Exposé Online banner

Tipographica — God Says I Can't Dance
(Mellow MMP 310, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1996-08-01:

God Says I Can't Dance Cover art

By now everyone should know who these guys are and have some kind of idea what they sound like, even if you've never actually heard anything by them (unless you've been living in a cave, or reading one of the other magazines). This is the follow-up to last year's outstanding live release The Man Who Does Not Nod. Listeners who are wooed only by pretty melodies, thick fat blankets of synthesizer effects, and an occasional measure in odd time may not find Tipographica's music that appealing. On the other hand, those who are beckoned by impossible-to-play counterpoint and revel in the pure mathematical complexity of six players each in their own time signature should find much here of interest. Indeed, Tipographica's music at times seems like the ultimate statement of musical unpredictability, until you give it a many close listens and really get to know it. Fans of Frank Zappa, Henry Cow and Canterbury — or anybody moving in that general direction — should find Tipographica's playful and convoluted compositions to be more than adequate stimulus amid the plethora of progressive rock bands that refuse to progress. All the compositions are penned by guitarist Tsuneo Imahori, the rest of the lineup being bass, drums, keyboards, trombone, and sax. No vocal pollution to get in the way of the music. Compared to last year's live album, this one has a more composed feel, a bit closer to their studio debut. Any way you look at it, this one is a total smoker; Tipo has done it again!


by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

As well covered in Exposé, Tipographica are one of the best new music ensembles around, a band better suited to those with largely experimental tastes. After a superb debut and equally interesting live album, the band is back with their newest studio release, an album which surprisingly enough shouldn't surprise anyone now. God Says I Can't Dance is like a step back to the first album, with the same very staggered rhythmic structures (like Zappa's early 70s bands performing Jon Hassell's "Chor Moire" from Dream Theory in Malaya for an upcoming Recommended release) and whimsical melodies/anti-melodies. I was very impressed with the way the band would whip it out on the live album — in true Zappa style with great solos from the various instrumentalists (often guitar, sax and trombone), so I was maybe a bit disappointed that there wasn't more of that on the new one. Who’s to complain though, as the band hasn't lost any of their edge they're still tight, spirited, humorous, and cutting-edge. Although this isn't much of a development on past styles for the band, Tipographica are still light years away from many of their contemporaries and this is as good as any of their releases.

by Alain Lachapelle, 1996-08-01:

The definition of progressive rock is growing wider each year. There is a trend that consists of injecting healthy doses of fusion, what with a jazz rock aura in the neighborhood. All over the worldwide prog rock community we have listened to great bands pushing forward the basic definition of the genre and to this extent, Tipographica's God Says I Can't Dance is an enjoyable and intricate sample. Master structure builder Tsuneo Imahori sketches angular foundations that could be materialized as Picasso paintings. Complex odd rhythms over which flurries of notes are often flying by, while the sax and trombone are anchoring the modal atmosphere. On the opener, "Friends," there is a definite nod to the work of orchestral Zappa. A drawback in this maelstrom of sonic explorations is that there are but few passages of 'letting go' in which an instrument can take the listener from point A to B without going through the whole museum of Modern Arts. But this is overcome by the compositional work that doesn't fail to attract the listener's attention. We're clearly out of 'traditional' prog rock here, and it could very well be that people defining progressive music by standards such as Yes and Pendragon would frown upon the seeming lack of 'song' patterns, not to mention the harmonic explorations. On the other hand, fans of the orchestral work of Francesco Z. will find here an ample terrain to explore. God said Imahori can't dance, but it could very well be that God has definite plans as to underline 'progressive' in 'prog rock' for the future.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 10 , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Tipographica

More info

Latest news

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

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Brainticket - Alchemic Universe – Alchemic Universe is more or less the work of Joel Vandroogenbroeck (recording under the name of “Mystery Hologram A-U-rchestra”), with some spoken vocals by Carole Muriel. The text, by...  (2003) » Read more

A Triggering Myth - Forgiving Eden – For their latest effort, keyboardists Tim Drumheller and Rick Eddy present a single suite divided into eight parts, sometimes with no break between them. Part one starts quietly with a slightly jazzy,...  (2003) » Read more

Bella Band - – Smokin' hot fusion is the specialty delivered by this instrumental five-piece of keys, winds, guitar, bass, and drums from Firenze. Comparable to some other Italian jazz-rock bands like Perigeo...  (1995) » Read more

Book of Hours - Art to the Blind – This Swedish band starts off their first album with a nice slice of instrumental rock: two guitars, bass, and drums slipping easily between phrases of three and four beats. It is well arranged, with...  (2000) » Read more

The Black Noodle Project - Eleanore – Sometimes I put the CD in the car stereo without looking at the titles, and that’s what I did with Eleonore. I like to keep my eyes on the traffic. As the disc played I found a lot of the music...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues