Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Various Artists — Silver Elephant Super Omnibus
(Silver Elephant PROG-0151, 1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-05-01
OK, this is not exactly a new release — in fact this could very well pre-date the first issue of Exposé — but there are numerous small Japanese labels that go completely unheard in the west because they have no export network comparable to better known labels like Belle Antique, Made In Japan, and God Mountain. Silver Elephant is actually the name of a group of famous clubs that caters to (among other musics) progressive rock. Any collector of bootleg tapes by Japanese bands should know the name well: Afflatus, Happy Family, Gerard, Midas, and many others have turned in outstanding performances there. This disc features studio performances by some lesser known bands who perhaps never received much notoriety even in their native country; in fact of the five bands presented here (two numbers by each), only Negasphere is generally known because of an archival CD released a few years ago. Trio Hoshimiruhito open the disc with an outstanding Crimson-like tune, followed by a relatively simple pop song with female voice. Milk+ is second, repeating the pattern — a strong prog track followed by simple pop. Paen offers a couple of 80s styled power pop tracks that fall somewhere near the Asia / John Waite camp. The first tune by four-piece Veru Ve is a guitar / bass / drums song with double-tracked female vocals that might remind of a harder rocking Toyah, while the second is a mostly percussive based acoustic number with nice two part harmony, not unlike some Dead Can Dance tunes. Negasphere closes the disc with two instrumental numbers of impressive Camelesque fusion. So like all compilations, one gets a little bit of everything here: the Crimsoid tracks by the first two bands and the entire Negasphere set are most impressive from a prog perspective, although Veru Ve is a band I hope we hear from again.
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