Exposé Online banner

Ayuo Takahashi's Rok Grouppa — Blue Eyes, Black Hair
(Belle Antique , 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Blue Eyes, Black Hair Cover art

This is a very unusual release, at least in the context of the other material Belle Antique has to offer, and another archival one as well (most of the recordings here are from the 1989 timeframe). Ayuo Takahashi's Rok Grouppa plays a spirited blend of rock, folk, and psych, or various combinations thereof – sometimes leaning in an accessible direction, other times leaning toward the more eclectic, with lots of vocals. In fact there are a couple tracks on Blue Eyes, Black Hair that are simply spoken words or narration – in Japanese of course. The lineup features one of two keyboardists, bass, drums, female and male (on some tracks) vocals, with Takahashi himself handling the guitar duties and additional vocals. Most of the material was recorded in a live setting, and the recording quality is nothing short of excellent. No characteristic style is defined here, from the four shorter tracks that open the album, to the ten-part forty-five minute title suite, to the two very short "bonus" cuts that finish the album; it can truly be said that they are all over the map. Still, where they go is interesting enough to make this release worthy of investigation, especially for the open minded listener.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Ayuo Takahashi

Latest news

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

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Makaras Pen - Makaras Pen – If you’re in the mood for dreamy female vocals drenched in reverb, there’s a bunch of bands you can turn to, many of whom populate the Projekt roster, but if you feel like a little more energy in...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues