Exposé Online banner

Amygdala — Complex Combat
(Soleil Zeuhl 18, 2008, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01

Complex Combat Cover artIt’s been a few years since Amygdala’s eponymous debut, a complex, powerful and high-energy opening statement if there ever was one; and as strong as it was, its main weakness was the fact that the duo only used programmed drums throughout. That has been rectified with Complex Combat, as the band has enlisted none other than One Shot drummer Daniel Jeand’heur on each of these five long cuts. Also helping out, track depending, is Kenso keyboardist Kenichi Oguchi, turning in some amazing synth solos. There’s plenty of mindboggling complexity and dramatic intensity throughout, and everything herein is tightly composed (all by multi-instrumentalist Yoshiyuki Nakajima), with very little repetition, although some occasional grooves evolve with a vengeance. The result is a disc with a decidedly dark chamber feel, full of blistering guitar and fragmentary melodic keyboard themes, wandering endlessly in search of some resolution; the title suits this music perfectly. Even the bottom end (Jeand’heur and Nakajima on zeuhl-bass) is going through a similar equally restless and chaotic procession. Keyboards are primarily acoustic and electric piano, organ, and synths, while the guitars tend to be very Roger Trigaux inspired. Overall and componentially, there is a strong nod to the RIO school from beginning to end. Readers into Present, Univers Zero, and similar bands will certainly want to check this out.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Amygdala

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Myrbein - Myrornas Krig – Myrbein's 1981 album Myrornas Krig is the latest re-release from the Swedish Ad Perpetuam Memoriam label, which also brought us Kultivator's Barndomens Stigar. Perhaps not surprisingly, the music...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues