Exposé Online banner

Round House — Jin.Zo-Ni.N.Gen
(Lion 217, 1978/2008, CD)

Round House — Wings to Rest
(Music Term MTP-103, 1979/2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Jin.Zo-Ni.N.Gen Cover artWings to Rest Cover artThe Japanese five-piece Round House apparently never recorded a proper album during their existence in the late 70s, though two releases were cobbled together out of live tracks, demos, and some studio time. They played their instrumental prog-fusion for a couple years, but where the story goes after that is beyond me. Maybe the liner notes of these reissues provide a clue, but they’re all in Japanese, so we just have the music to go by – that’s enough in the end. The closest comparison is with some of the extended instrumental passages of Camel, especially around the time of Moonmadness. There’s some good interplay between the guitar and keyboards, with the guitar in the spotlight most of the time. Bass and drums provide a solid rhythmic base, keyboards (string synth mostly, with some electric piano) and guitar fill in the chords, and lead guitar and synth supply soaring melodies to top it all off. Occasional bits of tight ensemble playing punctuate the riffs; the solos are first rate but not over-indulgent. Unfortunately, neither album boasts a recording quality that can match the caliber of the performances. The first album (the title of which can be translated as “Artificial Human”) is the better of the two by a slight margin. Three of its original tracks were recorded in a studio and two come from a live performance; this release adds a bonus track home demo. All tracks date from 1978. Wings to Rest presents another set of very similar material recorded during 1978 and 1979. Again, the quality of the sound is poor by modern standards, and varies widely from track to track, but the music is quite good. Given the impressive burst of creativity this band had for a couple of years, it’s too bad there are not better recordings of their material. Ah, well, such is fate.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 27, 2008 releases, 1978 recordings, 2002 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Round House

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Strato Ensemble - Drawn Straws – Hovering somewhere between jazz-rock fusion and explorative electronic sounds, this group of improvisors is led by keyboardist Dean De Benedictis, who has already received great reviews in our pages...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues