Various - Fracture Message - Poseidon + Music Term Sampler Volume 2

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Poseidon Productions
Catalog Number: PRP-002
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:32:00

I don't know about you, but, as a rule, I love a good compilation. Yeah, I know that nowadays, more often than not, compilation CDs are collections of time-worn "classic" songs, poorly- produced "tributes" to well-established and influential artists, or endless permutations of an artist's "greatest hits." The proverbial ray of hope among compilations are the promo CDs released by record companies and their associated promoters to draw attention to their artists. With a strong line-up of talented artists playing their best songs, a compilation becomes both a successful advertisement for both the artists and their labels and, for the listener, a great way to discover new music.

Fracture Message falls squarely into the latter category. A compilation of artists associated with Poseidon Productions and the Music Term sales conglomerate in Japan, Fracture Message presents songs from ten well-established Japanese progressive artists. The music is primarily jazz-rock, but symphonic rock and Renaissance-influenced folk music are also represented.

Fracture Message starts off with Pochakaite Malko's furious and cinematic "G-13," a pulse-pounding romp that recalls Works-era ELP and screams to be tracked to a particularly wild car chase scene in a great action movie. Spinning around 180 degrees, Quikion's "Train Song" is a lovely folk song that features acoustic instruments (including concertina and glockenspiel) and Yukiko Totoki's emotive vocals. Round House kicks proceedings back into high gear with "Jinzo-Ningen," a rocking ensemble piece that features guitar duos soaring over mellotron and a funky, syncopated rhythm. Theta's "Ashiato (Footprints)" deceptively lures the listener in with Yoko Royama's vocals, then becomes a mesmerizing jazz-rocker that features some beautiful Ponty-style violin and Kazuhito Kawakami's insistent bass soloing. Morsof alternately amuses and astounds with their "Cos Theta," a short but satisfying jazz attack that features a funky melody (occasionally sounding just like early Happy The Man minus Kit Watkins' keyboards) and some wild group improvisation.

For symphonic progressive aficionados, KBB's "Hatenaki Shoudou" ("The Endless Urge") provides the most engaging moments on Fracture Message, pitting Akihisa Tsuboy's violin against his guitars in a sweeping arrangement that calls to mind Kenso and Kansas. Six North creates an interesting musical sandwich with their "Silence, Darkness" by book-ending some 60s-sounding psychedelia with a jazz intro and outro. Things take a Residents-ial turn with Quaser's "Roger", a lengthy avant-garde piece that incorporates rock, jazz, sickly-sweet pop, narration, and terraced dynamics into its complex, head-turning arrangement. Head Pop Up shows their off-beat style with "Soshite," a brisk rock instrumental that incorporates scat and nonsense vocals into its whole-group unison passages. The Akihisa Tsuboy/Natsuki Kido Duo's "Left Window" calls to mind the acoustic explorations of John McLaughlin and Shankar. Fast and furious, "Left Window" races through its eleven minutes to close Fracture Message on a breathless, exhilarating note.

Bottom line? I love Fracture Message. I've always believed that Japan has a wealth of great talent that isn't getting heard on this side of the Pacific; now, I know it. So, if you're looking for great new music to add to your listening lexicon, look to Japan and pick up on Fracture Message, a very good place to start.

Note: Fracture Message is available from Music Term through their website at:

G-13 (Pochakaite Malko) (5:42) / Train Song (Quikion) (4:09) / Jinzo-Ningen (Round House) (4:02) / Ashiato (Footprints) (? (Theta)) (6:38) / Cos Theta (Mosof) (1:54) / Hatenaki Shoudou (KBB) (6:26) / Silence, Darkness (Sixnorth) (8:49) / Roger (Quaser) (7:58) / Soshite (Head Pop-Up) (4:36) / Left Window (Tsuboi And Kido Duo) (11:18)


Melody Mirror Music Term + Poseidon Sampler Volume 1 (2001)
Fracture Message - Poseidon + Music Term Sampler Volume 2 (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin JP

Added: February 1st 2003
Reviewer: David Cisco

Hits: 832
Language: english


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