Ayuo Takahashi's Rok Grouppa — Blue Eyes, Black Hair
(Belle Antique , 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01
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.
Related artist(s): Ayuo Takahashi
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more