Exposé Online banner

Round House — Jin.Zo-Ni.N.Gen
(Lion 217, 1978/2008, CD)

Round House — Wings to Rest
(Music Term MTP-103, 1979/2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Jin.Zo-Ni.N.Gen Cover artWings to Rest Cover artThe Japanese five-piece Round House apparently never recorded a proper album during their existence in the late 70s, though two releases were cobbled together out of live tracks, demos, and some studio time. They played their instrumental prog-fusion for a couple years, but where the story goes after that is beyond me. Maybe the liner notes of these reissues provide a clue, but they’re all in Japanese, so we just have the music to go by – that’s enough in the end. The closest comparison is with some of the extended instrumental passages of Camel, especially around the time of Moonmadness. There’s some good interplay between the guitar and keyboards, with the guitar in the spotlight most of the time. Bass and drums provide a solid rhythmic base, keyboards (string synth mostly, with some electric piano) and guitar fill in the chords, and lead guitar and synth supply soaring melodies to top it all off. Occasional bits of tight ensemble playing punctuate the riffs; the solos are first rate but not over-indulgent. Unfortunately, neither album boasts a recording quality that can match the caliber of the performances. The first album (the title of which can be translated as “Artificial Human”) is the better of the two by a slight margin. Three of its original tracks were recorded in a studio and two come from a live performance; this release adds a bonus track home demo. All tracks date from 1978. Wings to Rest presents another set of very similar material recorded during 1978 and 1979. Again, the quality of the sound is poor by modern standards, and varies widely from track to track, but the music is quite good. Given the impressive burst of creativity this band had for a couple of years, it’s too bad there are not better recordings of their material. Ah, well, such is fate.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 27, 2008 releases, 1978 recordings, 2002 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Round House

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Bruford / Michiel Borstlap - In Two Minds – Drummer Bill Bruford’s desire to pursue an on-going dialog with pianist Michiel Borstlap continues with this live recording across four separate 2006 European gigs. Each piece is an improvisation...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues