Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Far East Family Band "The Cave" Down To The Earth “ 1975 Japan Psych Space Rock (Top 50 Japan Rock Albums by Julian Cope)


Far East Family Band  "The Cave" Down To The Earth “ 1975 Japan Psych Space Rock (Top 50 Japan Rock Albums by Julian Cope) 
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https://open.spotify.com/album/03uoMI69nsxRkxUykdDEVm


FEFB’s debut album could easily be considered Far Out’s second album as the group had recorded one of the earliest prog album under that name. The early releases had a spacey sound that reminded much of Floyd although there was a slight Eastern accent mixed in with a more cosmic feel. The sextet, two guitarists and two keyboardists (among which future new age superstars Kitaro, Akira Ito and Myia[&*!#]a), developed a very interesting and often exciting space rock, which had the intelligence of not over- indulging itself. 
The album is a concept album as "The Cave” is arriving onto our planet, and the group is generally celebrating the beauties of nature. Obviously heavily influenced by Floyd (From AHM to DSOTM era), the group lays down some very credible ambiances that even Floyd could’ve pulled off. Of course, the similarities are no accident, because the guitars often sound like Gilmour’s, while some keyboards layers could easily have been from Wright. The album glides smoothly, but not unnoticed, because they are enough delightful moments to make you forgive them for their too-obvious influences. And as if to prove me wrong the closing track, the 11-min Transmigration shows more Moody Blues vocal harmonies over a pedestrian Floyd soundscape, the whole thing underlined by a Mellotron and ending on newborn’s crying before picking up again (hey Nick Mason is on drums, right?) only tohave a siren warn us that the album is over. 

This album will draw Klaus Schulze’s attention and he will collaborate with FEFB on their next album (a rehash of the first two albums’ highlights for the European market) Nipponjin and again for Parallel World. In the meantime this album often gets overlooked, but it fully deserves the proghead’s attention, as much as their Far Out release. I rounded this album to a fourth star, for I always liked this one, even if it is far from perfect. 

NB: the TRC 019 release (which comes from the not-always legit firm of SRV) has a rearranged artwork taking only parts of the sunset of the original Lp sleeve, that almost avoids to name the band except for a small almost invisible logo on the lower left corner….by Sean Trane …~


A competent and enjoyable space rock album from Japan, The Cave Down to the Earth is a great showcase for guitarists Fumio Miya[&*!#]a and Hirohito Fukushima, whose low-key riffing and trading of solos show a more subtle touch than is usual for space rock. Combining the pacidity and tranquility of the Floydian end of space rock with the fuzzed-out tones of Hawkwind, the band create a distinctive sound which is entertaining enough, though isn’t quite enough to secure them a place in the space rock pantheon on the strength of this particular recording. A high three stars which could have got a fourth star if the compositions had just been a little bit tighter…..by Warthur …~


Regarded by many as the first Japanese progressive rock group, the Far East Family Band featured the keyboardist and future new age composer, Kitaro. A keyboard-dominated space rock band, the Far East Family Band played extended compositions that brought comparisons to Tangerine Dream and early Pink Floyd. 

The group’s first album was released under the band name of Far Out. After changing their name, the band released The Cave Down to Earth in 1975. Their first European release, Nipponjin – Join Our Mental Phase Sound (1975), featured re-recorded versions of material from the previous record and the album attributed to Far Out. The group’s next record, Parallel Worlds (1976), was profoundly influenced by Klaus Schulze who Kitaro met on a trip through Europe. With the first track over 30 minutes long, the album bears similarities to Krautrock legends Ash Ra Tempel. Tenkujin (1977) followed and was the band’s first and only American release. By this point, the band consisted of Miyashta (vocals, synths, guitars, bamboo flute), Hirohito Fukushima (guitar, vocals, koto), and Yujin Harada (drums, percussion). It would be the band’s last record. ~ Geoff Orens….~




Personnel: 
Bass – Akira Fukakusa 
Drums – Shizuo Takasaki 
Guitar – Fumio Miyashita, Hirohito Fukushima 
Keyboards – Akira Ito, Fumio Miyashita, Masanori Takahashi 
Percussion – Masanori Takahashi 
Vocals – Hirohito Fukushima



Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Undiscovered Northern Land (2:53) 
2. Birds Flying To The Cave (4:33) 
3. The God Of Water (1:53) 
4. Saying To The Land (8:22) 
5. The God Of Wind (2:21) 
6. Moving, Looking, Trying, Jumping (1:40) 
7. Wa, Wa (0:48) 
8. Mystery Of Northern Space (5:56) 
9. The Cave, Down To The Earth (8:18) 
10. Four Minds (5:55) 
11. Transmigration (11:03) 

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