bands ever to step on a live stage, KoenjiHyakkei started in early-90's as a side-project by two members of Ruins, drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and his fellow guitarist Ryuichi Masuda.The translation of the band's name is ''Hundred sights Of Koenji'', where Koenji stands for an area of Tokyo.The original line-up consisted also of keyboardist Aki Kubota and future-Pochakaite Malko Shigekazu Kuwahara on bass.The self-titled debut of the band was recorded at GOK Sound Studio in Kichijoji, Tokyo, holding of sound engineer Yoshiaki Kondo, between April and May 1994.It was released the same year on the God Mountain label.

KoenjiHyakkei's style was heavily influenced by MAGMA'S enigmatic Zeuhl style and sung in an unknown language, recalling CHRISTIAN VANDER's Kobaian form.The music though is far more chaotic and frenetic compared to MAGMA, incorporating elements from Hardcore Punk, Opera and Prog/Fusion to a schizophenic mix of furious rhythms, melodramatic vocals and endless breaks.Very complex and extremely technical material with tons of throbbing bass lines and superfast drumming with unusual rhythmic changes, surrounded by bizarre keyboard lines in a supporting role.Masuda's guitars are the dominant instrument though.With a punchy, powerful, almost KING CRIMSON-esque style, he fills the tracks with edgy, groovy parts and extreme solos in high gears.The vocals are a matter of taste, somewhere between Opera and theatre in a dramatic or even humurous fashion, reminiscent of the Zeuhl movement.There are also plenty of bombastic, almost orchestral sections, similar to RUNAWAY TOTEM, where the complicated keyboards are in evidence, offering quirky exercises next to the always pounding rhythm section.

Music created to stay away from the mass of commercial listeners.Ultra-complex, satirical, role-playing Progressive Rock with angular, grandiose deliveries structured into chaotic, haunting and forward-thinking pieces.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Sitting somewhere between Bondage Fruit and Ruins on the chaos-o-meter, Koenjihyakkei were another piece of the jigsaw in the 90s explosion of Japanese Zeuhl. Their debut album is a pretty clear tribute to Magma, particularly in the vocal style, but it is mostly a lot faster paced, certainly not ... (read more)

Report this review (#2944524) | Posted by bartymj | Wednesday, August 9, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Crazy, hyperactive, relentless, funny and wild - that's Koenji's debut. The 2008 Skin Graft remix fixes some of the basic sound problems of the original CD, mainly the treble, drums & vocals channels. Most of the tracks are a bit short, so Tatsuya Yoshida doesn't have time to develop his thematic ... (read more)

Report this review (#194367) | Posted by uribreitman | Friday, December 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: B+ Back in the 1970s, a band named Magma invented the genre of rock music known as zeuhl, which was never particularly popular but which inspired its fair share of followers (Weidorje, Archaia, Eider Stellaire, Eskaton, etc). None of those bands really expanded the zeuhl sound, however ... (read more)

Report this review (#164230) | Posted by Pnoom! | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This first album by the band is quite accessible compared to their later output. "Ioss" is an incredible introduction and "Doi Doi" is an incredible heavy riff repeated with slight ryhthmic and extreme instrumentation variations. The riffs are not extremely complex, but they are manic, indee ... (read more)

Report this review (#77578) | Posted by szeal | Tuesday, May 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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