Exposé Online banner

Pneuma — Psychabuse
(Belle Antique 9588, 1985/1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1995-07-01:

Psychabuse Cover art

A repetitive pattern recalling the spirit of "Tubular Bells" introduces the listener, continuing long after its worn out it's welcome, creating a nervous tension – nothing could go on this way forever, something has to happen here – and indeed it finally does, like a blossoming flower, intoxicating pulsating waves pushing in and out like the tides, as colorful synthetic patterns dance across a pastel sky. Finally, the gongs and hand drums kick in, offering some earthly substance as a tether for your cerebral meanderings. So goes the opener "Symbiophony" on the latest release by Japanese cosmic/trance wizard Pneuma. He plays an array of synthesizers, sequencers, rhythm machines, and other electronic devices, as well as acoustic instruments (gongs, tabla, santoor, e-bow, bottle percussion, ocarina) and voices. The five tracks range from ten to twenty minutes each, mysterious and compelling soundscapes that develop and change gradually over time, yet each is unique unto itself. Fans of early Rich, Schulze and Lightwave are sure to appreciate where Pneuma is coming from. Although these tracks were originally recorded in the period from 1979-85, this is the first time they've seen official release. Recommended!


by Mike Ezzo, 1996-03-01:

The release of Pneuma's CD represents a much-needed effort at filling the gaps in the huge hole that has opened up in Japan with this genre: that of the solo electronic / synth. artist. For other than Kitaro, Akira Ito, and Fumio Miyashita, I can think of only a few scattered remnants of this style over the last ten or fifteen years. Cosmic electronic music just doesn't seem to be in big demand in Japan. Currently the leader of Trembling Strain, Hiroyuki Shimada went by the monicker "Pneuma" during the 80s, when most of this music was recorded. However it sat unreleased until now. There is quite a lot of music on Psychabuse: a couple pieces near the twenty-minute mark, plus three more at about eleven minutes each. "Symbiophony" and "Penumbra of Passed Phases" seem to recall Klaus Schulze in his Mirage era, a little too repetitive. But later, on "Moment of Awakening," he presents a different perspective, that includes some acoustics: hand drums and flutes, etc. This is where Pneuma's uniqueness shines the most, closer to the territory of his Trembling Strain project. As the album progresses he introduces Japanese melodies and it really blossoms into a truly Japan-esque work. It's refreshing to see the synthesizer music medium finally acknowledged in Japan. Kudos to Pneuma, and to Belle Antique for unearthing this one.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 9 , 1995 releases, 1985 releases

Related artist(s): Pneuma

More info

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ash Ra Tempel - Le Berceau de Cristal – Remember Tangerine Dream's Green Desert? Many a time have I discussed its legitimacy as a long lost album with people. Hailing from 1985, yet claiming to be from 1973, it just didn't seem to...  (1994) » Read more

Phoenix - Renascent Phenomenon (Archives 4: 1970-1971) – Supposedly this album of songs was written back in the early 70s for the original version of Dutch group Phoenix, which included Jos Hustings who, along with partner in crime Mathilda Roza, is...  (2005) » Read more

Faithful Breath - Fading Beauty – Faithful Breath, who later became a German heavy metal band in the 80s, began as a symphonic progressive band releasing two LPs in the 70s: Fading Beauty and Back on My Hill. Their 1974 debut LP...  (2011) » Read more

Dwight Ashley & Tim Story - Standing + Falling – Tim Story has released a volume of minimalist, ambient, and electronic works going back to his early 80s albums on the Eurock label – In Another Country being a standout, later moving to Hearts...  (2006) » Read more

Boot - Virvla – One of the things that’s often struck me is how “ancient” much of the folk music from Sweden, Norway, and Finland sounds. Melodies have a modal sound to them much like Medieval and...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues