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 Mike McLatchey, 1993-10-01:

Marine Menagerie Cover artFive Evolved from Nine Cover art 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.

by Jon Davis, 2006-05-01:

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.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 33 , 2005 releases, 1991 releases, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Ain Soph

More info

Latest news

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

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kultivator - Barndomens Stigar – This obscure Swedish progressive quintet originally released Barndomens Stigar on the small, but very excellent Bauta label in 1981 and it has since become a highly coveted and very expensive...  (1996) » Read more

Mercury Rising - Building Rome – Of late I have had to re-evalute my definition of what I thought progressive metal was. Take Mercury Rising, for example: the vocals are understandable, the guitar licks are not Metallica based, and...  (1999) » Read more

Present - Live! – Present is back in black. When we last heard from this Belgian band — 1995's studio reformation disc COD Performance, the lineup consisted only of Roger Trigaux and his son Reginald, both on...  (1997) » Read more

Thinking Plague - In Extremis – Nine years since their last album, Thinking Plague is back with a vengeance. Their music is angular, drives hard and is laden with a complex and brilliant precision, one that combines the...  (1999) » Read more

Hardscore - Monkey Trial – This is one of the more bizarre and intriguing things I’ve heard in quite a while. It’s set up as a kind of audio movie with a story about a woman who can talk to animals who has taken a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues