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(55 min, Vital Records)
"Somewhere Between" is the second album by BUTZMETZ LINGERIEZ, a Japanese quartet comprising Koh Yoneyama on guitar, Nobuyuki Shiori on bass, Wataru Endo on drums and Hiro Takano on flute and saxophone. This 55-minute album includes five long tracks, all of which were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs. The title track, which opens the recording, is as compelling as any of the subsequent ones, all drawing intense, almost continuously developing Jazz Rock / Fusion, abundant in blistering improvisations, yet never losing its inner integrity, as all of the compositions (meaning their basic themes) were scrupulously composed before being performed. Unlike many other done-at-a-stretch recordings, "Somewhere Between" doesn't convey any sense of spontaneity, but depicts its makers as a group of well-rehearsed musicians who, moreover, so masterfully handle their instruments that their joint performance appears to be as both intricate and beautiful as a spider's web or, perhaps, as a snowflake. However, it's Hiro Takano who is the real star in this show - not just because he is a former member of the brilliant Japanese band with an Italian name, Il Berlione. When Takano ventures on his - positively wild - saxophone trills, those just send shivers down my spine. I do really love turbulent Prog, especially when not only traditional rock instruments are involved. The only drawback of this disc is its rather poor sound quality; hence the rating is lower than the music as such deserves.
Vitaly Menshikov: October 12, 2006
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