11 March 2009

East Bionic Symphonia - 1976 - Live

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

I came across these musicians in a listing with a bunch of other 'out there' Japanese artists. For better or for worse, this is all I know about their background. The music presented here is very much in the 70 Japanese avant-garde tradition, with washes of ambient noise and a few hints of Japanese folk sounds invading the mix. This album is listed as live, and I imagine some kind of strange museum art instillation with slowly shifting colored lights as the band drones on.

We get two tracks here, both seemingly scraping stardust from the upper regions of the stratosphere. The first track stays squarely in the realm of the mystical, with echoed koto and throaty chants hovering above occasionally minimal, but usually absent percussion. In general, the second track is in the same ballpark as the first, but there is more hand percussion present. It's still pretty far from the mainstream as their more together moments still sounds like something Sun Ra would cook up in his odder moments.

I seem to have a weird addiction to this kind of experimental music, and except for a few screeching string sounds, this collection of sound pretty well fits the bill. This is not really music for the uninitiated, but there are some pleasures to be found here for the abstract sound junkie.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

East Bionic Symphonia was a one off project from 1976 that featured members who would later be in bands like Fushitsusha and Che Shizu. It was pieced together ("tape edited") by Takehisa Kosugi of Taj Mahal Travelers.

There's a better copy of the cover art here.

(I have a copy of the original vinyl, the cover is supposed to be yellow.)

Dr. Schluss said...

Thanks for the info and cover! I guess my subconscious picked up on the Taj Mahal Traveller connection as I did that review directly after this one.