Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spotlights on: BELLAPHONE

   Bellaphone was a Prog-Rock band from Japan. They were formed in Kyoto in 1981 and their discography consists of 2 instrumental albums.
Centered around the keyboard player Mitsutaka Kaki they developed a synth-based symphonic and melodic style, that finally ended up as instrumental project. All the musicians are quite skilled, but the keyboard player and the guitar player are in the front line of the band. Their music seems to be influensed by Camel's sound, but in a more Jazz-fusion style.
   Bellaphone was in very close terms with another Prog band named “Air Soph” and they actually share the same bass player. It is important to mention that the members of this band are not full time musicians. They had the band at the side of their everyday jobs.
   Their first album (Firefly) was released in 1987 and is a small Prog-Rock gem!
It contains 8 songs including one bonus track, the beautiful “Labyrinth”. With the first listening 3 songs catches your attention immediately. (Mistral, Evros, Labyrinth). But after a few listenings you find out more beautiful moments in this album. Their second album (Delphi) was released in 1995, is not so good as the first one, but that’s partially because of the very bad production. But then again, there is a song here that grabs you from the first listening: “Fragments of Biotope Suite-Firefly”. This album also includes a few live songs.
   I’m afraid I have no more information to write here about this band, but for all of you who are fans of Progressive Rock, (and especially of Camel) I strongly recommend to listen at least  Bellaphone’s first album!
   In the following video you can see the song “Labyrinth” in a live performance, so you can have a small idea. Unfortunately I couldn’t find “Evros” nowhere.  (I’m saying “unfortunately” because it is a better song by far!)