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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Terra Firma - Earthbound – Climbing out the morass of thrash bands and Pearl Jam clones ascends a new Seattle area group with its feet rooted in Terra Firma and its head in the cosmos. Forget your preconceived notions of space...  (1999) » Read more

C.W. Vrtacek - Fifteen Mnemonic Devices – Better known as the leader for the wonderfully tuneful instrumental trio Forever Einstein, C.W. “Chuck” Vrtacek also has a darker side. His solo album Fifteen Mnemonic Devices is about as...  (2001) » Read more

A Bôlha - Um Passo a Frente – A Bôlha (The Bubble) were one of Brazil's first progressive bands, back in a time when progressive meant something more fundamental than the keyboard drenched symphonics and complicated...  (1997) » Read more

Various Artists - Soupsongs Live: The Music of Robert Wyatt – The label has chosen to list this disc under “Various Artists” but that’s an inaccuracy. All the tracks are in fact by the same band: a rhythm section of Liam Genocky and Steve Lamb...  (2001) » Read more

Idiot Flesh - Fancy – Sadly this will probably be the band’s swansong, as they played their final concert on March 13, 1998 (yes, Friday the 13th) in San Francisco. But if all one ever knows of this band is their...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues