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Thread: Is japanese band ars nova dead?

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    That Keiko chick was cute but too skinny for my taste, and had nothing to talk about (though I can imagine that a nippon girl being surrounded by beer-guzzling belgians in the middle of the troll-inhabited Ardennes can be fairly intimidating), but yeah, they looked bored anf going though the motions
    You needed to see the [demi-]original lineup with Akiko Takahashi (later of Marble Sheep) on drums. She was a hoot and a half, all these Hello Kitty figurines on her kit, posing for pictures while playing, etc. They later replaced her with wildman Masuhiro Goto (formerly of Gerard), but he didn’t last long.
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  2. #27
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    Wow....you guys are harsh. Different strokes I guess, I enjoyed their albums and seeing them live.

  3. #28
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    You needed to see the [demi-]original lineup with Akiko Takahashi (later of Marble Sheep) on drums. She was a hoot and a half, all these Hello Kitty figurines on her kit, posing for pictures while playing, etc. They later replaced her with wildman Masuhiro Goto (formerly of Gerard), but he didn’t last long.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Saw them also three or four times during those years (usually at Spirit Of 66), but they were an absolute bore on stage with about as much stamina as a cucumber (or three, FTM). First time was with a bassist (which meant there was some movement on stage) and that airhead drummer dressed like a manga cosplay and doing silly things on her drum stool.... The other gigs, if I remember well (that's when I awoke from my snoozes), it was a double KB thing.

    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  4. #29
    I do remember Akiko using my drums when Ars Nova played with us in the UK. She was a TINY little thing, I thought 'what could possibly go wrong?'.

    She absolutely beat the shit out of my kit, I thought it wasn't going to survive the gig! Appearances can be deceptive...

  5. #30
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Someone could probably make a fun documentary about the 80s/90s Japanese prog scene. Numero Ueno would probably be a main character.

  6. #31
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    To me the sexual images were embarrassing. I guess anyone could say the same about many other prog images used to bring attention to their band. The girls were cute but it seemed to be a distraction away from the music itself. I liked the first 4 albums but sometimes found them to be writing the same song over and over. Prog by numbers I guess is a good description. Their last album had vocals I think right? Trying to head in a different direction maybe. By then I had given up on them.


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  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    To me the sexual images were embarrassing. I guess anyone could say the same about many other prog images used to bring attention to their band. The girls were cute but it seemed to be a distraction away from the music itself.
    I never saw the band live, so this was never that much of an issue for me. But I did feel this way when Andriod Domina came out. I found that embarrassing and distracting, and as the music was a huge click down from the first four, this is basically where I got off the bus. I sampled their stuff after that, but never got back on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    I liked the first 4 albums but sometimes found them to be writing the same song over and over. Prog by numbers I guess is a good description.
    Yeah, I'd agree with the "robotic" and "Prog by numbers" descriptions, and perhaps most importantly your point about writing the same song over and over. But I also enjoyed their stuff, and still do when I reach for it on occasion. Their debut, Fear & Anxiety, is perhaps the least "robotic" of the first four. I think that album gets a bit overlooked and might appeal a bit more to those who don't enjoy albums like Goddess of Darkness or Book of the Dead.

    Overall, I think their music had a sort of playful quality to it. Nothing to be take too seriously, an exercise in indulgence. FWIW, I like Ars Nova much better than Gerard who I've never been able to stomach, and robotic or not, their compositions are often more interesting than other Japanese keyboard chopsmeisters like Motoi Sakuraba. So, far from a perfect band, but personally I've heard a lot worse - at least for those first four.

    Bill

  8. #33
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I saw them live few times in Finland years ago. Awful stuff.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  9. #34
    ^ This sorta ends discussions.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  10. #35
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ This sorta ends discussions.
    Sorry, not what I am after!
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  11. #36
    Well anyone whos up to date with Japanese culture,Knows there sexuality boundaries
    What they try to push ,is not welcomed in usa.
    Dont beleive me try playing some niche anime games ,That try come west they dont make cut ie senran kaguura.

    It censored to hilts ,It has nothing do with pimp.
    It has do where japanese culture ,Is just this way
    They dont care,go watch Hentai film you will see what I mean,By lollis and borderline pushing boundaries.

    Z panteros aka Z reivews one best headphone reviewers and headphone amps on Youtube .
    You will learn bout Japanese Waifus etc
    Understand there culture ,Man is obsessed with Anime wallpapers aka Lollis.

  12. #37
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    While I agree their CDs are barely worth listening to (I bought one at their concert), I really thought they put on a fun show. Maybe it was the weed. Regardless, I hope the weren’t or aren’t being exploited...
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  13. #38
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Wow....you guys are harsh. Different strokes I guess, I enjoyed their albums and seeing them live.
    I have all their albums, too. When I first heard Transi 23 years ago, I was blown away. I, too, am less than happy with the Ayreon-esque direction their music got steered toward — Chrysalis being a step back in the right direction — but everything up through Android Domina and the subsequent live album Across The World (both with the double-keys trio of Keiko, Mika and Akiko) is great. I think everyone else in this thread is confusing Ars Nova with Double Helix.

  14. #39
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    They are alive, as they played the Crescendo festival in August this year.

    There is worse stuff then Ars Nova but I can do without them...

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Overall, I think their music had a sort of playful quality to it. Nothing to be take too seriously, an exercise in indulgence. FWIW, I like Ars Nova much better than Gerard who I've never been able to stomach, and robotic or not, their compositions are often more interesting than other Japanese keyboard chopsmeisters like Motoi Sakuraba. So, far from a perfect band, but personally I've heard a lot worse - at least for those first four.
    I kind of agree with you regarding Gerard but I have to say; live, they are a revelation. They put on a great show even if none of their studio albums capture that magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    I have all their albums, too. When I first heard Transi 23 years ago, I was blown away. I, too, am less than happy with the Ayreon-esque direction their music got steered toward — Chrysalis being a step back in the right direction — but everything up through Android Domina and the subsequent live album Across The World (both with the double-keys trio of Keiko, Mika and Akiko) is great. I think everyone else in this thread is confusing Ars Nova with Double Helix.
    I think the power-metal direction they went into was all Keiko’s doing. For all intents and purposes, she is Ars Nova now (despite not even being an original member), and any artistic decisions are assumed to be hers at this point. I heard that somewhere around 2000 she got a taste for metal and decided to add a guitar to the lineup. It’s not to my taste but if that’s what she wants, it’s her band and her decision.
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  16. #41
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    You needed to see the [demi-]original lineup with Akiko Takahashi (later of Marble Sheep) on drums. She was a hoot and a half, all these Hello Kitty figurines on her kit, posing for pictures while playing, etc. They later replaced her with wildman Masuhiro Goto (formerly of Gerard), but he didn’t last long.
    Mike, I think you were also at Progfest in LA when they played there. A buddy of mine who wasn't a proghead was at that show. When then bass player Kyoko Kanazawa stepped up to the mic and said (in heavy Japanese accent) "Japan is a very small country" and then she ripped through the main riff of "21st Century Schizoid Man" on her Rickenbacker (which was as tall as she was) my buddy just about fell out of his chair laughing.

    That said, about halfway through their act he shot out of his chair and shouted "Marry meeeeee!!!"
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  17. #42
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obarmoth View Post
    I do remember Akiko using my drums when Ars Nova played with us in the UK. She was a TINY little thing, I thought 'what could possibly go wrong?'.
    She absolutely beat the shit out of my kit, I thought it wasn't going to survive the gig! Appearances can be deceptive...
    as an right outside linebacker in high-school, I must say that I've learned to be wary of "tiny little things", both in terms of speed and power at which they don't hesitate to use to (try to) run you down.

    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Someone could probably make a fun documentary about the 80s/90s Japanese prog scene. Numero Ueno would probably be a main character.
    TBH, it's not Ars Nova, but that whole generation of Japanese neo-prog that I'm simply not into. That also goes for Bellaphon, Gerrard, Fromage, Ain Soph and Kenso (etc...). I must also admit that, outside Marillion, I didn't discover that 80's neo-prog (british or japanese) until the mid-90's, after I'd become acquainted with AnglaDotenBerkLindh thingie, so I wasn't in the least impressed once I did investigate.

    Though I would say, that I don't really include Ars Nova and Bi Kyo Ran in the same musical neo-prog niche, as they're both more retro-prog than neo-prog (at least from what I heard of either band). I'd even say that I prefer AN, BKR and Wappa Gappa (again very different) to all these other bands. However, the best japanese acts I've seen and enjoyed were the RIO-fest in Carmaux

    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Overall, I think their music had a sort of playful quality to it. Nothing to be take too seriously, an exercise in indulgence. FWIW, I like Ars Nova much better than Gerard who I've never been able to stomach, and robotic or not, their compositions are often more interesting than other Japanese keyboard chopsmeisters like Motoi Sakuraba. So, far from a perfect band, but personally I've heard a lot worse - at least for those first four.
    Actually, the thing that escapes me is that Ars Nova had everything to please my aural cravings (those 70's vintage sonics), but somehow they didn't deliver on disc or on stage.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  18. #43
    I agree with the comments by Trane, Scissors and others. I approached their music with high hopes but it did nothing for me. Gerard on the other hand quickly became a favorite, in fact I made frequent pleas on this forum for one of our CD sellers to get ahold of Gerard's DVDs but to no avail (they had a website in Japanese that showed they were selling DVDs but there were no clickable icons and couldn't figure how to order them; there are short clips from the DVDs on their Youtube channel). It was a surprise to learn that their wildman drummer Goto joined Ars Nova, that might have been enough to spark more interest in the band but I haven't been following what they're up to.
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  19. #44
    Motoi Sakuraba are you kidding me,This guy is video game composer,Your comparing that to ars nova?
    That is crazy, Of course Motoi is gonna be better .
    He worked on some greatest Jrpgs soundtracks ,Tales series ,Star ocean etc .

    All Jrpgs which I'm die hard fan of playing, it is why i love prog rock.
    Is cuz games I played growing up ,Final Fantasy included led me to this genre.
    Nobou Uematsu another amazing treat your ears imho.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post


    TBH, it's not Ars Nova, but that whole generation of Japanese neo-prog that I'm simply not into. That also goes for Bellaphon, Gerrard, Fromage, Ain Soph and Kenso (etc...)... Though I would say, that I don't really include Ars Nova and Bi Kyo Ran in the same musical neo-prog niche, as they're both more retro-prog than neo-prog (at least from what I heard of either band).
    You have an odd definition of Neo Prog if you're tossing Ain Soph and Kenso in there, even Gerard. I agree with you that Ars Nova and Bi Kyo Ran are not Neo Prog, but if they're not, then I wouldn't say Kenso or Ain Soph are either. Whatever, I guess it's how you hear it, but it seems odd to me to put breathe Kenso in the same breath as Marillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by vis4victor View Post
    Motoi Sakuraba are you kidding me,This guy is video game composer,Your comparing that to ars nova?
    That is crazy, Of course Motoi is gonna be better .
    He worked on some greatest Jrpgs soundtracks ,Tales series ,Star ocean etc .
    I have two Motoi Sakuraba albums, Gikyokuonsou and What's Up?. To my ears, they're just OK. I think his stuff falls into a lot of the same traps as Ars Nove, just in a different way. It's very formulaic, very "samey" from album to album, track to track. The reason I personally prefer Ars Nova is that at least from time to time they do something that really grabs my attention. For all his chops, Sakuraba's stuff just seems to plod along and rarely delivers much beyond a sort of sympho background noise. It doesn't surprise me to learn he is a video game composer. That would be a good application for his music, but to me it doesn't make for particularly compelling listening on its own. YMMV.

    Bill

  21. #46
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Motoi Sakuraba with some Video Games and Anime epics.
    (note the audience size)




  22. #47
    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    I agree with the comments by Trane, Scissors and others. I approached their music with high hopes but it did nothing for me. Gerard on the other hand quickly became a favorite, in fact I made frequent pleas on this forum for one of our CD sellers to get ahold of Gerard's DVDs but to no avail (they had a website in Japanese that showed they were selling DVDs but there were no clickable icons and couldn't figure how to order them; there are short clips from the DVDs on their Youtube channel). It was a surprise to learn that their wildman drummer Goto joined Ars Nova, that might have been enough to spark more interest in the band but I haven't been following what they're up to.
    I know nearly nothing about Gerard but have a CD called Keyboards Triangle ( a Keyboards Trio Tribute) which is split between half Gerard and half Ars Nova. Just listened to it and if you don't look at the trackslist there's no way to tell which band plays what: same sound and musical skill. And BTW, Ars Nova covers of ELP's Tarkus and BdB Epilogo are much better than you would expect from this band. I'm not a fan of Ars Nova and agree with most of the previous comments above but saying they're the worst prog band ever is a little bit unfair, we may not like their sound, attitude and look (!) but there are some interesting compositional ideas in their early records (I especially like some parts of Book of The Dead) and I've heard many MUCH worse japanese prog bands. And, most importantly, there are NO VOCALS in Ars Nova which are most of the time unbearable in JaProg. I could say that about 80% of the JaProg I've heard so far can be defined as "robotic, formulaic, cold and lacking originality" and Ars Nova is only one of them.
    Last edited by Mr.Krautman; 12-09-2018 at 11:30 AM.

  23. #48
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Sakuraba was in Deja-Vu, worth checking out if you like a UK (the band) kind of sound. Not soundtrack-y at all. He was also in Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica, which I don't have yet and so can't comment on.
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  24. #49
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Sakuraba was in Deja-Vu, worth checking out if you like a UK (the band) kind of sound. Not soundtrack-y at all. He was also in Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica, which I don't have yet and so can't comment on.
    "Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica" where a Japanese All Star project between Classical Music and Prog (the result isn't as "sweet" as it sounds first). Easy to find at the moment as King Records reissued their entire "Nexus" catalogue twice in the last 4 years.


  25. #50
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I think the power-metal direction they went into was all Keiko’s doing. For all intents and purposes, she is Ars Nova now (despite not even being an original member)
    Who was the original keyboard player?

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