Quality: 5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 5 out of 5
Far East Family Band was one of the absolute best psychedelic/prog bands from Japan, while producer Klaus Schultze was (and is) at the top of the electronic krautrock pile. Even with such strong credentials from the outset, this album is more than the sum of its parts. The two musical forces meld perfectly, with the best parts of their musical identities at the forefront without obscuring the other. Parallel World is how every collaboration would go down in a perfect world (a perfect world that is parallel to ours I would suppose).
"Metempsychosis" is sort of a prelude track, working a tribal groove not too far removed from Schultze's "Moondawn." Schultze's presence is felt even more with his cascading Moogs on "Entering," which eventually crashes head on with the full blast of the Far East Family Band on "Times." Yeah, they're probably echoing Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun" a bit too much, but I'll forgive them as I think "Times" is ultimately a superior track. We then get an extended 'sad Japanese man' psychedelic ballad with "Kokoro." It's my least favorite track here, but the quality of this album is so high that it would be a highlight on a lot of other albums. Side two consists of the "Parallel World" song suite, and of course is not to be missed. "Amanezcan" provides some modular Moog haze, while the band cranks up the voltage into some fine psychedelic funk beats on "Origin" and "Zen." The rest of the album lets the sonic DMT kick in as we're treated to some cosmic sounds that rival those on Tangerine Dream's Alpha Centauri.
Parallel World is one of the best psychedelic/prog albums of the 70's. It's definitely the best the Far East Family Band ever sounded, and it's a high point for Klaus Schultze as well. This reaches farther out into the space rock aether than most of the space rock luminaries ever managed, and deserves the ear of all the heads out there.