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

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Petrophonics – Ever since I first heard this band back in the early 80s, I’ve been fascinated by their style: rock instrumentation playing challenging music which is not based in the conventions of rock and roll,...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues