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Few bands are more enigmatic than Koenji Hyakkei (written in Japanese 高円寺百景). Though firmly grounded in the Zeuhl style of Magma, they have taken it to new and unexplored places. Fronted by drummer Yoshida Tatsuya, of Ruins fame, their lineup shifts as rapidly as their style does. However, two things remain constant in their music- lyrics in a made up (and probably nonsensical) language, and an exotic, almost folk feel to the music. The combination of the two gives a sense that you're listening to the music of a culture that exists only in minds of a handful of creative people.Read More...
Until recently, their ensemble has consisted of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and female vocals (Nami Sagara, ex-The Eccentric Opera). With their latest album, Angherr Shisspa, they have replaced the guitar with reed player Komori Keiko (mainly on soprano sax). With this change in instrumentation, their style has veered into a new direction to match the change in tone color.
Through their evolution of style, their rhythmic and formal complexity have expanded greatly, incorporating polyrhythms, asymmetrical time signatures (i.e. not all beats are the same length), as well as more complex and varied sections, often containing polyphony and counterpoint. However, through all these impressive technical feats, they have managed to keep the overall feel very simple and melodic, to the extent that most other music feels hideously normal after listening to Koenji Hyakkei.
Formed in Tokyo, Kantô, Japan in 1991. Note that there is no official way to romanise the band's name, which accounts in part for the wide variety of tags across last.fm. Koenji Hyakkei and Koenjihyakkei have been used most commonly by official sources, but KoenjiHyakkei, Koenji-Hyakkei, and others have also been seen. 高円寺百景 is the Japanese tag for the artist, and a more accurate romanisation for the name would be Kōenji Hyakkei or Kōenjihyakkei, although these are rarely seen.
1994 - 高円寺百景 (Hundred Sights of Koenji)
1998 - 弐(II) (Viva Koenji!)
2001 - Nivraym
2005 - Angherr Shisspa
2002 - Live at Star Pine's Cafe
2006 - Live at Doors
2008 - 070531
2010 - Live at Koenji High
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