Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Maborishi No Sekai Samples
(Maboroshi MABO-001, 1995, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1997-05-01

Maborishi No Sekai Samples Cover art

Readers may recall the deluge of Japanese symphonic rock bands flourishing in the mid-80s. It would seem the last of their like has been seen. Enter the 90s, and Maboroshi No Sekai. The brainchild of Bondage Fruit violinist Yuji Katsui, this label has been instrumental in jump-starting the indie scene in recent years. When bands like Tipographica and Bondage Fruit were in their embryonic stages, Katsui was right on the spot, releasing cassette recordings of early live gigs. This budget-priced compilation proved to be a hot item when it was released and was snatched up by people curious for a glimpse of what was happening in Tokyo, a place where so many bands thrive that keeping up is a daunting task. PON and Magma descendants Bondage Fruit will likely be known by most readers; the tiny dosage of the former that appears here is the best piece on the compilation by a mile. Other standouts include Harpy, a duo of drums and female bass / voice, whose clean drum sound and wordless singing were bright points; and another duo consisting of Yutaka Fukuoka, and Natsuki Kido (Bondage Fruit guitarist). Theirs was a particularly surprising blend of acoustic(!!) guitar with a Latin style of vocalizing, echoing through the canyons. Very nice indeed, embodying all the restraint that is lacking elsewhere. Houraku-Ya, whom I've never heard, were a palliative to the bluster and fury of Melt-Banana, Bazooka Joe, and Painkiller (Pain-inducer would be a more fitting name there). The quiescent improvisation built around violin, ocarina, and jew's harp made me wonder if this was Trembling Strain in disguise. More marginally interesting were a couple Fred Frith-derived guitar works; strains of Ligeti's tone clusters from Black Stage's offering; some good free improvisation by Tastuya Yoshida and Yuji Katsui; and a Shakti-flavored piece by Ausia. Most of the recordings herein are from live concerts, and some groupings can be heard nowhere else. The nice thing about that is that you get lots of otherwise unobtainable music; the down side is that you can't buy their CDs since they don't exist. Fortunately, the bulk of the quality entries features bands whose work is for sale. If you're looking for something representative of the musical subversion Tokyo is currently dishing up, I can think of few releases more appropriate than this.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 12, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Black Stage, Tatsuya Yoshida, Melt-Banana, Yuji Katsui, Natsuki Kido, Bondage Fruit, Various Artists, P.O.N.

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson - Industry – Most people who are aware of Richard Thompson would probably not consider his music 'progressive,' and they would probably be right on most occasions. To be sure, he was a key player on...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues