|Peter Thelen||9-Feb-2001||Il Berlione s/t|
No, this is not another lost 70's Italian reissue, but instead a powerful Japanese quintet featuring guitar, bass, saxes, keys, and drums. Their sound could best be described as a Canterbury/RIO-influenced rock with a healthy dose of mid-period King Crimson. There are strong jazz elements, comparable to the Hopper/Dean period of Soft Machine, and the angularity and moodiness of Univers Zero. Guitarist Naoya Idonuma dominates many of the tracks with his finger-blistering leads, playing in a multitude of textures, reminding at times of Beck, Fripp, even Zappa and Santana, but the similarities are more event-driven than any sort of conscious emulation, fitting a style to the moment. Hiroo Takano (saxes) generally works in close conjunction with Naoya, but does split off from time to time for some eloquent solos. More than anything else, it is his saxes and the restless rhythm section that connects their sound to the Canterbury/RIO style. All taken, this is one excellent album, especially considering it's their first! Fans of Soft Machine, Crimson, National Health, and Henry Cow will most certainly enjoy this one.
(Originally published in Exposť #1, p. 9, Edited for Gnosis 1/20/01)
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