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Thread: Is japanese band ars nova dead?

  1. #51
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    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...). 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.
    I like Shingetsu. But definitely, YMMV!:



    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    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!!!"
    I was there too. Remember during Ars Nova's set there was that guy who hung out right in front of the stage, gazing at them (while everyone else was seated), which was bizarre. And he also yelled out "Give me some rock & roll" or something like that at a really inappropriate moment. He was just really into it, and them, I guess, but he also was pretty loaded...or something.
    Last edited by JKL2000; 12-09-2018 at 12:32 PM.

  2. #52
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Some funny things

    Providence (and I'll recite..) lead vocalist Yoku Kubota fronting well known
    Japanese Metal band Saber Tiger



    Gerard and Vienna lead Vocalist and Guitarist Yukihiro "ChaChamaru" Fujimura
    (who is a star in Japan now as a side man for Gackt (one of Japans biggest stars)

    Last edited by TheH; 12-09-2018 at 12:56 PM.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I was there too. Remember during Ars Nova's set there was that guy who hung out right in front of the stage, gazing at them (while everyone else was seated), which was bizarre. And he also yelled out "Give me some rock & roll" or something like that at a really inappropriate moment. He was just really into it, and them, I guess, but he also was pretty loaded...or something.
    Makes you proud to be a fan of prog when that happens.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I like Shingetsu. But definitely, YMMV!:
    Shingetsu are great.

    Their second album


  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Who was the original keyboard player?
    The current Ars Nova are actually the second version of the band.

    The original Ars Nova had Keiko Thubata on Keys and existed from '83 to '86.

    The band was reformed in '91 with Keiko Kumagai

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    The current Ars Nova are actually the second version of the band.

    The original Ars Nova had Keiko Thubata on Keys and existed from '83 to '86.

    The band was reformed in '91 with Keiko Kumagai
    Correct. The "first" Ars Nova was essentially an ELP cover band. They didn't record original material (but I could be wrong).

  7. #57
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    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...). 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.
    9 Dec 2018: The day that Trane referred to Kenso as a neo band.

  8. #58
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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 agree, Gerard have some kickass albums, but where they really shine is when they leave out the vocals, like on Live in Marseille. That's one thing I didn't have to worry about with Ars Nova. I also love both editions of Keyboards Triangle.

  9. #59
    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.
    I have the Deja Vu, didn't realize that was Sakuraba. That's an OK album, but vocals are pretty weak, imo. Some of the music is OK, I recall a strong ELP vibe.

    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    I agree, Gerard have some kickass albums, but where they really shine is when they leave out the vocals, like on Live in Marseille. That's one thing I didn't have to worry about with Ars Nova. I also love both editions of Keyboards Triangle.
    Yeah, that may have been the nail in the coffin for me with Gerard, the vocals. Been a long time since I sampled them, but I remember being turned off by something pretty consistently.

    Bill

  10. #60
    We still have those kind of people in this world ,Neo-prog haters lol
    They refuse to listen to Neo-prog ,But when you go check there Last.FM profile .
    There scrobbles ,Say otherwise lol.

  11. #61
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I have the Deja Vu, didn't realize that was Sakuraba. That's an OK album, but vocals are pretty weak, imo. Some of the music is OK, I recall a strong ELP vibe.
    Motoi's very consistent, maybe too much so for some. His nick "Japan's Rick Wakeman" is apt, though. He's a helluva musician-composer.

  12. #62
    I prefer motois video game osts,vs solo solo .
    It does not flow right, he not meant do solo.
    It not cuz he bad ,It is because he been doing video gaame osts for so long ,He shines best there imho.
    When you done one formula for so long ,Try to switch ,something sounds off.

  13. #63
    Amazing how we go from ars nova to other japan artists in this thread lol.
    Quite amazing feat ,how this thread has gone.
    Good thing is ,It got people talking about music thats good thing.

  14. #64
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    Look at least for 10 seconds to my favorite Japanese band Social Tension.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2qX_5YcwSo

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Krautman View Post
    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.
    They do sound similar on the Keyboards Triangle album(s) (they made two) but on their originals I hear a lot more fire and dynamics and melodies in Gerard's music. Ars Nova's albums I just found unremarkable. Not bad, just... "there." Gerard released some 80's albums that I'm not keen on (they had a guitarist and at times an American singer, more poppish) but their 90's and on stuff is 3-piece keyboard stuff. Gerard will have maybe one or two Japanese vocal parts on their 3-piece albums (not sure who's singing) but there's plenty of instrumental stuff. You can tell the keyboardist is a big fan of UK as he does these Jobson-like glissandos (is that the right word?).
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  16. #66
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    They do sound similar on the Keyboards Triangle album(s) (they made two) but on their originals I hear a lot more fire and dynamics and melodies in Gerard's music. Ars Nova's albums I just found unremarkable. Not bad, just... "there."
    Give the first several albums another whirl, especially Transi. That's a classic over here (meaning my shelf stereo, haha).

    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    Gerard released some 80's albums that I'm not keen on (they had a guitarist and at times an American singer, more poppish) but their 90's and on stuff is 3-piece keyboard stuff. Gerard will have maybe one or two Japanese vocal parts on their 3-piece albums (not sure who's singing) but there's plenty of instrumental stuff.
    There is, but sometimes roughly half the album's got singing. On Power of Infinity there are two instrumentals, and the other three tracks have vocals. "Blue World" is a three-part 14-minute track, so naturally there are long stretches sans vocals. Ring of Eternity introduced a new line-up with a full-time vocalist. Only a couple tracks are completely instrumental (and the last one's a ballad!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    You can tell the keyboardist is a big fan of UK as he does these Jobson-like glissandos (is that the right word?).
    Indeed, Toshio recorded a cover of "In the Dead of Night" for Gerard's last official release (an EP) six years ago.

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    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.
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Kenso has a jazz-fusion slant that no neo-prog bands ever had (at least none that I've heard yet; if there are any, please point me in their direction. ). And Ain Soph were somewhat Canterbury-influenced as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    9 Dec 2018: The day that Trane referred to Kenso as a neo band.
    It defies explanation.

  18. #68
    I just remembered that back in the day I was on their mailing list or something, and I got a holiday card from them..

    20181209_225347.jpg

  19. #69
    When it comes to nippon sympho prog (being neo or not) my appreciation basket is very small. Very formulaic, lifeless, glossy and digitalized for the most of it. I usually need more "rock'n'roll" in my diet.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  20. #70
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    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.
    TBH, I haven't heard many (if not all of it) since the 90's, so that's 20 years ago, so my memories can possibly blurry
    I could be guilty of throwing everyone is the same bag, especially that I haven't heard all of what each band has done.



    In either case, I was totally underwhelmed by these 80's Japanese prog acts, but having taken a look at most of these band's discographies, I am vaguely curious about :
    https://rateyourmusic.com/release/al...hat_and_field/

    Is it as Canterbury-ish as it seems?? and is it good?

    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    9 Dec 2018: The day that Trane referred to Kenso as a neo band.
    I have borrowed from the library system Kenso 2 and 3 in the 90's, and they(re both considered as symphonic prog by RYM, and it fits +/- what I remember

    https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/kenso/kenso-ii/
    Last edited by Trane; 12-10-2018 at 05:09 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  21. #71
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    In either case, I was totally underwhelmed by these 80's Japanese prog acts, but having taken a look at most of these band's discographies, I am vaguely curious about :
    https://rateyourmusic.com/release/al...hat_and_field/

    Is it as Canterbury-ish as it seems?? and is it good?
    The first two Albums are very Canterbury-ish with some Camel thrown in.

    Hat and Field doesn't reach the level of Hatfield but they are rather nice.

    The band did reunite recently, and a new album will be out this month.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by zeprogmeister View Post
    I just remembered that back in the day I was on their mailing list or something, and I got a holiday card from them..

    20181209_225347.jpg
    Cool!

    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    When it comes to nippon sympho prog (being neo or not) my appreciation basket is very small. Very formulaic, lifeless, glossy and digitalized for the most of it. I usually need more "rock'n'roll" in my diet.
    Well, say what you want about Ars Nova, they don't lack the "rock & roll" aspect. They are not that type of lush, fluffy symph that a lot of the Japanese (and other) symph stuff falls in. I also find most of that dull beyond words, but Ars Nova does not conform to that particular model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    TBH, I haven't heard many (if not all of it) since the 90's, so that's 20 years ago, so my memories can possibly blurry
    I could be guilty of throwing everyone is the same bag, especially that I haven't heard all of what each band has done.

    I am vaguely curious about :
    https://rateyourmusic.com/release/al...hat_and_field/

    Is it as Canterbury-ish as it seems?? and is it good?
    Here it is on Youtube. I scanned it, and I hear a heavy dose of Camel, not so much Hatfield. Actually listening to this I may have been too hasty with this album and my try to grab another copy, it's better than I remembered, and most assuredly not Neo Prog.



    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I have borrowed from the library system Kenso 2 and 3 in the 90's, and they(re both considered as symphonic prog by RYM, and it fits +/- what I remember
    Yes, symphonic is as good a sub-category for Kenso as you're likely to get. But as with a lot of categorization, I think this misses their very strong fusion slant, and the fact that their take on "Symphonic Prog" has a hell of a lot more teeth and depth than most of the fluff that gets tossed in this sort of "catch all" category. In any case, even a casual listen of Kenso II or III would be enough to know you're not in Marillion territory.

    Bill

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    "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.
    And a bit more organic than a lot of the contemporary Japanese releases, as that often seems to turn people off. It's an uneven release with a whole gamut of musicians and composers from various Japanese progressive bands trying to emulate an Italian progressive rock approach. But it has a few good tracks. I was surprised to hear this rendition of "Anniversario", as I was only familiar with the version that Megumi Tokuhisa and Terutsugu Hirayama re-made for Teru's Symphonia's Do Androids Dream of Electric Camel (a more rocking, bombastic and synth-heavy version, that one).

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Shingetsu are great.

    Their second album

    I only recently became aware of this and obtained copy. Really great basic symphonic prog.

  25. #75
    while we r discussing japanese prog why not this guy?

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