Interpose - Interpose

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Poseidon
Catalog Number: PRF-026
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:28:00

Musea Records signed a deal with Japan's Poseidon to release to the world CDs by Japanese artists ... and thus over the past year or so, Musea has been issuing a plethora CDs by Japanese artists. One of those artists is Interpose, whose self-titled debut album came out in September. But, Interpose are not new to the scene, as they've been together off and on since the 80s; Interpose does represent their first album, however. And, as of this writing, they are on the bill for BajaProg 2006. And upon hearing this CD, I'll wager that they'll wow the crowds.

Interpose are a wonderfully symphonic, jazzy, mostly instrumental, progressive rock band, their sound characterized by the stunning guitar playing of Kenji Tanaka - his solos appear everywhere. Listen to the jazzy, fusiony "Zitensya," where he simply takes control, ceasing only for a moment to let keyboardist Ryuji Yonekura duel in piano-like tones with drummer Katsu Sato (followed by a brief duel between Tanaka and bassist Toshiyuki Koike). It's a furious pyrotechnic display. But nuanced, emotive playing is heard in "Koibumi" and "Last Sign" where his guitar sings in lovingly rendered notes. The opener, "Aircon," and parts of "Koibumi," which begins with more guitar fireworks, are examples of this more relaxed state. In these pieces we get the beautiful, lilting vocals of Sayuri Aruga, too. While it might seem obvious, the comparison that came to mind was Wappa Gappa. It will come across wrong to some to say, but it's all very European sounding; though in fact it just proves that the Japanese language can be sung as beautifully as Italian or French, that it doesn't have to have angular edges.

Even when the typo is fast, nothing seems hurried or out-of-control... which doesn't mean that it is over calculated either, just that the journey is as important as the destination. The arrangements are open enough that you can nestle inside and let it just wash over and around you. In fact, that it has taken 20 years or so for the quintet to release an album, suggest that there's no need to rush into anything. They've had time to hone their skills and it shows on this excellent release. In that time, members have changed, of course; in fact, after the recording of this album, keyboardist Yonekura left - Nobuo Watanabe is the new keyboardist - and more recently bassist Koike has also left due to health issues).

"Aircon" begins with layers of keyboards, sparse percussion, and a sweet, melancholy guitar, it's an airy and spacey intro to the more quickened pace of the next segment, where guitar is jangly and cheerful. Keys are reedy but lush. Vocals don't come in until a jazzier movement starts a good 5 minutes into the 11-plus minute track. Aruga's voice is warm, sweet but far from being meek; she belt it out, but like everything else, with control. Akihisa Tsuboy (KBB) guests on violin on this track, adding stunning playing to an already stunning track. (Fellow KBB member Dani is credited with programming on the album; and has taken on bass duties for the band's live performances). And beneath these vocals, is some amazing, guitar and keyboard interplay...

A moody, walking bass begins "Dayflower" beneath a feathery keyboard, while snickering drums set a steady pace. It's a bit early-Crimsony in a way, certainly in the keyboard tone. This piece comes in two parts, the second being a very subtle interplay between flute-like keys and bass. These soon give way to parpier keyboards; Yonekura's chance to solo. The piece ends with a Latin flavor of acoustic guitar arpeggios.

"Last Sign," which closes the album, has a darker cast, putting keyboards, drums and percussion up front. It's a spacey jazzy piece that manages to convey both fast movement and stillness... When it kicks into high gear, we get rumbling bass and drums that dig down deep while first keyboards then guitar take off in flight... leading into some more lovingly rendered guitar soloing from Tanaka.

Add in great production on top of the excellent performances and we have one fabulous release.

Also released by Musea (FGBG 4169.AR)

Aircon (11:03) / Dayflower (I. Part One/II. Part Two) (10:03) / Zitensya (8:30) / Koibumi (10:34) / Last Sign (7:16)

Kenji Tanaka - guitars
Katsu Sato - drums, percussion
Toshiyuki Koike - bass
Ryuji Yonekura - keyboards
Sayuri Aruga - vocals


Akihira Tsuboy - violin
Dani - programming

Interpose (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin JP

Added: February 20th 2006
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1014
Language: english


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