January 21, 2016

Fumio Mayashita - Earth, 1984

Japanese keyboardist and composer Fumio Mayashita began his musical career as a vocalist on the Japanese cast recording of the musical Hair in 1969. From there he moved towards the outer edges of psychedelic experimentation, acting as producer and arranger on the legendary self-titled album for Far Out, a band he co-founded. The group changed their name to Far East Family Band, their sound moved towards progressive rock, and they officially became a supergroup after inducting such illustrious members as Akira Ito, Kitaro, and krautrock pioneer Klaus Schulze. 

In 1982, Mayashita began his solo career with the release Arion, a recording I haven't been able to get ahold of (if anyone has it send along!). In the meantime, I've been thoroughly enjoying Earth, Mayashita's second release. His progression towards new age minimalism and early dance music is a pleasant departure from the fill-heavy, dense musicianship of the more "progressive" Far East Family Band and Kitaro. He still enjoys a good guitar solo and a few driving beats, but as a whole this is much more simply arranged and well, minimal. 

The album is surprisingly diverse in mood while being relatively consistent in its sound palette. 
Nods to Pink Floyd, Iasos, and Ashra throughout. So beautiful!

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