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

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Torn / Mick Karn / Terry Bozzio - Polytown – I've have to admit to seeing this trio live before listening to their disc. And while the recording does not quite capture the intensity and power of the show, it doesn't fall short either. Torn,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues