Exposé Online banner

Il Berlione — Il Berlione
(Belle Antique 9229, 1992, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, 1996-03-01:

Il Berlione Cover art

It must have been 1991 or so when I received a tape from a friend of this group. Dutifully impressed to say the least, I couldn't believe that they had no CD releases yet. But finally, after a few private demo tapes, and an appearance on Lost Years in Labyrinth, Belle Antique had them record an entire album made up of new works, plus a few reworkings of pieces from their cassettes. What you get on Il Berlione is one of the most impressive-sounding albums from any Japanese band. Imagine an RIO-type approach, melded to a level of virtuosity found in fusion, and tempered to perfection by a sensitivity to progressive rock, and melodic structures. They manage to avoid any of the excesses of either RIO (noise) or jazz-fusion (soloing). This group really turned the tide around stylistically, and played an important role in shaping the course of Japanese prog in the 90s. I believe Il Berlione may have been influenced by Kenso's music. But they have given it a spicy twist, and on this album have an uncanny knack at sidestepping any particular genre. This is some of Japan's most unique music.


by Peter Thelen, 1993-10-01:

No, this is not another lost 70s Italian reissue, but instead a powerful new Japanese quintet featureing guitar, bass, saxes, keys, and drums. Their sound could best be described as a Canterbury / RIO influenced rock with a healthy dose of mid-period King Crimson. There are strong jazz elements, comparable to the Hopper / Dean period of Soft Machine, and the angularity and moodiness of Univers Zero. Guitarist Naoya Idonuma dominates many of the tracks with his ever finger-blistering leads, playing in a multitude of textures, reminding at times of Beck, Fripp, even Zappa and Santana, but the similarities are more event driven than any sort of conscious emulation, fitting a style to the moment. Hiroo Takano (saxes) generally works in close conjunction with Naoya, but does split off from time to time for some eloquent solos. More than anything else, it is his saxes and the restless rhythm section that connects their sound to the Canterbury / RIO style. Keyboardist Hirofumi Taniguchi maintains All taken, this is one excellent album, especially considering it's their first! Fans of Soft Machine, Crimson, National Health, and Henry Cow will most certainly enjoy this one.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 1 , 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Il Berlione

More info

Latest news

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

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 & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bruford - One of a Kind – After UK’s rookie tour of the US, Eddie Jobson and John Wetton fired Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth, thus removing the pervasive jazz element from their soon-to-be transitory super group. The...  (2005) » Read more

Pekka Pohjola - Five Reissues – For anyone not yet familiar with the name of Pekka Pohjola, he is a Finnish composer, bandleader, and bassist among bassists primarily, but also fluent on piano, synthesizer, and trumpet as well. He's...  (1995) » Read more

Orme - L'Infinito – Le Orme should win a prize for Most Consistent Band. From Felona e Sorona through to Il Fiume and now with L’Infinito, there’s an unmistakable continuity in terms of writing and arranging,...  (2006) » Read more

Edward Ka-Spel - Laugh China Doll – Laugh China Doll was Edward Ka-Spel’s first solo release, recorded in 1984. This first release was a limited issue of 2000 LPs on the In-Phaze label that quickly disappeared, including the...  (2006) » Read more

Pentatonic - If You Don’t Understand Then I Can’t Explain to You – I had never heard of this band before I saw them play live, opening a show for Wang Wen, China’s best known post-rock band. The show was enjoyable, good enough to prompt me to buy the three-song...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues