Far East Family Band

This is a legendary Japanese band, the first line-up included the known synthesizer player KITARO. The FAR EAST FAMILY BAND released a lot of records in the Seventies and Eighties, they sound quite unique (an Eastern sound) with echoes from PINK FLOYD.
The album "Parallel World" was produced by the famous electronic pioneer KLAUS SCHULZE.
Far East Family Band
Far East Family Band - Far Out

Artist: Far East Family Band
P: 1973/ 2000
Far Out was actually the pre-cursor to Far East Family Band. Far Out only managed one album, released in 1973, but we all know what happened after this album, Fumio simply recruited some new musicians (including Kitaro) and Far East Family Band was born.
Just imagine the Far East Family Band sound without the synthesizers and this is what you get. The album consists of just two side-length cuts, that is "Too Many People" and "Nihonjin". "Too Many People" starts off with a bunch of bizarre electronic effects, before the music starts. A lot of it is in ballad form, of the type Far East Family Band does. You can tell English isn't the band's strong point. For me, the album's real crowning glory is "Nihonjin". Many of you already know this piece from Far East Family Band's Nipponjin. That version had plenty of synthesizer and Mellotron treatment, although I suspect the band simply used the original Far Out recording and had Kitaro, Akira Ito, and Fumio lay on the synths and tron. This original version is very much the same, except the abscence of electronics. It starts off in ballad form, but then the band gets jamming, and at the end is some excellent chanting in Japanese.
The CD reissue also includes a whole bunch of bonus cuts, all taken from Far East Family Band's The Cave - Down to the Earth (1975). If you're familiar with the Nipponjin album, then you'll discover that Nipponjin was mainly an English language remake of The Cave (with "Four Minds" and "Transmigration" removed to make place of the title track, the synth and Mellotron-add ons of Far Out's "Nihonjin"). These originals were sung entirely in Japanese, meaning the band would obviously not be able to break out of the Japanese market if they continued this way (although they obviously tried breaking the international market with their following albums, like recording in English, one album recorded in England in an attempt to sign with Virgin Records, and one album released in America on the short-lived All Ears label). "Four Minds" is one ballad I can live without, really cheesy, but then the band rebounded nicely with "Transmigration". But remember: these bonus cuts are not the entire album of The Cave, but more or less the highlights (if you want the entire album, you'll have to buy that one).

14,90 EUR
 
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Far East Family Band - Nipponjin

Artist: Far East Family Band
P: 1975/ 1998
This band is actually classified in art rock in the archives and I must admit that is totally out of place. The music of this Japanese band has its roots in psychedelic space rock. It deserves an obvious comparison with German "kosmische musik" lead by Ashra tempel, Klaus Schulze and many others. The first side is the original "Nipponjin" release with its grandiose title track. "Nipponjin" directly opens the album in an impressive manner. Some molecular noises, cymbals are floating like waves and sitar chords announce the departure to an other planet. A very eloquent "cosmic" trip which finally goes (for the best) into a "plaintive" spacey rock ballad dominated by melodic voices, electronic noises, linear synth notes and acoustic guitar riffs. The lead guitar break is frankly emotional, really intense stuff. "The Cave" is an other fascinating composition, starting with electronic experimentations, pursuing into a groovy, bluesy rock song with nice Floydian's organ passages (the opening theme of "Needles"). The second side of the album is only made of unreleased tracks. "Undiscovered Northern Land" is a rather discreet, abstract soundscape, presented as an interlude. "Timeless" is a typical Far East composition; a dynamic spacey rock meeting a vibrant Asian felt in the voice and the groove. "The god of water" is an other atmospheric interlude for electronic effects. "River of soul" provides a rather similar exciting psych voyage that we can hear in "The Cave". The last three tracks are maybe the less interesting compositions, softer in a sense. "Mystery of Northern Space" mixes an inspired melodic floating rock with the psychedelic edge of the Pink Floyd. A nice rock'n roll exploration throw infinite times and foreign spaces.

14,90 EUR
 
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Far East Family Band - Nipponjin (HQ Vinyl)

Artist: Far East Family Band
P: 1975/ 1998
This band is actually classified in art rock in the archives and I must admit that is totally out of place. The music of this Japanese band has its roots in psychedelic space rock. It deserves an obvious comparison with German "kosmische musik" lead by Ashra tempel, Klaus Schulze and many others. The first side is the original "Nipponjin" release with its grandiose title track. "Nipponjin" directly opens the album in an impressive manner. Some molecular noises, cymbals are floating like waves and sitar chords announce the departure to an other planet. A very eloquent "cosmic" trip which finally goes (for the best) into a "plaintive" spacey rock ballad dominated by melodic voices, electronic noises, linear synth notes and acoustic guitar riffs. The lead guitar break is frankly emotional, really intense stuff. "The Cave" is an other fascinating composition, starting with electronic experimentations, pursuing into a groovy, bluesy rock song with nice Floydian's organ passages (the opening theme of "Needles"). The second side of the album is only made of unreleased tracks. "Undiscovered Northern Land" is a rather discreet, abstract soundscape, presented as an interlude. "Timeless" is a typical Far East composition; a dynamic spacey rock meeting a vibrant Asian felt in the voice and the groove. "The god of water" is an other atmospheric interlude for electronic effects. "River of soul" provides a rather similar exciting psych voyage that we can hear in "The Cave". The last three tracks are maybe the less interesting compositions, softer in a sense. "Mystery of Northern Space" mixes an inspired melodic floating rock with the psychedelic edge of the Pink Floyd. A nice rock'n roll exploration throw infinite times and foreign spaces.

