Marble Sheep — Message from Oarfish
(Fünfundvierzig 45162, 2007, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-10-01
Marble Sheep is a Japanese psychedelic rock band playing wild, ecstatic, hypnotic, psychedelic, and noisy rock who were formed in 1987 by ex-White Heaven guitarist Ken Matsutani, the owner of the Captain Trip record label. While Acid Mothers Temple has awakened new interest in cosmic explorations and extended jams, Marble Sheep takes you light-years further! Message from Oarfish is their killer 14th release and I want to hear more from this band! Marble Sheep is Ken (guitar and vocal), Tak (guitar), Rie Miyasaki (bass and chorus), two drummers (Sawada and Iwamotor), and Marby, the dancing sheep who appears on stage at the end of their shows. The opening song “Tears” is a Krautrock tour de force sounding initially like Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine” and gradually morphing into something that could have been on Neu ’75. Just listening to this band, it is no mystery why they took Europe by storm in March 2006 (they had planned for a low-budget tour) and were immediately signed to a number of dates and festivals including Jean-Hervé Peron’s Avantgarde Festival! They rock hard combining the best elements of Krautrock, punk rock, and psychedelia and the results are a pleasure to experience. Unlike many of their contemporaries who try so hard to just imitate the masters, Marble Sheep effortlessly stands head and shoulder above them. Definitely seek this band out, you will not be disappointed!
Related artist(s): Marble Sheep
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.