Magical Power Mako - (Polydor)
I love this record. It is one of the best records I've heard this year, and I hear a lot of records. Don't miss this one.
As far as I can tell, this is more a guy than a band. Still, there's lots of folks who sing on it, so there must be some other input. When I listen to it, it has a jammy feel like some of it is improv, but who the hell knows? Maybe one of you rockers can fill me in.
The second track is a nice demonstration of the difference between the rock music of Japan and the stuff from Germany or the states. The singer (multi-tracked to all hell) comes out with "Takatakatakatowwwwtakatowww" over and over and over again. But the fucker really sells it, where a band like Gentle Giant would make it sound all sissy and stupid. It will slay you on the first spin.
A big part of the genius of this record is in the arrangments. Try this: every 30 secs or so, try to pick out all the instruments in the mix. One minute, maybe it's a koto and hand drums. Next, a choir of children and a mellotron. Later, a piece of rebar and a bass. But it's never guitar / bass / traps.
He/they saves maybe the best track for last. This one is the most Krautrock-ish to my ears, maybe somewhere close to Future Days-era Can, with a fadeout that seems to last for days.
I see this album compared to Faust a lot, and I kinda sorta see it. But where a Faust record makes jagged segues between often abrasive parts, this album is wayyyy more musical in its flow.
There was a limited edition reissue around a couple years ago. If you find a copy, buy it, because you'll probably never see it again.