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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Walt Ribiero - I.I – Walt Ribeiro is an American composer in his early 20s, influenced both by classical music and modern rock. I.I is probably best described as post-modern classical music. It consists of twelve pieces,...  (2008) » Read more

Aka Moon - In Real Time – In Real Time, Aka Moon's 11th CD, contains the original music composed for Anne-Teresa de Keersmaeker's dance theater production of the same name. This theatrical production combines the talents of De...  (2001) » Read more

David Myers - Plays Genesis – I'm amazed at the degree of involvement a person can have with a narrowly focused music interest and the length of time it can be maintained. David Meyers' relationship with Genesis' music...  (2007) » Read more

Area - Gioia e Rivoluzione – Plenty of words have already been written on this outstanding Italian jazz-rock band in the pages of Exposé‚ so anyone wanting the historical background or a detailed synopsis of their...  (1997) » Read more

Joe Jackson Band - Afterlife – This is not Joe Jackson’s first live album. There was Live 1980/86 and Summer in the City (2000) and (for the really dedicated fans) Joe Jackson Live (aka Two Rainy Nights, 2002). We’ll...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues