Exposé Online banner

Shingetsu — Shingetsu
(Belle Antique 091654, 1979/2010, CD)

Shingetsu / Serenade — Night Collector
(Belle Antique 9482, 1980/1995, CD)

Shingetsu — Akai Me No Kagami: Live '79
(Belle Antique 9473, 1979/1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Shingetsu Cover artNight Collector Cover artAkai Me No Kagami: Live '79 Cover art

Shingetsu was one of the classic Japanese symphonic bands, and their self titled Shingetsu album from 1979 is highly regarded, and often compared to classic period Genesis, if only for the ten minute opener "Oni," which recalls albums like Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot. The band is fronted by vocalist Makoto Kitayama, whose deep voice is uncommon among Japanese singers. After that opening track, the band quickly finds their own unique style – and while Genesis is definitely an influence (among many others), this band offers far more originality than most among the Japanese symphonic bands. The delicate interplay of acoustic guitars contrasting with heavy symphonics, thick keys, lush Mellotrons, and sudden dynamic changes brings their sound close to bands like Änglagård at times, yet they frequently take a more accessible path during the vocal passages. Unfortunately, the band left behind only this one album, two members left for Aquapolis, while two others turned up later in Asturias, and Makoto went on to record a solo album.

Last year, two special collections of live/archival Shingetsu material were released. The first, Night Collector, covers the early years (although no specific dates are offered) and even includes five tracks by an early (circa 1976) version of the band called Serenade. The sound quality on the earliest material is fairly rough, but improves as the album goes on.

The other is Akai Me No Kagami, which consists of live material taken from one concert in July 1979, and includes three previously unreleased tracks for a (presumed) second album, including the twenty-one minute title cut. This is much better sound-wise, and gives a good idea of the power that the live band packed at their peak period. [This material was later included on Musea's Live release. - ed.]


Filed under: Archives, Issue 9, 2010 releases, 1979 recordings, 1995 releases, 1980 recordings, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Shingetsu

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...

Univers Zéro - Clivages – The word "darkness" is often prominently mentioned in descriptions of the music of Univers Zéro, and there are certainly aspects of this newest release that fit that mold. However,...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues