Exposé Online banner

Ain Soph — Marine Menagerie
(Musea FGBG-4630.AR, 1991/2005, CD)

Ain Soph — Five Evolved from Nine
(Made in Japan MCD 2925, 1993, CD)

by Jon Davis, 2006-05-01:

Marine Menagerie Cover artFive Evolved from Nine Cover art The line between fusion and fuzak can be a very fine one, and Ain Soph walks that line like a drunken goat, stepping first on one side, then on the other, back and forth with dizzying frequency. I love good fusion, but there are few forms of music I detest more than the bastard stepchild of electric jazz and easy listening. Which makes Ain Soph a somewhat frustrating proposition for me. When they're good, they're quite good, but when they're bad they're... quite boring. For the most part, the lead falls to the guitar of "Yozox," who is a strong player when he steps up, though much of his time is spent playing clean, smooth chords. My favorite parts are when he pushes the distortion a bit and plays with more edge and doesn't sound so highly rehearsed. Kikuo Fujiyama's keyboards are mainly good, though there is a tendency toward the kind of slick digital sounds many of us detest. But he succumbs to a much worse sin: solos played on sampled saxophone. This must be one of the most annoying sounds ever committed to tape – if you want a sax, get a frigging sax player! The band's primary influence is obviously Camel, and as times they come off as fairly good Camel imitators. But in addition to honoring Camel's best moments, Ain Soph also pays tribute to their idol's sappy melodic side. Both of these early-90s releases have their high and low points, and I'm hard pressed to pick one over the other.

by Mike McLatchey, 1993-10-01:

This Japanese band has been around for a while and has put out some pretty damn good music. Unabashedly Canterbury influenced (album titles: Hat & Field, Ride on a Camel), it seems that Ain Soph are trying to break away from that into a more original style. Their new album, Five Evolved from Nine, is quite excellent, and much more jazzy than you'd expect and seems a bit more like A Story from Mysterious Forest than the last one Marine Menagerie. Make what you will of that! Great music and it seems that the Japanese are catching up with bands such as Il Berlione and Ain Soph in the original progressive music scene.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 1 , 2005 releases, 1991 releases, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Ain Soph

More info

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...

Agitation Free - Malesch – Agitation Free was a most unique German band in the early seventies, in that their sound was heavily influenced by Turkish and Arabic themes, although never more so than on this, their first, from...  (1994) » Read more

Marillion - Misplaced Childhood – [Regarding the 1998 reissue] Marillion's opus Misplaced Childhood is about as perfect a specimen of the neo-progressive genre as you'll find. I am no adherent of this often-maligned and...  (1999) » Read more

Paralell or 90 Degrees - More Exotic Ways to Die – Whatever else you might say about Parallel or 90 Degrees, they do have an obsession with dark subject matter: the first seven tracks are grouped as parts 1 to 6 (two are instrumental – go figure) of...  (2003) » Read more

Foxtrot Zulu - Frozen in Time – Foxtrot Zulu is a Rhode Island group who should be finding a quick path onto the roots radio wave still prevalent across the US. One of the things that sets the seven piece apart from other roots...  (2000) » Read more

Aziola Cry - Ellipsis – Math rock lives! Ellipsis is the debut release from Aziola Cry – a three-piece all-instrumental band from Chicago consisting of drums, guitar, and Chapman Stick. While many bands that feature...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues