James Wood | 04/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here we have Otomo's amazing guitar alone in a set of blistering originals from this newly formed trio of SOUP's Yoshihide(guitar, turntables) and laswell(bass, electronics) along with Musica Transonic's and the Ruins drummer, Yoshida Tatsuya.
The music ranges from nearly Head-Banging Madness to Burning Ambient Sound. Otomo's guitar has never been so focussed and confident trough out, easily moving from ambient noise to gut wrenching guitar licks. Laswell and Tatsuya need no introduction, and together with Otomo Yoshihide create a tasty dish of TRANSONIC SOUP!
I grew up on rock, 60's - 70's, this blows it all away. This is a MUST have record. Spend whatever it takes to get it, it will be worth it!
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 05/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Episome" is a series of improvisations by Japanese avant-garde guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, legendary New York City-based bassist and producer Bill Laswell (i.e. 2/3 of Soup) and drummer Yoshida Tatsuya (of the Ruins). This record has proven remarkably difficult for me to come up with a way to describe, one thing it is definitely is stunningly good.
Beyond that, it doesn't neatly fit into any genre per se-- all the usual suspects of sounds and influences are here-- dub, free jazz, grindcore, you name it, but it all synthesizes into something wholly unique, most similar as one would suspect to Soup, but somehow a bit more vibrant and energetic. I suppose the closest thing I could come to in describing it that it's like an aggressive trio version of 1973 Miles Davis, but even that is a bit of an oversimplification-- the trio sinks into fantastic grooves, powerful improvs and fierce performances all around (in fact, this is some of my favorite playing by all three of them), but there's also passages of enormous tension through space and ambient excursion.
I listen to a lot of music-- I've got a big interest in downtown scene, avant-garde and so on, and CDs are constantly coming in and out of my collection as I experiment with different sounds. This is probably the best album I've bought in 2006. Highly recommended."