Exposé Online banner

Kenso — Kenso's Guide To Making Progressive Rock Music
(Pathograph PADV-04, 2008, 2DVD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01

Kenso's Guide To Making Progressive Rock Music Cover art

Well, in all my years or reviewing things, this is really a first. The 2DVD set is part performances, part music theory lectures, part insights, and part interviews; this is basically the members of Kenso showing the viewer how they create their music – sort of a ‘prog rock clinic’ if you will. On paper that doesn’t really sound that enticing, but in fact the first DVD (all 2.5 hours of it) is pretty amazing stuff, where the band dissects and analyzes a number of their better known pieces. “Anesthesia Part 2” from their second album way back when is revisited, analyzed, re-arranged using various different time signatures, each version played by the band in a rehearsal. There are clips of other pieces, both live and rehearsals, used to illustrate various theoretical concepts (melodic and rhythmic) that they are built on. Their gamelan piece “Tjandi Bentar” is given a lengthy dissertation by keyboardist Kenichi Oguchi. Granted, I wouldn’t suggest starting here – it would probably be best to familiarize yourself with Kenso’s repertoire via one of their many excellent live albums first. This is really something for musicians who want to delve deeper into what makes Kenso’s music work. Everybody in the band gets the focus at various times, and even a few folks from outside the band offer ideas as well. The second disc is shorter – a little over an hour, and is mostly guitarist Yoshihisa Shimizu and Oguchi discussing the merits of various progressive rock LPs in their collection, although the other guys contribute at various times as well. Not as engaging as the first disc, but still a lot of fun. English subtitles are provided, although one gets the sense that there’s more being said than what’s printed at the bottom of the screen. An excellent set, though mostly of interest to musicians and prog music geeks.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Kenso

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bubu - Anabelas – This is an excellent album, featuring mature composition, great group playing, and a very nice sense of dynamics and texture. There is an intensity to this music which is controlled beautifully over...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues