Pneuma — Psychabuse
(Belle Antique 9588, 1985/1995, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, 1996-03-01:
The release of Pneuma's CD represents a much-needed effort at filling the gaps in the huge hole that has opened up in Japan with this genre: that of the solo electronic / synth. artist. For other than Kitaro, Akira Ito, and Fumio Miyashita, I can think of only a few scattered remnants of this style over the last ten or fifteen years. Cosmic electronic music just doesn't seem to be in big demand in Japan. Currently the leader of Trembling Strain, Hiroyuki Shimada went by the monicker "Pneuma" during the 80s, when most of this music was recorded. However it sat unreleased until now. There is quite a lot of music on Psychabuse: a couple pieces near the twenty-minute mark, plus three more at about eleven minutes each. "Symbiophony" and "Penumbra of Passed Phases" seem to recall Klaus Schulze in his Mirage era, a little too repetitive. But later, on "Moment of Awakening," he presents a different perspective, that includes some acoustics: hand drums and flutes, etc. This is where Pneuma's uniqueness shines the most, closer to the territory of his Trembling Strain project. As the album progresses he introduces Japanese melodies and it really blossoms into a truly Japan-esque work. It's refreshing to see the synthesizer music medium finally acknowledged in Japan. Kudos to Pneuma, and to Belle Antique for unearthing this one.
by Peter Thelen, 1995-07-01:
A repetitive pattern recalling the spirit of "Tubular Bells" introduces the listener, continuing long after its worn out it's welcome, creating a nervous tension – nothing could go on this way forever, something has to happen here – and indeed it finally does, like a blossoming flower, intoxicating pulsating waves pushing in and out like the tides, as colorful synthetic patterns dance across a pastel sky. Finally, the gongs and hand drums kick in, offering some earthly substance as a tether for your cerebral meanderings. So goes the opener "Symbiophony" on the latest release by Japanese cosmic/trance wizard Pneuma. He plays an array of synthesizers, sequencers, rhythm machines, and other electronic devices, as well as acoustic instruments (gongs, tabla, santoor, e-bow, bottle percussion, ocarina) and voices. The five tracks range from ten to twenty minutes each, mysterious and compelling soundscapes that develop and change gradually over time, yet each is unique unto itself. Fans of early Rich, Schulze and Lightwave are sure to appreciate where Pneuma is coming from. Although these tracks were originally recorded in the period from 1979-85, this is the first time they've seen official release. Recommended!
Related artist(s): Pneuma
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
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
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
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
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