Exposé Online banner

Ain Soph — Marine Menagerie
(Musea FGBG-4630.AR, 1991/2005, CD)

Ain Soph — Five Evolved from Nine
(Made in Japan MCD 2925, 1993, CD)

by Jon Davis, 2006-05-01:

Marine Menagerie Cover artFive Evolved from Nine Cover art The line between fusion and fuzak can be a very fine one, and Ain Soph walks that line like a drunken goat, stepping first on one side, then on the other, back and forth with dizzying frequency. I love good fusion, but there are few forms of music I detest more than the bastard stepchild of electric jazz and easy listening. Which makes Ain Soph a somewhat frustrating proposition for me. When they're good, they're quite good, but when they're bad they're... quite boring. For the most part, the lead falls to the guitar of "Yozox," who is a strong player when he steps up, though much of his time is spent playing clean, smooth chords. My favorite parts are when he pushes the distortion a bit and plays with more edge and doesn't sound so highly rehearsed. Kikuo Fujiyama's keyboards are mainly good, though there is a tendency toward the kind of slick digital sounds many of us detest. But he succumbs to a much worse sin: solos played on sampled saxophone. This must be one of the most annoying sounds ever committed to tape – if you want a sax, get a frigging sax player! The band's primary influence is obviously Camel, and as times they come off as fairly good Camel imitators. But in addition to honoring Camel's best moments, Ain Soph also pays tribute to their idol's sappy melodic side. Both of these early-90s releases have their high and low points, and I'm hard pressed to pick one over the other.

by Mike McLatchey, 1993-10-01:

This Japanese band has been around for a while and has put out some pretty damn good music. Unabashedly Canterbury influenced (album titles: Hat & Field, Ride on a Camel), it seems that Ain Soph are trying to break away from that into a more original style. Their new album, Five Evolved from Nine, is quite excellent, and much more jazzy than you'd expect and seems a bit more like A Story from Mysterious Forest than the last one Marine Menagerie. Make what you will of that! Great music and it seems that the Japanese are catching up with bands such as Il Berlione and Ain Soph in the original progressive music scene.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 1 , 2005 releases, 1991 releases, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Ain Soph

More info

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hawkwind - Golden Void 1969-1979 – Hey look, it's another Hawkwind compilation! I hope they got paid for this one. For your information, the band is as unhappy as the fans about the crop of Hawkwind reissue albums that pop up,...  (1999) » Read more

Edward Ka-Spel - A Long Red Ladder to the Moon – A Long Red Ladder to the Moon is the latest in a long string of EKS solo releases. Considering Edward’s cassette, EP, LP, and CD output since 1984, this is something like number 30 and it is like a...  (2006) » Read more

Mujician - Poem about the Hero – Despite a feel more reminiscent of the free-jazz of the mid-60s than of the 90s, Mujician's second all-instrumental release is a refreshing addition to the archives of improvised music. Featuring...  (1995) » Read more

Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways & Moonloop EP – Their third full album, The Sky Moves Sideways is Porcupine Tree's strongest release yet. Featuring three long 17-18 minutes tracks, the album flows effortlessly from laid back Floyd-like...  (1995) » Read more

I Giganti - Terra in Bocca (Poesia di un Delitto) – Like the early New Trolls, I Flashmen, and countless other Italian groups between 1967 and 1971, I Giganti were a psych/beat group attempting to break new musical boundaries. The influence of both the...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues