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TRACK LIST: 1. Discontinuous Spiral 7:16 2. Kraken's Brain Is Blasting 9:34 3. Horobi No Kawa 6:51 4. Backside Edge 6:48 5. Slave Nature 6:37 6. I Am Not Here 9:08 7. Shironiji 10:10 All tracks: by Tsuboy, except 4: Sugano. All arrangements: by KBB. LINE-UP: Akihisa Tsuboy - violins (+ guitars on 5) Toshimitsu Takahashi - keyboards Dani - basses (+ guitars on 2 & 7) Shirou Sugano - drums Produced by Tsuboy. Engineered by KBB at "D-Sound Project".
Prolusion. "Four Corner's Sky" is the second album by KBB, though the band's main man Akihiko Tsuboy is also involved in a few of the other Japanese projects. For those interested, the review of the debut KBB album "Lost and Found" (2000) can be read by clicking >here.
Synopsis. The 56-minute "Four Corner's Sky" presents seven long instrumental compositions and is excellent from the first to the last note. This album in many respects surpasses "Lost and Found" (which, though, I also regard as a masterpiece), and the main distinguishing feature of it is that it is more diverse than its predecessor - both compositionally and stylistically. Indeed, each of the songs here consists of quite polymorphous structures and features very little in the way of repetition. Nevertheless, everything on the album shines with the originality and beauty that were laid on "Lost and Found" and are typical only for KBB. The album's closing track Shironiji is the only composition here, the stylistics of which is a pure Symphonic Art-Rock. The same genre is the core of music on Discontinuous Spiral and Horobi No Kawa (1 & 3), though both of these pieces contain also elements of Classical Music and Jazz-Fusion, and the first those of English Folk music, in addition. Both Kraken's Brain Is Blasting and Slave Nature (2 & 5) are about a confluence of Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal with pronounced elements of Jazz-Fusion, and an eclectic blend of Symphonic Progressive and Psychedelic Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion and even those of RIO is the style of I Am Not Here (6). Finally, the highly intensive Jazz-Fusion jam runs all through Backside Edge (4), though some definitive symphonic textures are available here, too. With the exception of tracks 2 & 7 where prevail slow and mid-tempo arrangements, the music is for the most part intensive and dramatic with the highly virtuosi passages of violin being at the helm of arrangements a bit more often than the parts of keyboards (mainly acoustic and electric piano) and electric guitar.
Conclusion. Composer, violinist, and guitarist Akihiko Tsuboy is probably the most active and fruitful Prog Rock figure in Japan today. The participation in several side projects doesn't prevent him to lead his own band KBB, the release of the new album of which is a remarkable event in the world of Progressive. Finally, I'd like to appeal to my readers. Dear friends, please don't be alarmed with seeing a high rating in most of my reviews today. It seems with years, I have found somewhat a niche that mostly serious and honest artists are used to 'look' into, with which I feel myself very fortunate. I was and am much more happy to support any truly progressive creation than criticize something else by necessity.
VM: October 8, 2003
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