«Koenjihyakkei» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

Kōenji Hyakkei (高円寺百景, "Hundred Sights of Kōenji"), also known as Kōenjihyakkei, is a Japanese Zeuhl band led by Yoshida Tatsuya of Ruins fame. The band released their first (self-titled) album in 1994 with Aki Kubota from Bondage Fruit on vocals and keyboard. Though rhythmically not as complex as Ruins, Kōenji Hyakkei still evokes a feeling of unfamiliarity due to non-standard modes and chanting in a nonsensical language.

History

Very little is known about the history of Kōenji Hyakkei. Some have speculated that Yoshida keeps biographical information to a minimum in order to sustain a mystique. Former vocalist/keyboardist Kubota Aki (who returned to the band in 2007 after departing several years earlier) is originally from the Kōenji area of Tokyo, which is the only real lead on the origin of the name.

Band members

Yoshida has been the only consistent member of the band, with Sakamoto Kengo playing bass from their second album onward. As the band has added new members, the band's sound changes, shifting from folk-influenced progressive rock to minimalism to jazz fusion with the inclusion of Komori Keiko on reeds (usually soprano saxophone) on their album Angherr Shisspa.

Language

It is not clear what language is used for Kōenji Hyakkei lyrics. For the most part, lyrics are reminiscent of Christian Vander's Kobaïan language (a notable exception is the song Zoltan from their self-titled album, a Kyrie). There are few words shorter than four letters, and almost no instances of words repeated in more than one phrase. In addition, spelling conventions and pronunciation vary between albums and songs.

There is no standard way of romanizing the name 高円寺百景. Official sources write it as Koenji Hyakkei or Koenjihyakkei and less commonly KoenjiHyakkei, Koenji-Hyakkei, and others.

Discography

  • 1994: Hundred Sights of Koenji (高円寺百景) (remastered and reissued in 2008)
  • 1997: Viva Koenji! (弐(II))
  • 2001: Nivraym (remastered and reissued in 2009)
  • 2005: Angherr Shisspa

Videography

  • 2002: Live at Star Pine's Cafe (DVD)
  • 2006: Live at Doors (DVD)
  • 2008: 070531 (DVD)
  • 2010: Live at Koenji High (DVD)

External links

  • at AllMusic

References