Exposé Online banner

Bi Kyo Ran — Deep Live
(Belle Antique 95170, 1996, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 1996-08-01

Deep Live Cover artThe word on the street is that this Japanese combo is the Far East answer to King Crimson, circa Red. Although occasional Frippisms abound in the guitar parts, I think they more closely resemble a Cuneiform outfit at times. Even so, the title track bears a slight resemblance to early Crimson (a la "Epitaph"). In all, Bi Kyo Ran is an instrumentally promising outfit that could benefit a lot from increased emotion and variety. The opening sequence, "Psycho, Parts II and III," is a bit too mechanical and academic for my tastes, with its pounding rhythmic motifs and repetitive melodies. In its favor, the album does pick up after a while, and the aforementioned "Deep" and epic-length "21st Century Africa" do pack a certain wallop. Bi Kyo Ran obviously work best on stage, and their precision and energy come through more on this album than on previous studio efforts. The Frippian guitar leads are the most impressive aspect of this band, though guitarist Kunio Suma (who writes the majority of the material) rarely reaches that climactic peak that is one of Robert Fripp's trademarks (recall "Starless" — nothing beats that). In all, Bi Kyo Ran plays a humorless, academic variation on the mid-70s Crimson sound, with artsy Cuneiformesque dissonance providing the rhythmic base. Not bad on its own merits, but don't expect to hear the mighty Crimson on this disc.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Bi Kyo Ran / Madoromi

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Material - Hallucination Engine – Bill Laswell has been the driving force of Material for about ten years now. Heavily involved in the NYC scene, Laswell has become a highly respected producer; on Hallucination Engine, beats and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues