Exposé Online banner

Bondage Fruit — IV
(Musea GA 8627.AR, 1999, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2000-05-01

IV Cover art

After a mildly disappointing third album, Bondage Fruit is back in top form. Over the top, in fact. Much of this is insanely complex music that one might swear is all improvised, at least until the band hits a stop or a change and your jaw drops in awe. Folks attending last year’s Progfest in San Francisco got a taste of what to expect here. The band – guitar, bass, violin, drums, and a mallet percussionist, typically builds slowly, at first skeletally, building the density over irregular grooves, trading off violin and guitar solos – sometimes multi-tracked, peppered with vibraphone and percussives. On “Screen Game (Electric)” the rhythm guitar takes on a raw bluesy feel (with slide and effects-distortion) while the lead guitar and violin duel in the foreground. There are two versions of “Screen Game” – the aforementioned electric version with uncredited harmonica solo is only available on the Japanese version, while the Musea release features an equally impressive acoustic version; otherwise the two discs are identical. The dreamy twelve minute “Storm Bird Storm Dreamer,” which the band opened with in San Francisco, sounds far better here when the sound is properly mixed, and in fact may be one of the album’s best tracks. The overt zeuhl influences of the early albums have faded in favor of a stark and stunning originality that’s pretty much theirs alone. The 20-minute apocalyptic “Sono Bank” pretty much sums up where Bondage Fruit is today: an ‘evolving groove’ is driven by densely layered blistering multi-tracked guitars and violin through a number of changes to an intense cacaphonic climax. Headphone music, for sure. My highest recommendation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Yuji Katsui, Natsuki Kido, Bondage Fruit

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tomorrow - 50 Minute Technicolour Dream – Tomorrow is currently a hot psychedelic commodity on the market: many of the band's English UK singles fetch top dollar on the English collector's circuit. Adding to the frenzy is former...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues