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

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ergo Sum - Mexico – Ergo Sum was an early French progressive band, a six-piece featuring flute and violin, as well as the standard guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, plus a vocalist (Lionel Ledissez) who sounds...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues