Exposé Online banner

Pneuma — Psychabuse
(Belle Antique 9588, 1985/1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1995-07-01:

Psychabuse Cover art

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!


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.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 9 , 1995 releases, 1985 releases

Related artist(s): Pneuma

More info

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chrome - Chrome Flashback / Chrome Live / The Best Of – When I first heard Chrome back in the early 80s, my initial reaction was “Ouch!” All I heard was a wall of distortion and mangled vocals – their brand of art-punk was too much punk and too...  (2000) » Read more

Henry Cow - The Road: Volumes 1-5 – Even after 40 years it’s difficult to use the past tense when it comes to the work of Henry Cow. Its importance grows and influence continues to be felt. And while it’s absurd to add that “it...  (2010) » Read more

Onségen Ensemble - HottoïzzoH – They call it a Mini-CD, not because it’s smaller than a normal size CD, but because there is only about 15 minutes of music on it. But it’s among the coolest 15 minutes of 2007 releases I...  (2008) » Read more

Steve Peters - The Webster Cycles – One usually thinks of the trombone in its more typical context as an essential part of a jazz ensemble, filling in the melodic low end parts between blazing trumpets, saxophones, and such. On its own,...  (2008) » Read more

Kevin Leonard - Automatrix – In 1992 Kevin Leonard, North Star's keyboardist, released a self-produced solo cassette of eight jazz influenced progressive instrumental compositions. Now he has released this same music on CD....  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues