Exposé Online banner

Kenso — Sparta Naked
(Pathograph PA 3506, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Sparta Naked Cover art

Fans of Kenso will certainly be familiar with the band’s album Sparta from 1989, a bold step in a more jazz-rock / fusion direction following their first three studio and double-live albums, while still retaining much of their unique Japanese character – mostly in the songwriting of bandleader and guitarist Yoshihisa Shimizu. The songs are outstanding, many remaining in their live repertoire to this day. One might be led to think that with a title like Sparta Naked, this might be some kind of stripped down acoustic reworking of that material, but in fact that is definitely not the case. Instead, this is a completely reworked and remixed-from-the-ground-up version of the original Sparta, beginning with the conversion of the original analog tapes to digital. From there it was completely re-produced by Kenichi Mitsuda, one of the band’s keyboardists in the current lineup (and not a member at the time the original was recorded). Those recordings occurred over a transitional period of several years beginning in ’87, during which time the bassist and drummer changed, and time and finances presented challenges to completion. So what we have with Sparta Naked is a clarification of the intent of the original album’s release using the best technology available today. Everything about the original is improved, now cleaner, crisper, and better defined in the soundfield; everything in the mix can now be heard more clearly. A solo piano version of “Bifuka” (by Mitsuda) and recent live version of opener “Good Days, Bad Days” are added as bonus tracks.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Kenso

Latest news

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

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


Previously in Exposé...

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - Live & Papagayo Club 1972 – Unlike the recently released PFM shows (Impressioni Vent'Anni Dopo and Bobo Club 2000), these two CDs are distinctly different sets, one from very late 1970, the other from 1972. The Mellow CD from...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues