Album: Angherr Shisspa
Reflections: Koenjihyakkei is considered a "side project" of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, best known for his work in drum/bass duo Ruins. However, I think this band's work, and this album in particular, provide the deepest insight into Yoshida's influences and compositional impulses. Angherr Shisspa is a study in contrasts: songs push and pull the listener, alternately nuzzling and biting. The influence of the amazing French band Magma is obvious, yet Koenjihyakkei is capable of flying far above the sometimes plodding rhythms and frequent repetition found in Magma and other zeuhl-influenced bands. Some folks might find this record a little overwhelming, but given time, I suspect that many can turn that feeling into a true sense of exhilaration.
...and it's just a pleasure to hear. Like most Yoshida-related projects, there is always a sense of joy, delight, and play happening even in the most dense of passages. When things go over the top, they're well aware of the situation--and how funny it might be, too.
This is a fun place to start this series--I am going to attempt to highlight artists and creative ways of making music that might be obscure around here, but I think a wider audience might find lots to love, new ways to experience music, and a heightened desire to seek out new kinds of creativity.