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Koenjihyakkei

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Few bands are more enigmatic than Koenji Hyakkei (written in Japanese 高円寺百景). Though firmly grounded in the Zeuhl style of Magma, they have taken it to new and unexplored places. Fronted by drummer Yoshida Tatsuya, of Ruins fame, their lineup shifts as rapidly as their style does. However, two things remain constant in their music- lyrics in a made up (and probably nonsensical) language, and an exotic, almost folk feel to the music. The combination of the two gives a sense that you’re listening to the music of a culture that exists only in minds of a handful of creative people.

Until recently, their ensemble has consisted of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and female vocals (Nami Sagara ex- The Eccentric Opera). With their latest album, Angherr Shisspa, they have replaced the guitar with reed player Komori Keiko (mainly on soprano sax). With this change in instrumentation, their style has veered into a new direction to match the change in tone color.
Through their evolution of style, their rhythmic and formal complexity have expanded greatly, incorporating polyrhythms, asymmetrical time signatures (i.e. not all beats are the same length), as well as more complex and varied sections, often containing polyphony and counterpoint. However, through all these impressive technical feats, they have managed to keep the overall feel very simple and melodic, to the extent that most other music feels hideously normal after listening to Koenji Hyakkei.

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  • InsanitySupreme

    According to their facebook page, they played a new song at the concert in Tokyo two months ago. That's the closest word.

    17 Jun 4:38pm Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    Anyone have info on a new album? It's been ten years since Angherr Shisspa already, and even Koenji High with those two new songs is five years old.

    30 Apr 7:45pm Reply
  • I0000days

    If I had to pick between going to a Boris and a Koenjihyakkei gig, I would probably prefer sitting at home with a good home cooked meal and popping in some good old Boredoms.

    26 Feb 8:57pm Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Grotesque and annoying? Sounds intense to me.

    6 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Joshipalooza

    @OcellatedGod vales verga.

    17 Oct 2014 Reply
  • OcellatedGod

    It's not intense, just grotesque and annoying.

    16 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Sanity_Theorist

    This band is fucking nuts, haha...it's rare that I find music too intense for me, but zeuhl is outside of Eskaton. It'll likely grow on me though, some cool ideas in this genre...

    12 Jul 2014 Reply
  • DesignToKill

    !!!

    5 May 2014 Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Stop talking about how to tag the name and more about the amazing music! It's Amazing!

    22 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    There is no one official name for the band. Various official sources have romanised it as Koenji Hyakkei, Koenjihyakkei, KoenjiHyakkei, Koenji-Hyakkei and others. The last.fm site rules explicitly say that names in foreign languages should be in their native character set and Koenjihyakkei is unquestionably Japanese so 高円寺百景 is the correct tag. It's also worth noting that their name is written as 高円寺百景 on several of their album covers as well (such as their first three studio albums and Live at Star Pine's Cafe).

    9 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Abomination317

    So while all the album covers say Koenjihyakkei should we be tagging it the other way? Does anyone know what the 'official' name for the band is?

    30 Mar 2014 Reply
  • geluwzever

    They're working on new material!

    26 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    Already done, but the way last.fm's corrections system works means that it'll probably never happen because whoever uploaded their music to last.fm uploaded it tagged as Koenjihyakkei. It's the same reason all of Spotify's mistaggings remain in the database - too many people have played the wrong tags for tag corrections to take effect, even if MusicBrainz and other sources say they should be something else. There's basically no chance of the tags being corrected until MusicBrainz integration is worked into last.fm (if that ever even happens), so we're unfortunately likely to be left with Koenjihyakkei split over two tags.

    19 Feb 2014 Reply
  • It-Alien

    高円寺百景 and Koenji Hyakkei appear to have been merged, so please suggest a correction for Koenjihyakkei to one of the first two

    6 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    According to this thread they're supposed to be tagged as 高円寺百景 in the first place.

    9 Jan 2014 Reply
  • tinosoft89

    From now I scrobble them as 高円寺百景. [2]

    4 Jan 2014 Reply
  • DesignToKill

    The album "Ni" is awesome !

    1 Jan 2014 Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Lovely band..

    5 Nov 2013 Reply
  • shavenwarthog

    I adore, have been obsessed with Koenjihyakkei. The awesomeness makes me weep aghast at the pure awesomeness.

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Ranunculus

    KOËNJÏ ISS DËH HÜNDÏN!!!

    21 Jul 2013 Reply
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