steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Luv Rokambo

"Maze" CD

Public Eyesore

Genres: free rock, improv, Japanese improv

Bryan Day / PE
3803 S 25th St.
Omaha, NE 68107

Feb 3 - 9 2003

Upon first look at Luv Rokambo's liner notes, we see the credits.  Luv Rokambo is Toru Yoneyama and Osam Kato (from Japan, obviously.)  Toru is responsible for playing the "tokai-tablo, toys, junk microphone, vo."  Osam, meanwhile, plays the "jazzmaster, rapman, per, and vo."  But what does that all mean???  Through careful research, I have been able to deduce that the "tokai-tablo" is a brand of Japanese guitar, the "jazzmaster" is a type of Fender jazz guitar, and the "rapman" is an early-90s keyboard / microphone Casio machine [more here].  As for the "per" and the "vo," well, I have no idea.

Maze is an interesting release from Luv Rokambo.  Instead of going for the frantic, crazy sound that characterizes many other improv avant-rock performances, they've aimed for a calmer, more peaceful sound.  So you can expect less noise and more simple guitar strokes and vocal hums.

Tracks like "Crying Oedipus" and "Only Shadow / Without Human (III)" have a sort of meditative, moody sound.  The quiet guitars and atonal, non-lyrical vocals work well to keep this mood going.  Other track use more grating sounds but still manage to keep the calm mood.

Altogether, Luv Rokambo's Maze is an excellent album for free rock enthusiasts.  Though their seeming self-restraint may put off fans of more crazy Japanese improv, the soothing sounds of Maze will likely win over anyone with an open mind.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]