Exposé Online banner

Masque — Third Ear/Third Eye
(Belle 9734, 1997, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01

Third Ear/Third Eye Cover art

Third Ear/Third Eye is this brazen Japanese quintet's first CD release (following a couple of cassette releases in the late 80s, plus contributions to the Canterbury Edge and Jazz Rock sampler compilations). It can easily be divided into three distinct group sections based on line-up: the Third Ear Side, Third Eye Side, and two bonus tracks. The band occupies a middle ground between Brand X, Gong, and King Crimson. One second they're pounding your head with some gnarly lick, then suddenly switching into to a classy fusion motif. The album's opener "H.T.P." contains an almost sickly odd meter loss within a walking bass line and brash sax leads, which changes after a few bars (and giggles). "Sanchos in Your Head" is an offsetting acoustic piece with sampled female vocal interjections, and whistles in a whimsical mode that fade into a traditional flute melody. These guys definitely have an amusing, anecdotal style to their arrangements. "Shyoku Shyoku" is an improvised piece which could metaphorically be described as Crimson meeting Gong by collision on a freeway marked by no survivors. The Third Eye Side is characterized by a guest female voice (Waiea), followed by five more songs of a similar approach, but less aggressive. The last two pieces date from a previous 1985 session with different personnel. The longest piece is "4383," which is a fade-in ambient, two hammer-on soundscape with alternating leads which evolves into a dissonant group improvisation. The album's closer, "Broken Space," starts with an unsettling backwards tape loop which shuffles between right channel and left. I have to admit I'm impressed by how well this all fits together, considering time delays and musician interchangeability. Although the cover art is offensive, don't flinch at a chance to find a clear choice from this notable band and label.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Masque

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...

Haakon Ellingsen - Bounty – Many many years ago (in issue #12 to be precise) we reviewed a wonderful and heavily Beatles influenced psychedelic pop album titled Kindergarten by Norwegian trio The Last James. Haakon Ellingsen...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues