Koenji Hyakkei are touring Europe right now, this is a very very good thing, they’re at the legendary Rock in Opposition Festival over in France this week, they’re also in London this coming Sunday 12th May, the beautifully hard-boiled Japanese band are at The Lexington, this is the long awaited debut London show from the Ruins led ensemble. The band are regulars on the Other Rock Show of course, with the possible exception of those Cardiacs, they might well be the most played band over the last few years, go listen to the show at the bottom of this page to catch last week’s show (a Rock in Opposition special) . The Other Rock Show, brought to you by Organ, goes out every Sunday night at 9pm via Resonance 104.4FM in London and worldwide via the magic of internet (although this weeks show might very well be a repeat of last week’s what with the unmissable Koenji Hyakkei being town. .
Here’s what London promoters Baba Yaga’s Hut have posted via their Facebook event page – “Koenji Hyakkei are a Japanese Progressive Rock band formed by Tatsuya Yoshida (of the renowned drum and bass duo Ruins.) and Kubota Aki (the first singer who passed away last year) in 1991. In the early period of the band activity, they took over the musicality of Kubota’s predecessor band MALINCONIA, and aimed for fusion of Kubota’s operatic voice and punk rock. By the time they released the first album in 1994, the band got progressive rock colour stronger, becoming a Magma like sound as saying to put a threatening chorus on the irregular beat unison. The language of the lyrics is a coined word, which is also greatly influenced by European languages such as Magma’s Kobaian, Italian and German. However, Yoshida’s lyrics have no meaning, only emphasis on the sound of words. on their album Angherr Shisspa in 2005, they have replaced the guitar player to soprano sax. With this change in instrumentation, their style has veered into a new direction to match the change in tone colour, shift to Chamber Rock or Rock in Opposition style, also elements of jazz included.Through their evolution of style, their rhythmic and formal complexity have expanded greatly, incorporating polyrhythms, asymmetrical time signatures, as well as more complex and varied sections, often containing polyphony and counterpoint. in this period band has been played in world wide Prog Festival such as FIMAV (2007) Nearfest (2008) Gouveia art Rock (2008) Rock In Opposition (2009). After a couple of years after the suspension of the activity, the band resumed activities with a new guitarist. And finally they released the studio album for the first time in 13 years last year, and they are highly appreciated in various places” .
LINE UP: Tatsuya Yoshida : drums, vocal, Kengo Samoto : bass, vocal, Keiko Komori : soprano sax, Taku Yabuki : keyboards, Kei Koganemaru : guitar, vocal, AH : vocal/ The Lexington is at 96-98 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB
Hear last weekend’s Other Rock radio show here, a Rock in Opposition special