Exposé Online banner

Yūgen — Mirrors
(AltrOck Productions ALT030, 2012, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01

Mirrors Cover artWith three outstanding studio albums behind them, last years' RIO festival seemed like an excellent opportunity to capture the band in a live setting. The material here, drawn mostly from the band's previous recordings, is arranged for a leaner, meaner lineup without the benefit of guest musicians. Those yet unfamiliar with Yūgen's sound would do well to start here, where defining elements of the RIO style, if there is such a thing (think late period Henry Cow, Univers Zero, Stormy Six) meet instrumental Zappa and other innovative 20th century composers' work in a beautiful classicism that is at once angular, adventurous, delicate, and romantic. two pieces here in particular, "Catacresi," and "Cloudscape" pull together all the diverse aspects of the band's sound into exemplary summaries, although every piece here, including their rendition of Tim Hodgkinson's "Industry" deserve special note. After all, this was a setting where the band could present their best material to a fully engaged and receptive audience. While most of us couldn't be there, this live recording of the band at their best will certainly suffice.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Yūgen

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Judy Dyble - Talking with Strangers – For those of you not old enough to remember, Judy Dyble was Fairport Convention’s original vocalist who left after their first album. She then hooked up with Ian McDonald and the original line...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues