Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Koenjihyakkei: Hundred Sights Of Koenji (remastered)

Chances are if you're a fan of the influential avant-garde sounds of Magma and their various Zeuhl inspired offshoots then you've probably come across the equally as eccentric sylings of Japanese outfit Ruins. Formed in the mid 80's and led by drummer Tatsuya Yoshida Ruins were highly influenced by their French predecessors, so much so that like Magma they invented their own language to accompany their unique style of music. Yoshida who has long been considered as an active force in the Japanese underground set up this Ruins side project Koenjihyakkei, who released their debut album Hundred Sights of Koenjii on God Mountain Records in Japan back in 1994. Now enlisitng Skin Graft Records, Yoshida not only remixed and remastered this reissue but he even re-recorded all of his drum parts as well.

On Hundred Sights Of Koenjii Yoshida who also handles vocals, keyboards and reeds in addition to drums, is joined by vocalist / keyboardist Kubota Aki, Sakamoto Kengo on vocals/ bass and Harada Jin on vocals and guitars. The music features a dizzying array of complex time changes that are propelled primarily by Yoshida's astounding drum work. The orchestral vocals as mentioned are sung / chanted in an unintelligible language which may or may not resemble Magma's Kobaïan dialect but it's never quite clear. Nevertheless it's the incredibly bizarre blending of musical styles which blur the lines between generes, along with the dynamic musicianship which will really capture the listeners attention here.

The band successfully navigates back and forth between lush, serene passages and jagged, molten bursts of intensity that will leave you shaking your head in utter amazement at how they're able to pull it off with such ease. Take for example the tracks "Ioss" and "Gepek" which on the surface may sound like utter cacophony, yet upon closer inspection it's more like controlled chaos as the musician's blaze through these intricate compositions with such fierce dedication. On the gorgeously layered choral voices and church style organ on "Zoltan" and the more buoyant, airy arrangements featured on both "Yagonahh", "Avedumma", and the final track "Sunna Zarioki", the band reveals a slightly different musical personality, but one which ultimately works just as well. Spacey prog influenced keyboards and intricate guitar work comes to the forefront as the rhythm's sound almost… polka-like if that makes any sense.

Hundred Sights Of Koenjii is definitely a multi-faceted journey into the unexpected and if you're at all a fan of the Zeul style 'ism's of Magma, Ruins etc… then this superb remaster should be a worthy addition to your collection.

Track Listing
1) Ioss
2) Doi Doi
3) Molavena
4) Gepek
6) Ozone Fall
7) Zhess
8) Zoltan
9) Avedumma
10) Sunna Zarioki

Added: February 15th 2009
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Skin Graft Records
Hits: 1898
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

© 2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content © Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by