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TRACK LIST: 1. Metamorphosis of the Budderfly 19:58 2. Essential Talk 5:33 3. O 4:03 4. Bossa Nova Fracture 10:14 5. Yin-Yen Dance 9:15 6. Planet Drum 8:52 7. K'Adolo 13:15 All tracks (improvised): by Shima & Budderfly. LINE-UP: Hideyuki Shima (conductor) - 5-string bass Takumi Seino - (right-channel) guitar Shinju Odajima - (left-channel) guitar Futoshi Okano - (left-channel) drums Hiroshi Matsuda - (right-channel) drums Produced by Shima. Performed & recorded 'live' at "Big Apple Club" in Kobe. Mixed & mastered by Seino & Shima.
Preamble. Budderfly is another project by the talented Japanese musician and composer Hideyuki Shima. As well as Shima's previous effort, "The Encounter" (2002), which was released under the moniker of Strings Arguments, the "Budderfly" album is part of the Six-North Music ProGduction. The core members of the band: Shima, Odajima, and Matsuda are featured on any of the three albums released under the banner of Six-North Music. To read the review of the debut Six-North album, "I'm Here In My Heart", click > here. As for "The Encounter" CD, I'll try to review it next week.
The Album. "Budderfly" is a highly original album and it would be pointless to compare it with anything else, including both of the other albums relating to Six-North Music. Furthermore, this is a highly innovative and very interesting album, though an audience of it will most likely include only those who are exclusively into Jazz-Rock and Jazz-Fusion. And nevertheless, "Budderfly" is musically quite a diverse album, and the stylistic 'events' of it develop the next way. The music on the first three tracks here: Metamorphosis of the Budderfly, Essential Talk, and O represents a highly eclectic improvisational Jazz-Rock with elements of Jazz-Metal. Despite the fact that the second of them was performed without drums, the alternation of fast and powerful arrangements and slow and soft ones is typical for it, as well as for both of the other aforementioned compositions. The heavy guitar riffs that are present on each of them are of a slow and dark character. The parts of the soloing guitars, including those of bass (of course!), are often ornamented with a wide variety of specific guitar sounds, which, though, is typical for most of the tracks on the album. Consisting mostly of quiet and slow, yet, always diverse and virtuosi interplay between solos of bass and those of guitars, Bossa Nova Fracture (4) is about a moderately eclectic Jazz-Fusion. Even though Yin-Yen Dance (5) was performed without any percussion instruments, and Planet Drum (6) features quite a fast and powerful drumming, the basic arrangements on both of them are predominantly quite and slow. Each of these pieces is filled with magic and represents a blend of Classic Jazz-Fusion and Jazzy Space Rock with elements of Ambient. The power is back on the closing track of the album: K'Adolo. Overall, this is the most intensive composition on "Budderfly", and stylistically, it's about a blend of Jazz-Rock and real, quite a heavy, Space Rock. While the first four compositions on the album are rich in jazzy improvisations, including truly eclectic and spontaneous ones, the contents of each of the last three pieces are almost completely structured.
Summary. Not everyone's cup of tea, to say the least, "Budderfly" is, nevertheless, a unique masterpiece showing that Hideyuki Shima's compositional ambitions aren't limited by some concrete framework, and his progressive horizons are outstandingly broad. Highly recommended to those whose attitude towards Jazz-Rock, which is just one of the kinds of progressive music, is correct.
VM: April 1, 2003
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