Exposé Online banner

Koenjihyakkei — Hundred Sights of Koenji
(Skin Graft GR90CD, 1994/2004, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

Hundred Sights of Koenji Cover artThe latest entry from the ever-growing Japanese zeuhl scene is Koenji Hyakkei, a four piece of guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, with male and female voice. Their sound lies firmly along the Magma-punk-noise axis; in fact on the first couple tracks "Ioss" and "Doi Doi," they've pretty much co-opted Magma's sound circa Üdü Ẁüdü. It should be no surprise then, that the drummer and main-mover in the band is none other than Tatsuya Yoshida of Ruins fame... As if Yoshida doesn't already have enough projects going on with Ruins, solo albums, and his Magma cover band "Mekanik Kommandoh." Those first two tracks are certainly good, even employing a mysterious tongue (not Kobaian, but similar), but they seem to be missing some of the spiritual aspects of Magma's sound, and hearing them only makes me want to go and listen to the real thing. Fortunately, after the second track they find their own identity, mostly a punky, Magma influenced hard-edged sound that cuts deep, yet still contains enough stylistic variety to remain interesting. On two cuts in particular, "Molavena" and "Zoltan" — both penned by keyboardist/vocalist Aki — they tone it down quite a bit, allowing her room to show another side of her vocal talents, and also breaking up the otherwise monolithic feel of the album. On "Avedumma," guitarist Ryuchi Masuda shows his allegiance to Fripp. In all, this is an extremely good album, albeit a little harsh in places. Fans of Magma, Crimson, and of course Ruins, will find much here to appreciate.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 2004 releases, 1994 recordings

Related artist(s): Koenjihyakkei, Tatsuya Yoshida

Latest news

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

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Phideaux - Friction – Phideaux (pronounced like "Fido") is New York singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Phideaux Xavier. His debut release, Friction, is a dense and quite impressive piece of work. Featuring something in...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues