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Stomu Yamashta

℗ 1975 Island Records ILPS 9319

℗ 2008 Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2085

℗ 2011 barin.livejournal.com BR LLH 41854

Stomu Yamashta  1975  Raindog

Stomu Yamashta was closely connected to the acting world, composing music for the Parisian Red Buddha Theater group, pieces which were transformed into his debut Red Buddha album, and for cinema - his soundtrack for the film One on One was recorded and released as his band East Wind's second album. Raindog, the band's follow-up, began life as a multimedia event held at London's Roundhouse in 1975, featuring the Red Buddha players as well as a number of British actors. Yamashta had recently expanded East Wind's lineup with the addition of two British vocalists Murray Head and Maxine Nightingale, fresh from West End success in Jesus Christ Superstar, along with a Japanese rhythm section and guitarist Hozumi Tanka. Invariably then, of all the band's albums, Raindog by far is festooned with the most Eastern sounds, smoothly flowing into the set's more western jazz and prog rock currents. But this is a highly diverse set. The title track and The Monks Song both wade into pop territory, albeit with a strong progressive undertow. The epic Dunes, in contrast, shifts treacherously between haunting Arabesque and space rock, a disconcerting hybrid to begin with but one you wish Yamashta would pursue even further. Shadows chases ribbons of classical piano and violin, while 33 1/3 is a percussive showcase where East meets West. Understandably, considering its genesis, Raindog is not quite as coherent a set as its predecessors, but it remains a fascinating musical journey.