Tipographica — God Says I Can't Dance
(Mellow MMP 310, 1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1996-08-01:
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.
Related artist(s): Tipographica
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Art Rock Circus - A Passage to Clear & Tell a Vision – Easy to follow narratives within the comfortable confines of a pop progressive melodic framework. Nods to epic classic rock arise here and there. In some places you can hear traces of Genesis,... (2006) » Read more
Nurse with Wound & collaborators - Angry Eelectric Finger 1-3 – Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, for a journey into the outer cosmos. Or the inner depths. Whatever. Three journeys, actually. The genesis of this material seems to involve NWW’s Steve... (2006) » Read more
Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri - Other Worlds in a Small Room – Other Worlds in a Small Room is the only second duo project by half of Japan (later Rain Tree Crow) and also a few side projects with Mick Karn (Seed). In addition, Barbieri is also a sometime member... (1997) » Read more