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

2020-02-18
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...

Tsunami - Anthem of the Great Wave – Tsunami are a Dutch five piece of guitar, keys, bass and drums and a very obnoxious lead vocalist who doubles on guitar. This guy is your typical quasi-emotional overbearing neo-clone nasal-whining...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues