Thursday, November 3, 2011

Koenjihyakkei - 2005 Angherr Shisspa

Band : Koenjihyakkei
Album : Angherr Shisspa
Release Year : 2005
Genre : Zeuhl | Progressive | Freestyle | Experimental

Tracklist :
01 "Tziidall Raszhisst"
02 "Rattims Friezz"
03 "Grahbem Jorgazz"
04 "Fettim Paillu"
05 "Quivem Vrastorr"
06 "Mibingvahre"
07 "Angherr Shisspa"
08 "Wammilica Iffirom"

Few bands are more enigmatic than Koenji Hyakkei (written in Japanese 高円寺百景). Though firmly grounded in the Zeuhl style of Magma, they have taken it to new and unexplored places. Fronted by drummer Yoshida Tatsuya, of Ruins fame, their lineup shifts as rapidly as their style does. However, two things remain constant in their music- lyrics in a made up (and probably nonsensical) language, and an exotic, almost folk feel to the music. The combination of the two gives a sense that you’re listening to the music of a culture that exists only in minds of a handful of creative people.

Until recently, their ensemble has consisted of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and female vocals (usually operatically trained). With their latest album, Angherr Shisspa, they have replaced the guitar with reed player Komori Keiko (mainly on soprano sax). With this change in instrumentation, their style has veered into a new direction to match the change in tone color.
Through their evolution of style, their rhythmic and formal complexity have expanded greatly, incorporating polyrhythms, asymmetrical time signatures (i.e. not all beats are the same length), as well as more complex and varied sections, often containing polyphony and counterpoint. However, through all these impressive technical feats, they have managed to keep the overall feel very simple and melodic, to the extent that most other music feels hideously normal after listening to Koenji Hyakkei.

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