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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lubimov, Trostianki, Rybakov - Misterioso – As part of ECM's continuing new music series, enter a semi-classical trio who embrace the quietudes of modern compositional expression with a keen sense of space and beauty by focusing on modern...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues