Exposé Online banner

Tipographica — God Says I Can't Dance
(Mellow MMP 310, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1996-08-01:

God Says I Can't Dance Cover art

By now everyone should know who these guys are and have some kind of idea what they sound like, even if you've never actually heard anything by them (unless you've been living in a cave, or reading one of the other magazines). This is the follow-up to last year's outstanding live release The Man Who Does Not Nod. Listeners who are wooed only by pretty melodies, thick fat blankets of synthesizer effects, and an occasional measure in odd time may not find Tipographica's music that appealing. On the other hand, those who are beckoned by impossible-to-play counterpoint and revel in the pure mathematical complexity of six players each in their own time signature should find much here of interest. Indeed, Tipographica's music at times seems like the ultimate statement of musical unpredictability, until you give it a many close listens and really get to know it. Fans of Frank Zappa, Henry Cow and Canterbury — or anybody moving in that general direction — should find Tipographica's playful and convoluted compositions to be more than adequate stimulus amid the plethora of progressive rock bands that refuse to progress. All the compositions are penned by guitarist Tsuneo Imahori, the rest of the lineup being bass, drums, keyboards, trombone, and sax. No vocal pollution to get in the way of the music. Compared to last year's live album, this one has a more composed feel, a bit closer to their studio debut. Any way you look at it, this one is a total smoker; Tipo has done it again!


by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

As well covered in Exposé, Tipographica are one of the best new music ensembles around, a band better suited to those with largely experimental tastes. After a superb debut and equally interesting live album, the band is back with their newest studio release, an album which surprisingly enough shouldn't surprise anyone now. God Says I Can't Dance is like a step back to the first album, with the same very staggered rhythmic structures (like Zappa's early 70s bands performing Jon Hassell's "Chor Moire" from Dream Theory in Malaya for an upcoming Recommended release) and whimsical melodies/anti-melodies. I was very impressed with the way the band would whip it out on the live album — in true Zappa style with great solos from the various instrumentalists (often guitar, sax and trombone), so I was maybe a bit disappointed that there wasn't more of that on the new one. Who’s to complain though, as the band hasn't lost any of their edge they're still tight, spirited, humorous, and cutting-edge. Although this isn't much of a development on past styles for the band, Tipographica are still light years away from many of their contemporaries and this is as good as any of their releases.

by Alain Lachapelle, 1996-08-01:

The definition of progressive rock is growing wider each year. There is a trend that consists of injecting healthy doses of fusion, what with a jazz rock aura in the neighborhood. All over the worldwide prog rock community we have listened to great bands pushing forward the basic definition of the genre and to this extent, Tipographica's God Says I Can't Dance is an enjoyable and intricate sample. Master structure builder Tsuneo Imahori sketches angular foundations that could be materialized as Picasso paintings. Complex odd rhythms over which flurries of notes are often flying by, while the sax and trombone are anchoring the modal atmosphere. On the opener, "Friends," there is a definite nod to the work of orchestral Zappa. A drawback in this maelstrom of sonic explorations is that there are but few passages of 'letting go' in which an instrument can take the listener from point A to B without going through the whole museum of Modern Arts. But this is overcome by the compositional work that doesn't fail to attract the listener's attention. We're clearly out of 'traditional' prog rock here, and it could very well be that people defining progressive music by standards such as Yes and Pendragon would frown upon the seeming lack of 'song' patterns, not to mention the harmonic explorations. On the other hand, fans of the orchestral work of Francesco Z. will find here an ample terrain to explore. God said Imahori can't dance, but it could very well be that God has definite plans as to underline 'progressive' in 'prog rock' for the future.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 10 , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Tipographica

More info

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Strawbs - Lay down with the Strawbs – As live Strawbs albums go, this two disc set is an outstanding one, recorded in March 2006 at Robin 2, Bilston UK featuring the mid-70s lineup same as you would find on Hero and Heroine or Ghosts (and...  (2009) » Read more

Mawwal - This Is All There Is, There Is No Other Place – The first Mawwal release was one of the highlights of 2007, and here they’ve done it again for 2008, and not by simply remaking the first album. While many of the things that made Black Flies so...  (2009) » Read more

Neil Haverstick - Spider – Neil Haverstick continues to prove his guitar virtuosity with Spider. The album opens with the four movements of “Spider,” written for 19-tone guitar and chamber orchestra. Tom Blomster arranged...  (2010) » Read more

Mario Millo - Epic III – This little relic from the past is a really great half album. After the demise of Australian symphonic prog contenders Sebastian Hardie and offshoot Windchase, guitarist Mario Millo recorded this solo...  (2000) » Read more

Kromlech - La Soledad de las Sombras – The performance by this four-piece from Mexico City was one of the surprises and highlights of BajaProg 2000. This debut album, recorded about eight months prior, contains what is essentially one...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues