Exposé Online banner

Bondage Fruit — Bondage Fruit
(Maboroshi MABO-014, 1994/2002, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, 1996-03-01:

Bondage Fruit Cover art

Bondage Fruit were formed in 1989, and have finally released their first CD. Leader Natsuki Kido is also a member of P.O.N. (and other groups unknown outside Japan). Like other bandleaders he employs studio musicians to realize his elaborate style of music: drums, bass, vibraphone, and female voices (one of which is Aki, from Koenji Hyakkei). No keyboards. The sound has more room to breathe, an airy quality that highlights bass and guitar. I'm sure Kido didn't arrive at this configuration by accident. This CD features nine long pieces, and over their course the style varies quite a bit. Kido favors a sturdy rhythmic backdrop over which he builds expansive melodic patterns, and complex harmonies. In a way similar to the Canterbury ethos, things become looser once the themes have been run through. I also sense a rather heavy tinge of a Magma influence but without their repetition or relentlessness. Elsewhere they lighten the mood with some sensitive violin solos, virtuosic vibe playing, even nice brush work from the drummer to spice it up. The soaring vocal lines over a solid rhythm foundation keep this from ever tipping the scales toward the jazz end. And noisy tendencies are restricted to just one track. One problem encountered by projects like this is a lack of cohesion from one piece to the next. Kido covers a lot of ground here, thus, I hope on his next outing he will hone in on a more consistent approach. All in all this is fine-spirited music, which, shorn of some of its excessive soling, could really appeal to many people looking for something richer than the usual fare.


by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:

Having first heard about this band in the fading weeks of 1994 via a bootleg tape of one of their live shows, I was, needless to say, duly impressed, and spent most of '95 looking for a copy of this CD, which was released quietly in the early months of last year on a private Japanese label. There must be something in the water in Japan that consistently turns out creative musicians of such high caliber. Bondage Fruit are no exception. A seven-piece of violin, guitar, bass, drums, vibes+marimba+glockenspiel, and two vocalists, their music seems to draw primary influence from the avant, ethnic and zeuhl quarters, yet those influences are well absorbed and the result is something totally original. Their sound is quite aggressive at times, like on the totally over-the-top "Octopus Command," where guitar, violin, vibes, and voices kick off in a frenzied passion — like Eskaton with an attitude — only to give way to a soothing fretless bass solo. The band alternates between these types of hard driving sonic assaults and a more refined middle-eastern ethnic style as evidenced on "Hikou Suru Ko" or "Kodomo No Torokko," which might even recall hints of bands like Aktuala, Popol Vuh, or Embryo, yet Bondage Fruit take it all a couple notches higher on the energy scale. Throughout the album, the vocals are used as instruments rather than a vehicle for lyrics, like other bands might use a wind or horn section. All this over a very powerful and often-complex rhythmic base. Overall, given the high level of originality and musicianship, this is certainly one of the most spirited releases of last year, recommended to all but the least adventurous.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 9 , 2002 releases, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Yuji Katsui, Natsuki Kido, Bondage Fruit

More info

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Rich & Fayrus - Zerkalo – Even before ambient – an often systems-obsessed form – became acknowledged as the music to ignore, drones had already and long allowed the listener to suspend or focus attention, entering...  (2009) » Read more

Sithonia - Confine – Sithonia have actually been around quite a while. This I believe is their fourth album since they started roughly around the same time Nuova Era did. Sithonia are moving more and more into that...  (1996) » Read more

Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth (Deluxe Edition) – Back in the day I was a huge Genesis and Steve Hackett fan, but I lost interest in Steve with his 1980 release Defector. Fast forward 30 years and it looks like either I have been missing out on some...  (2011) » Read more

Via Lumini - Vôos e Sonhos – This was the last Progressive Rock Worldwide release to appear in LP format, and as of yet has not been reissued on CD. Unlike the Tellah album, this release was by a new young band from Sao Paulo....  (1997) » Read more

Killick - Exsanguinette – This represents the beginning of a whole new chapter in Killick’s body of work, although there have been many chapters before, so one shouldn’t expect that this will be the last....  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues