:::Laya:::

Posted: Monday, 17 May 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
2

"Laya" is one of the most brilliant examples of how well has the RIO trend of prog aged for the new millennium. With one less keyboardist and the addition of violinist extraordinaire Akihisa Tsuboy, Pochakaite Malko was prepared to create and release yet another catalogue of challenging, energetic music. The melodic ideas in this album are as extrvagant as they are captivating, full of exotic elements (Far East, Arabian, Hindu, North African), perfectly blended in a jazz-fusion atmosphere to be matched with the sense of adventure and multicolored creativity inherent to the band's most obvious Occidental infuences: Univers Zero, Present and a bit of early Magma. All in all, despite the tension that feels so patently demanding, this band does not emulate the cerebral darkness of the aforementioned RIO bands, only their density and their orchestral equilibrium. Tsuboy, being the 'new kid on the block', really owns the starring role in the band's overall sound, while the rhythm section guys interact in a display of total versatility all through each and every intrincate number. Last but not least, Ogino knows how to create precise bridges between the violin and the rhythm duo, effectively filling the melodic spaces among the violin leads. 'Laya' and 'Death by Hanging' bear a playful spirit, with the former leaning toward the colorful side of RIO and the latter going for a jazzier road. 'Cristao' finds the musicians organically focused on the elaboration of disturbing dreamy ambiences, with a simplistic bass line whose minimalistic impulse sets the pace for the other instruments to create a sonic polyphonic nightmare. After this emergence of sheer disturbance, comes a very convenient contrast, 'Hallelujah', which is obviously more joyful, mostly due to the special fusionesque vibe used by the band. PM's style doesn't let things get too comfortable here - we must remember, after all, that this is a RIO-inspired band. But the playfulness goes on with 'Frozen Shoulders', one of the most amazing pieces of this amazing album: its mixture of Celtic cadences and traditional Japanese colors is solidly displayed on a 7/8 tempo, with the added percussions being somewhat more featured than the basic drum kit input. Next comes a couple of solemn tracks, 'Meat Powdered Bones' and 'It Came from.', which are when PM get the closest they can to Present's prototype. But even then, of course, we must keep in mind that this band always gets to keep its sound from getting beyond the reasonable tortuous. 'Somewhere in Time' meets the best of PM's both worlds: starting with what seems a tight commitment to jazz-fusion, there are some climatic interludes in which the explosive dangers of RIO arise with fire and steel. A special mention goes to the marriage of organ and bass that erupts somewhere in the middle - quite Magmaesque, indeed. This would have made a perfect closure for the album had the last 11 minutes of the album not been occupied by 'D.N.A.'. This is real music from and for the underworld, made out of Vulcanus' fire to set heat in the listener's brain. The initial 4 1/2 minutes of languid ambiences may seem deceiving at first, but the listener should suspect that there's a subtle air of danger hanging around.
Then comes a 2-minute section of sinister orchestrations, controlled yet positively creepy. At 6:30, teh creepy thing turns a bit more pompous and schematized, even including carnival-like adornments. The return of the creepy section feels particularly strong due to the augmented dose of energy portrayed by the violin and the piano, while Tateiwa and Kuwahara sustain the climax in a very consistent fashion. The final solitary piano chords bid a proper farewell to the listener. "Laya" couldn't find a more proper ending than this, and definitely, Pochakaite Malko should already be regarded as masters of current avant-prog.
:::Review by Cesar Inca:::

Pochakaite Malko – Laya (2004)

1. Laya (4:22)
2. Death By Hanging (5:57)
3. Cristao ~ Peasants' Revolt (5:47)
4. Hallelujah (7:04)
5. Frozen Shoulder (5:08)
6. Meat Powdered Bones (5:47)
7. It Came From ... (4:27)
8. Somewhere In Time (7:19)
9. D.N.A. (11:18)

Credits
- Junzo Tateiwa / tabla, percussion & drums
- Kazuo Ogino / piano, keyboards
- Shigekazu Kuwahara / bass
- Akihisa Tsuboy / electric & accoustic violin

Guest musicians
- Keiku / voice (1)
- Ryuichi Imai / oud (4)

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