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

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...

Bubu - Anabelas – This is an excellent album, featuring mature composition, great group playing, and a very nice sense of dynamics and texture. There is an intensity to this music which is controlled beautifully over...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues