Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten (1976) review
Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten (Merlins Nose Label Group)
Listen/buy link: https://merlinsnoserecords.bandcamp.com/album/benzaiten
World music and ethno sounds with an obvious Japanese origin meet progressive rock and psyche. The result is a captivating piece of melodic and deeply atmospheric music that paints pictures of life in ancient Japan into your mind when you lay back, close your eyes and listen closely with your thoughts turned off. If PINK FLOYD were Japanese their music might have sounded like that. The frequency of the arrangements on Benzaiten reminds of what our English heroes have created in the early to mid 1970s just with a different ethnical approach. Benzaiten is even a more progressive effort than anything most British bands have ever managed to fabricate and still utterly natural and vivid concerning the flow of the music. All participating musicians here are professionals and their performances are tight and still passionate. The sound is warm and vivid, the song structures are wide open and welcome you to slip inside. East meets West on this record and Osamu Kitajima and his companions really grab you by the soul. Electronic elements in the percussion section add some oddity to the whole musical picture. Not sure what Osamu Kitajima and his band intended when they recorded this record but I am certain they achieved it. The cool aspect of Benzaiten is the rocking guitar which keeps the whole album together. Must be the Japanese pendant to German acts like AMON DÜÜL II, EMBRYO and GURU GURU. Well, there is definitely some truth in this comparison. Anyway, this album will enchant you!
By ‘Sir Lord Doom’/2016
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