Exposé Online banner

Ars Nova Biogenesis Project — Biogenesis
(Musea FGBG 4532.AR, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Biogenesis Cover art

Biogenesis is the kind of overblown sci-fi epic that has both a built-in audience and legions of detractors. The fact that it comes from Japan’s Ars Nova, not exactly known for subtlety, does not bode well for the seriousness of the project, and the participation of guests like Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon fame, Masuhiro Goto and Atsushi Hasegawa of Gerard, Gianni Leone of Il Balletto di Bronzo, Lucio Fabbri of PFM, and a number of others brings to mind Lucassen’s own work. And on the surface, Biogenesis is a ridiculous ornate edifice of flashy neo-prog built on a foundation of bad science fiction. But I’m a big fan of anime, and I figure if I’m willing to go along with Neon Genesis Evangelion or Ghost in the Shell in spite of their scientific implausibility, I should be able to give Keiko Kumagai and the gang a break. Once I started thinking of this CD as the soundtrack of an animated feature that just hasn’t been made yet, I came to really enjoy it. The fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, threatened by a beautiful female genetically engineered to destroy. Even with the all-star cast, Kumagai’s keyboards dominate, with blazing chords on the Hammond and dextrous analog synth solos. And just as I often prefer to watch a subtitled film with the original Japanese voices instead of the English dub, Biogenesis might actually be improved if the lyrics were all in Japanese. Can’t wait for the movie!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Ars Nova, Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon), Akiko Takahashi (Cosmo Space)

Latest news

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 $amp; 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

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Petrophonics – Ever since I first heard this band back in the early 80s, I’ve been fascinated by their style: rock instrumentation playing challenging music which is not based in the conventions of rock and roll,...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues