Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 34, No. 18. October 6 1971
Food Brain — Social Gathering Polydor
Social Gathering Polydor
This album, featuring a rampant hull elephant on cover, is one of the most exciting and original albums to be released this year. It is an album of pure progressive rock music, with some jazz influences.
Food Brain are a group of young samuraii from the Land of the Rising Sun. They comprise Shinki Chen (Guitar) Hiro Yanagida (keyboard), Masyoshi Kabe (Bass) and Hiro Tsunda (Drums). Also on one track the group is augmented by Michihio Kimura (bass clarinet).
The strength of the group lies in Yanagida whose facility on electric organ is absolutely too much. He has a very good hand for extemporisation whilst remaining in total rapport with Kabe. John Mayall after a recent tour of Nippon remarked that many rock musicians there were better technically than their European counterparts, though lacking in originality. Yanagida has both technical excellance and originality He does make Emerson look like a beginner.
Food Brain are an incredibly together-group. They play very much closer than many a Western rock group. Naturally they write all their own material. Though they probably have a classical backgroun they do not use classical form. Side Two features a very short, very beautiful track 'One-sided Love' featuring only Yanagida on electric harsichord; which shows a complete understanding of Rameau and Scarlatti.
Nippon is Nippon, Tokyo is centre of modern electronic industry and electronics play a big part in this album. There is electronic distortion and mixing which creates some unusual and compelling sounds.
Side One may be viewed as a short suite, featuring organ and bass creating a driving, compulsive, totally progressive sound, in which may be detected influences as diverse as early Pink Floyd and traditional Japanese ceremonial music. A short track The Conflict of the Hippo and the Pig (a musical Noh interpretation) ends the side.
Side Two is largely a continuation of the Suite on Side one though Chen's wailing quitar more often is heard predominently. Then the beautiful One-sided love followed by The Hole in a Sausage which is ultra-progressive and features electronic distortion (especially of the clarinet) and frequent tempo changes.
This album is undoubtedly the most original progressive music released this year. It is worth pawning your F.L.P. and Strawbs for.