Here the HQ-Vinyl Version.

18,90 EUR
 
incl. 19% tax excl. Shipping costs
Far East Family Band - Parallel World

Artist: Far East Family Band
P: 1976 / 2007
Parallel World (their third album) is in fact a very good album from the 70s psych/prog/electronic sound nexus, produced by Klaus Schulze. "Metempsychosis" is a space cadet's stereo wet dream, and the whole album evokes quiet images that you might associate with being levitated or suspended in space. If you like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, or even newby spacers like the Orb and Future Sound of London, you'll like FEFB.

15,40 EUR
 
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Far East Family Band - Parallel World (Japan Version)

Artist: Far East Family Band
P: 1991/ 2007
Please deliberate on what I've mentioned above for listening to Japanese psychedelic rock. This Parallel World was released in 1976, just the same year (or a year later) BRAST BURN's Debon was released. Nobody knows if Debon could influence on this work or not, but Parallel World produced and mixed by Klaus Schulze (a Krautrocker) is one of the pioneers of Japanese Krautrock genre without any suspicion. Around this work, on the basis, there are dry electronic wind, chorus and voices with hoarseness, plaintive and melancholic melodies - that can remind us OKURASHOTEN (Ege Bamyasi by CAN) - shot by Fumio Miyasita or Masanori Takahashi, two multi-players. (Anyway, they've got to be famous Japanese musical healers and I consider their origin should be here.) Of course there is an exceptional song like Kokoro, with typical Japanese pop or enka flavour plus slight electronic psychedelia. However basically Metempsychosis has exotic percussive sounds with spacey electronic noises, and in the next Entering / Times, spiritual space riffs with heavy keyboard and rhythm section, following over four minute stardust chandelier. These sounds and styles should be, in my opinion, not occasional products. (For example, those by SHINKI CHEN can be called as junkie products and therefore they should be lazy and slack - ah, no doubt I feel good as well.) FAR EAST FAMILY BAND did construct them with their rigid intention and purpose...I always feel. The last suite Parallel World is absolutely suitable for the signboard of Japanese Krautrock. Strict, rhythmical and palpable sounds produced with electric guitars, keyboards, and percussion can push us into far east psychedelic scene.

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Far East Family Band - Tenkujin

Artist: Far East Family Band
P: 1979/ 2007
"Tenkujin" was the final album for FAR EAST FAMILY BAND. After the Klaus SCHULZE style of electronic experimentations of "Parallel World", the band decided to go back to the earlier sound, concentrating, once again, on ballads. A lot of reasons for that was KITARO left, embarking on his soon to be famous solo career. Akira Ito also left, also to embark on a solo career, but he ended up not being very well known in New Age circles. This is a trimmed down FAR EAST FAMILY BAND with guitarist/vocalist Fumio Miya, guitarist Hirohito Fukushima, and bassist Akira Fukukusa. For a new drummer, they brought in Yujin Harada. Yujin Harada was in a band called SAMURAI back in the late '60s and early '70s. Not to be confused with the UK band with the same name that featured future GREENSLADE guy Dave Lawson. This SAMURAI was a Japanese band that resided in London, with Tetsu Yamauchi (later of Free and Rod Stewart's Faces), as well as a few British musicians they recruited while staying in London (including Graham Smith on harmonica, he was later the violinist for STRING DRIVEN THING, and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR during their final days). This SAMURAI released an album in 1970 called "Green Tea" which is basically late '60s psych, with some prog leanings and the occasional Japanese influences.Let's get back to "Tenkujin". This album had an American release on the small and short-lived California-based All Ears label, hoping to break them in the American market. Without KITARO and Akira Ito anymore, all synth duties were left to Fumio Miya. The album opens up with a synth experiment called "Descension" before seguing in to the wonderful title track. This piece has vocals in Japanese, with great guitar and spacy synthesizers. "Timeless Phase" is a PINK FLOYD-like ballad with more than a passing resemblance to "The Dark Side of the Moon". It also features some cheesy strings that threw me off. "Nagare" and "From Far East" are more of the typical ballads found here, with the occasional Japanese influences (koto, shakuhachi). These songs are sung partly in English and in Japanese. Unfortunately the album bottoms out with the awful "Ascension". It's a rather cheesy instrumental piece sticking too close to that dreaded New Age style.



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