Exposé Online banner

World's End Girlfriend — Seven Idiots
(Virgin Babylon VBR-001, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Seven Idiots Cover artOccupying a distinct netherworld where the realms of electronic music, avant garde, post-rock, and modern classical music intersect, World's End Girlfriend (the nom de musique of Katsuhiko Maeda) has been producing half a dozen or more albums and a slew of EPs since the turn of the last decade, including a movie soundtrack (2009's Air Doll) and a collaboration with Japanese post-rock band Mono (2006's Palmless Prayer/Murder Refrain). Of the ones I've heard, the core (though far from the only element) of the music has always been a kind of beautiful serenity that is unpredictably interrupted by chaotic elements, without completely ruining the overall impression of peaceful detachment. Picture a Buddhist monk sitting at the edge of a busy street; his eyes are open, obviously not blind to the hurrying traffic, but there is an air of deep calm about him. So when the elegiac strings and melodic piano are briefly pre-empted by hyperactive electronic drums or a squonking sax, rather than being energized, the listener can mentally reconcile the two extremes and say, "Yes, life is like that." So what to make of Seven Idiots? Right out of the gate, it rocks, albeit with the same kind of electronic drums as on previous releases. The dramatic strings are still there, but they're backed by pounding guitars. "Teen Age Ziggy?" takes some elements of glam rock and thrusts them into a high-tech setting. This aggressive sound (which might be called techno-prog-metal) continues through the first seven tracks, until the three-part "Bohemian Purgatory" suite, where there is more resemblance to past WEG, though still with more guitar and stronger beats. The CD finishes off with a lovely, meditative throwback to earlier times. An outstanding effort, one of the year's best.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): World's End Girlfriend

More info
http://www.virgin-babylon-records.com

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Runaway Totem - Esameron – Since their debut in the early 90s, Runaway Totem has always had interesting music to serve up. Their early Black Widow releases were extremely dark and twisted endeavors, while their first for Musea...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues