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MUSICA TRANSONIC / Hard Rock Transonic / CD
Fractal 019


Les Inrockuptibles N°376 - Février 2003 (France) :

Comme Cream, Musica Transonic est un power trio, mais des plus énergique, largement en tête d’un peloton en forme de supernova. Comme son ancêtre britannique encore, Musica Transonic est un supergroupe, sans les défauts inhérents aux querelles intestines qui vont souvent avec. En effet, chacun des ses membres est bien connu des aficionados des musiques de traverse, pour le coup franchement de traviole et dévergondées au contact du hard-rock le plus furieux qu’on puisse imaginer - d’ailleurs, mieux vaudrait parler d’avant-hard transgenre puisant son carburant dans des improvisations psychédéliques des plus barrées, ce qui explique la présence de ce disque dans cette rubrique. Poussés au cul par un batteur survolté et littéralement en transe, le phénoménal Tatsuya Yoshida des Ruins, guitariste et bassiste (respectivement Makoto Kawabata d’Acid Mothers Temple, surnommé “la Torche humaine” par un critique éclairé, et Asahito Nanjo de High Rise) jouent les doigts dans la prise. Efficace, la formule est bête comme chou : jouer à fond les manettes, mais pas n’importe comment non plus. A coté, de nombreux groupes qui participent d’un certain renouveau du rock passeront pour de jeunes communiants. Constamment portée à un niveau d’incandescence rare, chauffée à blanc, cette musique aurait le pouvoir de faire trembler sur leur gonds des groupes comme Motörhead - une puissance qui évoque d’ailleurs par endroits Hawkwind et Lemmy. Reste à trouver un public en dehors des convertis. Une certitude toutefois : à écouter à bloc !
Philippe Robert

All Music Guide (website : - April 2003 (Canada) :

Some albums give you exactly what you expect from them. Pair a title like Hard Rock Transonic with a supergroup that includes Acid Mothers Temple guitarist Makoto Kawabata and Ruins drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and is led by High Rise bassist Asahito Nanjo. What else could you hope for than raging rock’n’roll ? Musica transonic has a generous number of albums available, but most are Japanese imports. This one came out on the French label Fractal, which makes it a prime choice for European newcomers to the group. For casual fans it also represents a good investment. Maybe it doesn’t top some of the album on PSF, but it sure is a good chapter in the group’s story. Completely and relentlessly focused on hard rock, it features eight short tracks, all propelled by the extremely overloaded bass of Nanjo. Kawabata takes extended solos that would have make Jimi Hendrix stare in awe back in the late 60’s. In this trio, the real surprise is always Yoshida, as he keeps his playing much more straighforward here, accepting the “rock jam” ethos and having fun with his role as time keeper -- quite a change from the ultra-fast, complex parts he plays in Ruins tunes. These instrumental pieces are primitive (they often consist of a single riff) and raw, but the players virtuosity and exciting delivery make them first-class extreme rockers. the artwork is deliberately vulgar, the amazon woman drawn on the cover being answered by psychedelic nude shots of Japanese girls in the booklet. But, hey, it’s only rock’n’roll.
François Couture

Aquarius Records SF - List 151, 29/11/2002 - Website (USA)

Basically, this is what we were hoping the Acid Mother Temple's "Electric Heavyland" would sound like! Musica Transonic is yet another project featuring the wild guitar playing of AMT's Kawabata Makoto, in a trio with two other notables from the Japanese underground: the Ruins' incredible Tatsuya Yoshida on drums, and High Rise/Mainliner/Ohkami No Jikan leather-and-shades master Nanjo Asahito on bass. They've been around for a while, this is their sixth album of instrumental psychedelic improv rock in fact. Previous efforts were a lot more jazzy and spazzy, and while this has total psych guitar freakouts, they're in the context of some speedy, steamroller, straight-ahead heavy rock n' roll, '70s-style. Hence the title "Hard Rock Transonic" I guess. Not unlike the blueprint for Nanjo's bands High Rise and Mainliner: distorted garagey fuzz-fests with searing psych solos (Kawabata rips on here). The driving, riff-repetitive parts are almost metal, kinda like Circle's "Sunrise" in that way. Nanjo's rumbling Blue Cheer bass and Yoshida's solid beats, along with the aforementioned Kawabata guitar freakouts, are total head banging material.
Add in the Greek song titles, the crazy cover drawing, and boob n' panty baring cheesecake shots of young Asian women in the booklet, and you've got one wild Japanese psych-metal album.

The Wire - n°226 - December 2002 (UK)

A couple of years ago you couldn’t turn round without getting steamrollered by some new heavy fuel-guzzling psych project from Tokyo bassist, conceptualist and shameless sefl-publicist Asahito Nanjo. Cannibalised from the neglected junkyards of rock history, groups like Musica Transonic, Mainliner, Seventh Seal, Toho Sara and a few dozen others rolled off his assembly line at a staggering rate. But more recently Nanjo has eased his foot off the gas, concentrating his enrgies on his otiginal speedfreak group High Rise, and passing his magic welding torch to his former protégé Makoto Kawabata, of Acid Mothers Temple. But lest anyone forget just how exhilarating a ride in one of Nanjo’s jerrybuilt jalopies can be, French label Fractal has lined up a fresh batch at the starting line.
First off the mark, Musica Transonic - an instrumental psych supergroup that fused no-holds barred improvisation with the dumbo teen thrills of the best heavy rock - were always one of Nanjo’s most consistently satisfying projects. But by compressing most of their tracks into dense and electrically charged three minute hardcore punk bursts, they deftly sidestepped the dangers of santana noodling or extended blues cliches that too often doom rock impro.
Hard Rock Transonic previously appeared as part of a prohibitively expensiv ten CD-R set, but as an example of the group at its early prime it fully deserves this proper release. Shorn of Nanjo’s usual post-production murk, the combination of Tatsuya Yoshida’s manically propulsive drum clatter and Kawabata’s explosive acid-splattered guitar is as joyfully energising as ever.
Alan Cummings

Careless Talk Costs Lives - Issue n°9 (UK)

Featuring the fuzz-faced Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple, this sails down the ear canal, Jolly Roger aloft before terrorizing the brain into an obscure corner of the skull. Titles are all in some sort of pseudo-Greek and porno ladies frolic on the inside. My kinda record.
Steve Hanson

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