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Tadashi Goto ·  Innervisions        8/10

By Eduard Antoniu

Tadashi Goto - InnervisionsOne of the first screens in the Ugetsu monogatari movie (“Tales of Moonlight and Rain”, partly inspired by stories by Ueda Akinari) advises the viewer: “The vision of modern man is stimulated by the contact with the 18th century writer Ueda Akinari and his mysterious tales in 16th century Japan. This story has been derived from these visions”.

So does the second album of keyboard player/drummer/composer Tadashi Goto. Stemming from haunting images of the past, the music frees “The Spirits Within” with the intensity of a volcanic eruption and allows the listener’s imagination to render the musical landscape. Ed Unitsky’s graphic artwork, partly alluding to the cover of King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King album and also to Hiroshima and to Mount Fuji, supports this.

Often on Innervisions, such a musical eruption sounds like a furioso “Sound Chaser” Patrick Moraz knocking on “The Gates of Delirium” while aiming at a Human Interface with Megadeth: “Karma”, “The Cycle of Suffering”, “The Deepest Depression”, “The Darkest Years”, “The Night of Destruction” (with a surprising harpsichord-like prelude), “Liberal Paradox” (whose title refers to a concept from the philosophical theory of the social choice), and “Never Free” (with a piano intro and an outro like that of Jon Anderson’s “We Have Heaven” on Yes’s Fragile). In some of these songs, the rhythms sometimes remind of Ozric Tentacles or of The Ruins, there are Tipographica-like surprising tempo changes, the guitar sometimes sounds Holdsworthian, vocal incantations a la Kenji “Damo” Suzuki (Can) are inserted, and the percussion sometimes sounds like a machine gun.

“The Inner Cycle” is a somewhat calmer composition, sounding as if Camel with an infusion from the music of the Far East, yet with haunting voices and a theme that is recurrent in some of the other darker and heavier songs on the album. So is “Werther Effect”, whose title alludes to “a suicide that is replicated based on media information” (from Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther), with its gamelan-like and Far East music themes. “Inner Peace” and “The Spirits Within” are also more serene, somehow reminding of the German group Rousseau’s Square the Circle album. In “Flow like Water”, a Fripp-like anguishing guitar, as if from Peter Gabriel’s “Exposure”, or King Crimson’s “Requiem”, as well as seagull-like cries, help painting the desolating image of a deserted harbor at a river’s flowing into a sea.

An impressive list of guests assisted Tadashi Goto with rendering his twelve Innervisions that clock at a total of one hour. Among them: on guitar – Ty Tabor, Sean Conklin and Chris Poland; on bass – Tony Levin, Tony Franklin and Randy George.

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