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Shigekazu Kamaki — Magatama
((Not on label) no#, 1997, MC)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1999-01-01

Magatama Cover art

Some may remember Kamaki from his days as the finger-blistering axeman in Mr.Sirius, others from his own jazz-rock band Kehell — still together and gigging fairly regularly. Magatama is Kamaki’s solo statement, nine purely instrumental pieces covering a lot of territory, from solo acoustic guitar bits, to powerful and complex fusion, to solid progressive rock, to melodically simple E-Z-jazz pieces. He plays all instruments — electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, and drum programming. The album opens with an acoustic guitar piece that powers a simple yet effective melody on keyboard. From there it’s on to “Reason for Being,” a smokin’ progressive-rock fusion piece that wouldn’t have been out of place on any of the Kehell albums, with lightning guitar leads dominating the proceedings. Also worthy of note are the seven minute “Dark Matter” with its bombastic opening chord progression for guitar-synth and harmonized guitar melody — the heavily spacy and symphonic centersection might recall moments with Mr.Sirius, and “The Colossus” — sporting that big sound and a full complement of proggy-progisms (busy bottom end, bright and colorful keyboard solos, shifting and changing meter, push-pull rhythms), and grandiose power. The title track closes on kind of a new-agey note. A lot of variety throughout, to be sure, but with enough firepower to deliver the goods on most of the tracks. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Shigikazu Kamaki

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