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Topic ClosedEpisome Vs. Soft Mountain

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Poll Question: Which release appeals to you more?
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3 [50.00%]
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avestin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Episome Vs. Soft Mountain
    Posted: April 28 2007 at 22:50
Both released recently (Soft Mountain recorded in 2003 and released in 2007 and Episome released in 2006), they are improvised instrumental which show the collaboration between Japanese and UK/US musicians.
 
Episome is more raw, aggressive and rocky in nature, and SOFT MOUNTAIN retains a more jazz-rock and even some Canterburian sound. Episome has a heavier mood, while Soft Mountain is perhaps lighter in spirit.
 
Episome is darker and mysterious, while Soft Mountain is "friendlier" to the listener if you understand what I mean.
 
Both albums show the high level musicianship of the musicians playing (both have Yoshida in the lineup. The man is relentless... as is Otomo).
 
Which is more appealing to you?
Which one left you more impressed?
Which one is more memorable?
 
Both are recommended.


Edited by avestin - April 28 2007 at 22:57
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2007 at 23:10
I would give my opinion Avestin if i had heard of either of these two bands, but i haven't.You have got me interested in SOFT MOUNTAIN though, with Hugh Hopper and Elton Dean being involved.Although the way you describe their sounds i think i would prefer EPISOME.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2007 at 23:50
^^^
I think you're going to love Soft Mountain. If you like Soft Machine (era 3rd, let's say) then this will be your thing.
 
As for Episome, if you like a raw guitar/bass/drums improvisations, then it should be to your liking as well.
 
Read some reviews of both:
Soft Mountain:
1 , 2 
 
Didn't find any reviews about Episome, sorry.
 
As for buying those, there are several places for this.
Let me know if you're interested and I'll help you find the lowest price.
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2007 at 23:51
I'm not able to vote (at this point in time) for the reason I still have not heard Soft Mountain

I have enjoyed Episome for quite sometime now. While not being a huge fan of Laswells work, I personlly think it is one of Otomo Yoshihide's most concise documentations of guitar. In terms of creative measures, I prefer his electronic counterparts. Both in this solo works - e.g. Cathode - an collaborative works with the like of Keith Rowe, Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura etc. I find these much more engaging in terms of breaking new ground. Sorry for this little digression.

I really like the idea of the collaboration with Hugh Hopper and Elton Dean alongside these Japanese masters. I truth from discriptions, I think this could really focus in on my tastes. Taking into account the 'lighter, Canterburian' feel, do we see a more restrained (this is not a bad thing) performance from Tatsuya? I feel quite often he falls into the trap of being pradictable.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2007 at 23:57

In Soft Mountain, Tatsuya may not be inventing anything new and is perhaps more restrained than in say Ruins (not really a fair comparison of course) but I can say that every musicians here gets his spotlight and he does deliver the goods in his usual "catastrophe drums" way.

When I say "Lighter" I fear I may be sending a slightly wrong message - It is not light music at all, but to me it is not as dark as some other that I listen to and certainly not as dark or raw as Episome.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2007 at 00:11
I indeed took the notion of 'light' in comparision to Episome rather than on the broad spectrum (I think I understand the notion... hopefully I can be a bit daft at times). There was talk about them being brought over the RIO/avant?

I hope in the following years we will witness more of these collaborative effort, especially crossing different countries. Playing with groups of musicians with different ideologies tends to take people out of their usually routine/comfort zones. I think these two albums are great example of the positive effects.

Anyways, I'm sure other people have some more informative responses than my rambling on.

Great poll as always, Assaf.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2007 at 00:15
Originally posted by Black Velvet Black Velvet wrote:

I indeed took the notion of 'light' in comparision to Episome rather than on the broad spectrum (I think I understand the notion... hopefully I can be a bit daft at times). There was talk about them being brought over the RIO/avant?
 
 
You're not daft at all, on the contrary my friend.
 
Originally posted by Black Velvet Black Velvet wrote:


I hope in the following years we will witness more of these collaborative effort, especially crossing different countries. Playing with groups of musicians with different ideologies tends to take people out of their usually routine/comfort zones. I think these two albums are great example of the positive effects.

Anyways, I'm sure other people have some more informative responses than my rambling on.

Great poll as always, Assaf.
 
Yes those collaborations are indeed very interesting and in this case result in a good and enjoyable album.
What I like in Soft Mountain, is the fact that every musician gets the spotlight at some point. Also the 50%-50% composition (Japan-UK) creates this fusion of sounds - the Japanese Avant-prog with the jazz/Canterbury of the Softs.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2007 at 00:18
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

Didn't find any reviews about Episome, sorry.


A rather lively review of Episome. I tend to disagree with him upon the trepidations of Otomo (before listening to it that is), he is a very capable player, though tends to express himself in a improv noise way; hence maybe a little daunting to the average listener.

http://fellsideways.blogspot.com/2006/05/bill-laswellotomo-yoshihideyoshida.html
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2007 at 19:31
Originally posted by Black Velvet Black Velvet wrote:

Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

Didn't find any reviews about Episome, sorry.


A rather lively review of Episome. I tend to disagree with him upon the trepidations of Otomo (before listening to it that is), he is a very capable player, though tends to express himself in a improv noise way; hence maybe a little daunting to the average listener.

http://fellsideways.blogspot.com/2006/05/bill-laswellotomo-yoshihideyoshida.html
 
Interesting review, always interesting to read other views.
I see he said the same thing I thought about Tatsuya's drumming.
I also was thinking that while Soft Moutain is very good, it's not as varied as Episome's 5 tracks.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2007 at 19:41
I need to hear Episome, as I've obviously not heard it (infact, I wasn't even aware of it).  I have, however, heard Soft Mountain.  It's an excellent record (4 stars to my ears) and is pretty much always captivating.  I'm not familiar with Tatsuya's drumming outside of Soft Mountain, so it is hard for me to comment on such things, but he does restrain himself somewhat.  I've always been a huge fan of Dean's saxophone work, so it's a delight to hear more of him.  Hopper rarely puts a foot wrong on records and once more, he's made an incredible performance.  Even Hoppy has some nice keyboard/synth parts, although I do feel he is the weak link here.  Maybe I need to listen to it more.  I just don't hear his contribution as much as the other three.  However, that could be the charm of it, the fact that he is content in sitting in the background, creating wonderful layers.

I wish I could vote on this excellent poll.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2007 at 20:12
^^^
I hope that they will do more of this joint projects in the future.
Anyone knows about more of these mixed projects? Past and Future ones?
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2007 at 20:32
Hmmm... it is a bit disappointing there are not more people who know either of these two albums

For other collaborations; Tatsuya Yoshida has done a few other album with figures outside Japan. I don't personlly know these albums, so I cannot give any personal recommendations.

Ron Anderson / Tatsuya Yoshida

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/ron_anderson___tatsuya_yoshida

Ron Anderson is a NYC multi-instrumentalist, who focus's on guitar.

Check out his my space:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=135640852

I'm listening to the song 'Bienvenue a L'Hote...', it is quite good!

--------------------------------------------

Second one is with a Young polish Jazz musician

Piotr Zabrodzki & Tatsuya Yoshida

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/piotr_zabrodzki_and_tatsuya_yoshida

Listen to some clips of the album here:

http://wsm.serpent.pl/sklep/album.php?alb_id=7797
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2007 at 20:45
^^^
Interesting, thanks
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2007 at 08:40
Just thought I would revive this thread now I have heard the new Soft Mountain. Very impressed, as I said before I have always been interested in collaborations, an this is a perfect representation of this in full swing. I thought the album was very well balance, between wondering off in the free-jazz realm [with some amazing drumming... obviously], to the more sedated [but not quite] Canterbury sections. Well this is only a first opinion, but I'm running out to purchase the album very soon [next week hopefully]. Given first impression I cannot still cannot cast a decisive vote. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2007 at 15:22
Soft Mountain just about has the edge for me.
 
I like Yoshida in the context of a power trio - Acid Mothers Temple SWR and Korekyojin are both excellent - but I felt that some of Episome's tracks could have been more concise and focussed, or perhaps my expectations for 3 such remarkable musicians were unrealistically high. That's not to say I dislike it, but I don't think it's anyhting essential.
 
Soft Mountain, on the other hand, is an intriguing mix of musicians from different traditions and styles that seems to bring out the best in all 4 players. Apparently Hugh Hopper plans to work with Yoshida and Hoppy again as Soft Mountain, this time as a trio.
 
Incidentally, if you like Yoshida's work on Soft Mountain check out Sakoto Fuji Quartet's album Minerva; Yoshida in an acoustic jazz setting, and very credible he is too.
'Like so many of you
I've got my doubts about how much to contribute
to the already rich among us...'

Robert Wyatt, Gloria Gloom


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