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 Mike McLatchey, 1993-10-01:

Marine Menagerie Cover artFive Evolved from Nine Cover art 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.

by Jon Davis, 2006-05-01:

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.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 33 , 2005 releases, 1991 releases, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Ain Soph

More info

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Level ∏ - Electronic Sheep – Electronic Sheep is Uwe Cremer’s (aka Level ∏) second release and though firmly rooted in the Teutonic and Berlin-school of electronics, it is quite a departure from Entrance. Gone are the...  (2011) » Read more

Spirit - Salvation... The Spirit of '74 – One of the heretofore undocumented periods in Spirit's career began shortly after Epic's rejection of Potatoland in '73. Randy California left the group (for the second time) and moved to...  (2008) » Read more

Mike Keneally - Boil That Dust Speck – Having made his solo debut in 1992 with the fantastic Hat, Mike Keneally returns with his second album of bizarre and unique musical entertainment. A member of Frank Zappa's '88 touring band,...  (1995) » Read more

Honey Barbara - I-10 & W. Ave. – Singer/songwriter Ross Marlow’s conventional set of pieces with cohort James Sidlo (DreamLand) is called Honey Barbara. Together with drummer Lisa Kuehl and various guest artists, this trio has...  (2002) » Read more

Various Artists - Manikin Records: First Decade 1992-2002 – Though some of the source material dates back as far as 1976, this is a very forward-looking release, much of it recorded new in 2002. There are very beat-oriented energetic affairs, like the very...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues