Exposé Online banner

Koenjihyakkei — Angherr Shisspa
(Skin Graft GR 78CD, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Angherr Shisspa Cover art

It’s been amusing to read the attempts of reviewers in the alternative / independent press to write about this album. They find the music so strange that they have difficulty describing it, even though some of them seem to like it. The crushing rhythms, dramatic vocals in an unknown language, the combination of Wagnerian bombast with jazzy inflections and rock instrumentation – in short, the Klingon Opera of rock – have no reference point for them. Of course, anyone who’s familiar with Magma’s classic recordings would have no such difficulty, as Koenjihyakkei fits squarely in the zeuhl tradition. All we have to do is describe the ways in which Koenji differs (or doesn’t) from Magma, and we’ve got the picture. We can also compare to earlier Koenji albums, so I went back to their debut for a little perspective. One important difference is that there is no longer any guitar in the band: drummer Tatsuya Yoshida is now teamed up with bass, keyboards, reeds (soprano sax and clarinet), and a dedicated singer, with everyone else singing as well. The lack of guitar, combined with the saxophones and the three female vocalists, gives the band a somewhat less oppressive sound, though it’s still pretty dense stuff. Miyako Kanazawa (keys) and Keiko Komori (reeds) are both extraordinary players, and really add to the proceedings, changing roles as the arrangements dictate. The lyrics are helpfully printed in the booklet, so you can all chant along with “Villba Quaranggi Irundoh Sillzza” to your heart’s content.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Koenjihyakkei, Tatsuya Yoshida

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Janick Top STS - Système Solaire – Janick is back... The monstrous and legendary bassist of the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Magma issues his first solo effort, after years of session-work with variety singers and composing film scores. His...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues