Exposé Online banner

Bi Kyo Ran — Who Ma - Live Vol. 2
(Belle Antique 101675, 1983/2010, CD)

Bi Kyo Ran — Ran - Live Vol. 3
(Belle Antique 101676, 1983/2010, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1996-03-01

Who Ma - Live Vol. 2 Cover artRan - Live Vol. 3 Cover art

After a three-year period (spent mostly making demos and being discovered by King Records), Suma appeared with a new band behind him. King coaxed him into the studio, and the albums Bi Kyo Ran and Parallax resulted. Which brings us to the next (brief) period of live playing for Bi Kyo Ran: 1982-83, from which came the Who Ma - Live Vol. 2 and Ran - Live Vol. 3 recordings, released in 1988 and 1994 respectively. These spotlight the pinnacle of Bi Kyo Ran's most brutal and experimental period; a mood that is darker than Crimson, more sinister and primitive. Gone are the keys and recorders (and most of the vocals as well). Suma, guitar wailing, unabashedly leads the four-piece band (including a guest percussionist) through raucous instrumental sections in a relentless surge, as on "Stop Breaking Sense," or in impromptu works like "Improvisation" (both from Who Ma). They explore musical structures similar to those on Starless and Bible Black. This album contains all new (at the time) material, barring two bonus tracks on the CD version; while Live Vol. 3 focuses on previously-released songs. Both capture the uncompromising spirit of a band who left no stone unturned. But in 1983, Suma called it quits.

Note : the words "Who Ma" are a phonetic rendering from Japanese characters that are more commonly Romanized as "Fu Ma." They have no relation to the English words "who" or "ma".


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 9, 2010 releases, 1983 recordings

Related artist(s): Bi Kyo Ran / Madoromi

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Thompson - 1000 Years of Popular Music – When the end of the millennium started creeping up, lots of people started making lists. When it comes to the subject of popular music, most of us are only familiar with that of the 20th Century, with...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues