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TRACK LIST: 1. Glimpse 14:29 2. Mongolian Bandits 22:04 3. Night Dust 19:02 4. Ombre Moned 21:26 All tracks: by Dajmonji. Produced by Dajmonji. Engineered by Yoshida. LINE-UP: Hoppy Kamiyama - el. piano & synthesizers; vocals Tatsuya Yoshida - drums; vocals Mitsuro Nasuno - bass
Prolusion. Dajmonji is another supergroup that came out from the Land of the Rising Sun this year. Keyboardist Hoppy Kamiyama played in various bands, though above all, he is known as the owner of the God Mountain label. Drummer Tatsuya Yoshida is the leader of the famous Avant-garde outfit Ruins, and bassist Mitsuro Nasuno is a former member of Ground Zero.
Synopsis. This 77-minute album features only four tracks, all of which can be regarded as sidelong epics (LP talk). Apart from playing their instruments, two musicians sing (in English), and one of them has an amazing high-pitched voice. The vocal palette of the album is theatric in character and features elements of musical comedy a bit reminding me of those in >Etron Fou Leloublan. However, purely instrumental arrangements are always dramatic and cover about three fourths of each of the songs here. The music is distinctly original, and only some parts of keyboards (and only on the first track) may bring to mind the names of Keith Emerson and Francois "Faton" Cahen of Zao. The arrangements are highly intricate and eclectic, and yet, they always remain completely structured, comprehensible, and very, very interesting. All four of the tracks on the album are definitive entities of Fifth Element, among the perceptible constituents of which are Symphonic Art-Rock, RIO, Jazz-Fusion, and Space Rock. The latter of them however, isn't available on Glimpse (1), which is the most intensive composition here with the bass guitar solos, sometimes sounding almost like those of electric guitar, being often at the helm of arrangements. The number of improvisations and improvisation-like solos on all of the following tracks: Mongolian Bandits, Night Dust, and Ombre Moned is noticeable lesser than that on Glimpse, whereas the quantity of atmospheric structures grows. In other words, in the basis of Fifth Element presented on these three lies a blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and RIO with elements of Space Rock and Jazz-Fusion. All the tracks on "Improg" are unique masterpieces, and the last two: Night Dust and Ombre Moned are just mind-blowing.
Conclusion. The music on "Improg" is so unique and intriguing that it will keep the listener's attention from the first to the last note. The album is a real gem, and I heartily recommended it to all the profound lovers of progressive music.
VM: December 15, 2003
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