Exposé Online banner

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

by Peter Thelen, 1993-10-01:

Il Berlione Cover art

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.


by Mike Ezzo, 1996-03-01:

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.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 9 , 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Il Berlione

More info

Latest news

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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tabula Rasa - Ekkedien Tanssi – Ekkedien Tanssi was the second album by this Finnish five-piece who created a type of mellow, melodic prog not unlike the music of Camel. Indeed, this album is comparable in both style and quality to...  (1994) » Read more

Rull's Royce - Rull's Choice – From listening to the music, you would guess that the leader of the band is the guitarist. Not that there are screaming guitar solos all over the place, but guitar does play a significant role at most...  (2004) » Read more

John Greaves - Accident & Little Bottle of Laundry – Two additional albums from John Greaves' European catalogue are now available from Voiceprint. Accident is his first solo album from 1982 and features literally a bizarre set of songs and...  (2001) » Read more

French TV - After a Lengthy Silence – The second album from this Louisville, KY band, After a Lengthy Silence, was originally recorded in 1987, and has now finally been re-released on CD. French TV play a somewhat eclectic music which...  (1997) » Read more

Mario Millo - Epic III – This little relic from the past is a really great half album. After the demise of Australian symphonic prog contenders Sebastian Hardie and offshoot Windchase, guitarist Mario Millo recorded this solo...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues