Exposé Online banner

Koenjihyakkei — Hundred Sights of Koenji
(Skin Graft GR90CD, 1994/2004, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

Hundred Sights of Koenji Cover art

The latest entry from the ever-growing Japanese zeuhl scene is Koenji Hyakkei, a four piece of guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, with male and female voice. Their sound lies firmly along the Magma-punk-noise axis; in fact on the first couple tracks "Ioss" and "Doi Doi," they've pretty much co-opted Magma's sound circa Üdü Ẁüdü. It should be no surprise then, that the drummer and main-mover in the band is none other than Tatsuya Yoshida of Ruins fame... As if Yoshida doesn't already have enough projects going on with Ruins, solo albums, and his Magma cover band "Mekanik Kommandoh." Those first two tracks are certainly good, even employing a mysterious tongue (not Kobaïan, but similar), but they seem to be missing some of the spiritual aspects of Magma's sound, and hearing them only makes me want to go and listen to the real thing. Fortunately, after the second track they find their own identity, mostly a punky, Magma influenced hard-edged sound that cuts deep, yet still contains enough stylistic variety to remain interesting. On two cuts in particular, "Molavena" and "Zoltan" — both penned by keyboardist/vocalist Aki — they tone it down quite a bit, allowing her room to show another side of her vocal talents, and also breaking up the otherwise monolithic feel of the album. On "Avedumma," guitarist Ryuchi Masuda shows his allegiance to Fripp. In all, this is an extremely good album, albeit a little harsh in places. Fans of Magma, Crimson, and of course Ruins, will find much here to appreciate.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 2004 releases, 1994 recordings

Related artist(s): Koenjihyakkei, Tatsuya Yoshida

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Neuschwanstein - Battlement – Neuschwanstein was a German band whose sole surviving artifact is their incredibly powerful album Battlement, originally released on the Racket label. The sound on the LP could be described as Planets...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues