De Lorians – De Lorians

[Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, 2019]

Intro: Giannis Zavradinos
Translation: Lefteris Statharas

It has been proven that when our Japanese friends don’t captivate us with their inimitable aesthetic and their civilization, they are equally capable of enrich their artistic presence with western influences. They have the ability to filter and assimilate through the heat of creation everything that inspired them, always managing to move us and keep the interest regarding any form of art. In music, the examples are countless and priceless with several great representatives, but they all confirm their hyper-imagination. Having the present and the future in mind, the newly formed De Lorians and their self-titled debut undoubtedly deserve our attention!


 

From Japan to Canterbury in 32 minutes

The free form progressive rock due to jazz and avant-garde elements was always the best platform for musicians to express their improvising tendencies always claiming the excess. The multi-instrumentalist Takefumi Ishida and his accomplices make sure to remind us that early, choosing to go through the road less  traveled that balances on the edge of a razor. The references are clear and beloved, and they’re laid out without compromises and with the enthusiasm that a debut must have. From the frantic and playful experimentations of the early Mothers of Invention, to the jazz lyricism of Elton Dean of Soft Machine of the 3 and 4 period. From the melodic moments of Hatfield and the North until the Zeuhl disciplined chaos that they at times present through the general effort of them discovering their own identity.

The band is generally keeping its composure despite the polyphonies, something that is achieved through the production that brings out the virtues of the musicians and the atmosphere that the compositions offer. The rhythmic base is flexible with the key fluctuations in the dynamics, working in support of the frontline which is comprised by wind instruments, the keys and the guitar of Soya Nogami bringing in mind the style of Phil Miller. The Canterbury scene is strong here mostly as a vehicle for improvisation rather than a melodic base, like their compatriots Ain Soph did with whom they share the same influences. The energy that the  performance exudes is truly appealing and has as a result the quick change and the essential development of their themes without them extending to pointless deviations. Enthusiastic but composed, they impress with their maturity in songwriting and their complete philosophy that for sure has lots of margins for the pursue of the personal sound. A Ship of Mental Health could easily be considered if not the best of the album, definitely the most representative.

De Lorians through the only 32 minutes of music that they introduce themselves they set the bar quite high. The overall philosophy of the album as a debut is rational. The apposition of influences as an in initial mark is to be expected. British sound, 70s atmosphere as a recipe with modern sensitivities and the whole effort is crowned as a success. Despite the respect in their music background, as they are emphatically presented, there are some inklings of  autonomy that we hope to enrich their already rich palette in their next albums. There is talent, nerve, inspiration and flawless technical skills and that is evidence for a bright future. For the time being, the only thing we can do is enjoy their start and wish for an even better continuation.

8.5 / 10

Giannis Zavradinos

 

2nd opinion

 

The full-length debut of De Lorians is one of the most pleasant surprises in music during  2019. Why’s that? Well, the answer lies in the content and the apparent artistic bond of the five young musicians (22-27 years old) from Tokyo. The instrumental ensemble plays Canterbury prog with some element here and there and does it better than anyone would have expected from a new band, especially in a so technically demanding genre. The seven tracks (there’s also a short reprise) are equal and do not deviate in style, keeping the interest of the listener during all 32 minutes of the album that seem very few, due to the wonderful flow of the. The level of technique of all five members does not leave any doubt. The only thing they need to build in the future is their identity which owes a great deal Soft Machine, Hatfield and the North and other 70s Canterbury bands.

7.5 / 10

Dimitris Kaltsas