Bi Kyo Ran — Fairy Tale, Early Live Vol. 1
(Belle Antique 8704, 1979/1987, LP)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 1996-03-01
No more than a year after recording an album of King Crimson covers as Madoromi, it was 1978, and the band changed its name back to Bi Kyo Ran; they won first prize in a Yamaha-sponsored contest, and ended up on a compilation LP called Wind & Wave. With the addition of violin, keyboards, and new drummer Masaharu Sato (from Crosswind, a famous fusion band at that time) they set about writing and performing original music. Their live work from this period is captured on Fairy Tale - Early Live, Vol. 1 (released in 1987 on LP). Though it is not professionally recorded, it features a nice variety of material, their most enjoyable, in my opinion. First is the lengthy Crimsoid workout, "Uneri," recalling perhaps the album In the Wake of Poseidon; but the structure reminds me of something like "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 1." Then there is the title track with some great plaintive singing by Kunio Suma; arrangements that feature keys and recorders, and some ballad-like moments as well. I feel this is a direction very much inspired by Japanese culture, and other Japanese prog of its time. The only piece that would reappear later, "Prediction," is a nice showcase for Sato's Bruford-esque drumming. Lastly, the cover art is breathtaking. This LP has not been reissued on CD.
Related artist(s): Bi Kyo Ran / Madoromi
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
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
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