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KITARO

Progressive Electronic • Japan


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Kitaro biography
Kitaro, born Masanori Takahashi (February 4, 1953), is a Japanese recording artist, composer, record producer and arranger noted for his electronic-instrumental music, and is often regarded as one of the most prominent musical acts of New-Age music. He is the winner of a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for `Thinking of You' in 1999 (with a record 16 nominations in the same category throughout his forty plus-year career) and a Golden Globe Award for the `Heaven & Earth' original score in 1993. However, despite his music turning more gentle and exotic from the mid-Eighties onwards, his origins lie in progressive rock and his early music shares similar traits to other Progressive Electronic artists of the Seventies.

Born in Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan to a family of Shinto-Buddhist farmers, in his early high school days he was an electric guitarist in a band that played American rhythm and blues music and popular covers, but upon moving to Tokyo, he discovered and completely changed over to the synthesizer, and in the early Seventies joined Japanese progressive rock group FAR EAST FAMILY BAND. They would go on to release three albums together, but it was whilst touring in Japan and Europe in 1975 that he encountered former TANGERINE DREAM and ASH RA TEMPEL musician KLAUS SCHULZE, who would produce their second and third albums `Nipponjin' and `Parallel Worlds'. No doubt inspired by Schulze's own solo works, Masanori would eventually depart the band before their fourth and final album `Tenkujin', and after travelling on his own throughout Asia, he would soon commence his own solo career.

1978 saw the artist releasing his debut solo work `Ten Kai' (also known as `Astral Voyage') under his boyhood name Kitaro meaning `man of love and joy'. A beautiful instrumental work of ambient space-music flecked with Eastern flavours that always remained melodic and approachable whilst retaining experimental atmospheres and a rich variety of electronic sounds, he would go on to deliver several further works - `Daichi' (later reissued as `Full Moon Story'), `Oasis', `Ki' and `Silver Cloud' - over the next five years, and it is this period that will be of most interest to prog-electronic and ambient listeners.

As well as contributing a soundtrack to `The Silk Road' documentary series and having four volumes of music released from it between 1980-83, Kitaro would sign a worldwide distribution arrangement with Geffen Records in 1985, the wider audience it br...
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Buy KITARO Music


Sacred Journey Of Ku-kai, Volume 5Sacred Journey Of Ku-kai, Volume 5
Domo Records, Inc 2017
Audio CD$6.92
$6.91 (used)
The Essential KitaroThe Essential Kitaro
CD+DVD
Domo Records 2012
Audio CD$7.95
$7.04 (used)
Kitaro QuintessentialKitaro Quintessential
Domo Records 2013
Audio CD$8.50
$7.48 (used)
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai 3Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai 3
Domo Records 2007
Audio CD$5.48
$4.00 (used)
Best of 10 YearsBest of 10 Years
Import
Domo Records 1997
Audio CD$6.46
$1.99 (used)
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai 4Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai 4
Domo Records 2010
Audio CD$7.66
$3.95 (used)
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai 2Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai 2
Domo Records 2005
Audio CD$7.00
$4.99 (used)
Sacred Journey of KukaiSacred Journey of Kukai
Import
Domo Records 2003
Audio CD$6.48
$2.56 (used)
Final CallFinal Call
Import
Domo Records 2013
Audio CD$7.34
$7.34 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
KITARO Silkroad: Tonko [HqCD] PCCR-50022 JAPAN 2009 USD $62.59 Buy It Now
KITARO-MODULATIONS 1979-1982 CD NEW USD $10.88 Buy It Now
Kojiki (2-Disc Remastered Deluxe Edition) by Kitaro (Brand New CD) USD $14.98 Buy It Now
KI by Kitaro [Audio CD] Brand New Import USD $43.50 Buy It Now
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2+ CDs! NEW CD Kitaro: Spiritual Garden USD $7.98 Buy It Now
Tenku - Kitaro (CD Used Like New) USD $9.97 Buy It Now
KITARO From Silkroad to Ku-kai 10 CD Box Set 232574 Brand New Fast Free Shipping USD $22.95 Buy It Now
Kitaro - Tunhuang - Cassette Tape USD $7.95 Buy It Now
KITARO The Light Of The Spirit CD USD $0.99 Buy It Now
Kitaro India Vinyl Record Album NM BUY 3 GET 1 FREE ! USD $13.95 Buy It Now
An Enchanted Evening - Kitaro (CD 1995) NEW CD USD $9.98 Buy It Now
KITARO Meets the London Symphony Orchestra Japan box USD $19.99 Buy It Now
KITARO - GAIA ONBASHIRA-CD USD $0.99 [1 bids]
Final Call by Kitaro (2013) [Digipak] USD $12.98 Buy It Now
Kitaro - Kitaro Quintessential [New CD] With DVD USD $12.49 Buy It Now
KITARO The Light Of The Spirit 1987 Geffen Chrome Cassette Tape VG USD $4.76 Buy It Now 1h 18m
Kitaro - Full Moon 1985 Cassette New Age VG+ Free Shipping USD $6.84 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Kitaro - Kojiki (1990 Geffen Records M5G 24255) Used Cassette USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Kitaro - Kitaro Quintessential [New CD] With DVD USD $14.39 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Silk Road II Kitaro CD 1980 Polydor West Germany Gramavision Keyboard New Age 2 USD $2.99 [0 bids]
USD $3.90 Buy It Now
2h 21m
Kitaro ?Ten Years 2xLp prensa venezuela USD $24.00 Buy It Now 2h 48m
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3h 42m
KITARO CD "A S I A" LIKE NEW USD $2.50 [0 bids]
USD $4.00 Buy It Now
3h 44m
Kitaro's Six Musical Portraits - CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 4h 9m
KITARO - SILK ROAD: BEST NEW CD USD $34.07 Buy It Now 5h 3m
KITARO KOJOKI REMASTERED CD & DVD ALL REGIONS NTSC NEW USD $23.32 Buy It Now 5h 46m
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KITARO-KUKAI NO TABI 5-JAPAN CD G35 USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 36m
Kitaro - Silk Road III Tun Huang * POLYDOR OZ CD * USD $8.29 Buy It Now 7h 3m
KITARO "Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai Vol. 3" (CD 2007) Digipak 8-Tracks GREAT SHAPE USD $9.50 Buy It Now 8h 6m
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KITARO ANCIENT BVCP-24002 CD JAPAN 2002 OBI USD $35.77 Buy It Now 9h 11m
The Best of KITARO THAILAND CASSETTE TAPE ...Sealed..... Rare! USD $7.99 Buy It Now 9h 54m
KITARO : Best 16 Hits THAILAND CASSETTE TAPE Rare! USD $7.99 Buy It Now 9h 54m
KITARO Mizu Ni Inorite CCCN-21029 CD JAPAN 2002 USD $25.13 Buy It Now 9h 57m
Kitaro - Gaia Onbashira CD USD $8.00 Buy It Now 10h 6m
Kitaro - Silver Cloud CD USD $8.00 Buy It Now 10h 8m
best of kitaro limited edition gold CD USD $29.34 Buy It Now 10h 23m
Kitaro - Tenku CD USD $8.00 Buy It Now 10h 24m
Silk Road by Kitaro CD USD $3.95 [0 bids]
10h 50m
KITARO Thinking of you CCCN-21001 CD JAPAN 2001 OBI USD $35.63 Buy It Now 11h 21m
Kitaro Dream Japan CD CCCN-21014 2001 OBI USD $65.69 Buy It Now 11h 27m
Tenku by Kitaro (CD, 1986, Geffen) USD $5.95 Buy It Now 11h 57m
Made in West Germany KITARO cd SILK ROAD SUITE London Symphony Orchestra KUCKUCK USD $6.98 Buy It Now 13h 4m
KITARO, Kitaro In Person (Gramavision 18-7007) NM LP - Electronic/Ambient - 1985 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 13h 26m
Kitaro-Tenku-1986 magazine advert USD $6.59 Buy It Now 13h 46m
Kitaro: An Enchanted Evening DVD Region 1 USD $11.56 Buy It Now 13h 56m
KITARO - Dream -1992, Geffen Music - CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 14h 35m
KITARO: Mandala Audio CD USD $6.74 Buy It Now 15h 48m
Kitaro-Tamayura CD with DVD NEW USD $12.70 Buy It Now 16h 31m
KITARO ~ SILVER CLOUD VINYL RECORD LP (IMPORT) / 1983 NEW AGE USD $12.99 Buy It Now 16h 44m
KITARO THE LIFE OF SPIRIT JAPAN LP OBI BOOKLET POSTCARD M-12537 MINT USD $149.99 Buy It Now 17h 11m
NEW - Peace On Earth by Kitaro USD $2.49 Buy It Now 18h 33m
Kitaro - Silk Road free uk post USD $15.31 Buy It Now 19h 2m
Kitaro - Towards the West free uk post USD $15.31 Buy It Now 19h 2m
Kitaro, Best of Silk Road, Excellent Original recording remastered USD $7.26 Buy It Now 20h 14m
A NEW AGE IN MUSIC Sampler LP 1986 Area Landscape KITARO RICK WAKEMAN TIM CROSS+ USD $15.60 Buy It Now 20h 33m
KITARO Tunhuang 1983 JAPAN CD album USD $32.00 Buy It Now 20h 39m
Kitaro Ten Years Double Lp Import Rare Venezuela Pressing Scarce USD $70.00 Buy It Now 21h 19m
My Best by Kitaro USD $5.49 Buy It Now 21h 54m
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2 CDs! NEW CD Kitaro: Mandala USD $5.98 Buy It Now 22h 27m
Thinking Of You - Kitaro 794017321226 (CD Used Like New) USD $10.36 Buy It Now 22h 52m
Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai Vol. 3 - Kitaro (CD) USD $9.98 Buy It Now 23h 18m
CD: Dream Kitaro USD $9.19 Buy It Now 23h 31m
Kitaro asia USD $21.90 Buy It Now 23h 32m
Kitaro Tenku USD $21.90 Buy It Now 23h 33m
Kitaro's World of Music USD $5.49 Buy It Now 1 day
NEW! Kitaro - Super Audio CD SACD 2 Disc - Daylight, Moonlight Live In Yakushiji USD $84.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO An Ancient Journey BVCP-27015 JAPAN 2001 CD OBI USD $78.77 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro Best Of CD West Germany PDO 12 Tracks USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO "KI" (AUDIOPHILE) PREMIUM QUALITY USED LP (NM/NM) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SEALED AUDIOPHILE ELECTRONIC LP: KI KITARO RE 18-7012-1 CUSTOM KM VIRGIN VINYL USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO-SILK ROAD - SICHU NO MICHI - 2 -JAPAN MINI LP UHQCD F04 USD $23.50 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO-OASIS -JAPAN MINI LP UHQCD F04 USD $23.50 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO-TONKO-JAPAN MINI LP UHQCD F04 USD $23.50 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO Healing Forest SDCH-1082 CD JAPAN 1997 USD $23.89 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro Kukai No Tabi Sacred Journey of Kukai Volume 5 USD $17.00 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO Silk Road Classic New Age / World Spiritual Fusion 2 LP KUCKUCK 1981 GERM USD $9.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro - Ki - RARE Original Germany "Kuckuck" LP NM Ambient LISTEN USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro, Tenku, Greffen Records 1986 Vinyl LP GHS 24112 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Tenku (Remastered) by Kitaro USD $24.41 Buy It Now 1 day
Far East Family Band:Tenkujin Japan CD Mini-LP Mint (kitaro fumio miyashita Q USD $45.50 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO Silkroad II ????????II JAPAN 24k GOLD CD w/PS BOOKLET D35A0488?Free S USD $99.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro - Silk Road I & II - RARE Original 1st "Gramavision" 1986 2xCD Ambient USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
OST-GEGEGE NO KITARO-JAPAN CD G50 USD $28.50 Buy It Now 1 day
VARIOUS ARTISTS - GEGEGE NO KITARO BEST: YOKAI BEST NEW CD USD $32.37 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO -Tenku Music CD New Age Dance Electronica Meditation-Geffen 1986 g4b USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro - Oasis - RARE Original 1st Pressing 1985 "Gramavision R2 79408" CD USD $23.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro - Silk Road Vol 2 [CD] USD $13.26 Buy It Now 1 day
Symphony Live In Istanbul - Kitaro (2014, CD New) USD $12.84 Buy It Now 1 day
Best of Kitaro, Vol. 2 by Kitaro (CD, Feb-1999, Domo Records) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO-TEN YEARS-2 CD SET+ BOOKLET-GERMAN IMPORT-1988 USD $9.05 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro - Light of the Spirit [New CD] Rmst USD $11.78 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO - MODULATIONS 1979-1982 NEW CD USD $10.85 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO - Oasis - CD - Original Recording Reissued - **Mint Condition** - RARE USD $96.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Silk Road Suite [Gramavision] by Kitaro/London Symphony Orchestra LSO USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KITARO - MODULATIONS 1979-1982 USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro Silk Road Best Japan CD PCCR-161 1995 w/OBI USD $35.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kitaro - Light of the Spirit [New CD] Rmst USD $15.77 Buy It Now 1 day

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KITARO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KITARO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 4 ratings
Ten Kai (Astral Voyage/Astral Trip)
1978
4.00 | 2 ratings
Daichi (Full Moon Story)
1979
4.67 | 3 ratings
Oasis
1979
4.60 | 5 ratings
Silk Road
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
Silk Road II
1980
3.00 | 2 ratings
Tunhuang (Silk Road III)
1981
4.25 | 4 ratings
Ki
1981
3.75 | 4 ratings
Millennia (Queen of Millennia)
1982
3.00 | 1 ratings
Silver Cloud
1983
3.67 | 3 ratings
Tenjiku (Silk Road IV)
1983
3.67 | 3 ratings
Towards the West (Endless Journey)
1985
4.25 | 4 ratings
Tenku
1986
3.96 | 6 ratings
The Light of the Spirit
1987
3.64 | 9 ratings
Dream
1992
3.67 | 3 ratings
Peace on Earth
1996
3.50 | 2 ratings
Cirque Ingenieux
1997
3.75 | 4 ratings
Thinking of You
1999

KITARO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 2 ratings
In Person (Live)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Budokan
1982
4.00 | 3 ratings
Asia (Live in Asia)
1984

KITARO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KITARO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

KITARO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

KITARO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Light of the Spirit by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.96 | 6 ratings

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The Light of the Spirit
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nice to see this artist added here, though it's among those long-time semi-favourites I wasn't exactly expecting to be added (Clannad is another). Much of KITARO's work that I was familiar with in my teens, at the late 80's, frankly didn't feel very progressive, just like perhaps the majority of electronically produced music associated with the problematic term New Age. To some degree I have expanded my Kitaro discography in the latest ten years and have discovered some very good albums. But this one I bought as a vinyl in February 1988, and I still own it (which is a meaningful merit in my books, because so many vinyls - even pretty good ones - I used to get rid of in my early adulthood). So, in my case there's the nostalgia factor involved, but I daresay that The Light of the Spirit can be considered as one of Kitaro's finest albums. It must be also among those with the longest list of individual guest musicians and producers. Happily the (rather underlined) production had strong material to begin with.

Both vinyl sides have four tracks between roughly 4 minutes and 7 minutes in length. 'Mysterious Encounter' is a gorgeous opener full of moods and cinematic, Vangelis-like sonic elegance. The role of acoustic percussions is even bigger on 'Sundance'; its majestic melodies could rival classic Symphonic Prog of Yes or Renaissance, except that the track sadly doesn't evolve very much. 'The Field' is a delicate electronic mood piece, followed by a romantic and slightly pompous title track that features two ladies on a central vocalise role. A wonderful dynamic arc on this vinyl side, and the second, slightly less tight side sort of imitates it.

'In the Beginning' starts Side Two in a rather similar manner as 'Mysterious Encounter'. One of Kitaro's strengths has always been the ability to fill the melodies with passion. 'Moondance' is naturally more nocturnal and serene than its solar opposite. This track of peaceful tempo and simple, repetitive melodies resembles the Silk Road music. The lack of more progressive structures in compositions may easily bring down your listening experience if you let it do so. 'Howling Thunder' resembles 'Sundance'. The percussion on both tracks sounds very good. But at 7 minutes this one really ought to contain some more progress. 'Journey to a Fantasy' (7:08) has the passionate majestic feel of the title track in less sugared form.

This album would be an excellent introduction to Kitaro for (female?) music listeners that appreciate emotional aspects and accept even sentimental pompousness. Who knows, that might also be a step towards Symphonic Prog with similar ingredients, in your girlfriend's music taste! But for a seasoned prog listener this music, as Kitaro in general, may wear out its power pretty soon. 3 stars rounded up for excellent production.

 In Person (Live) by KITARO album cover Live, 1980
3.95 | 2 ratings

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In Person (Live)
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars I am not intimately familiar with the breadth of KITARO's work as part of FAR EAST FAMILY BAND in the 1970s or as a solo/collaborative artist since, but he occupies one of those inextirpable corridors of my memory thanks to this album. On some releases its full title is "In Person Digital", and so it was presented in its entirety on a French language radio station in Quebec City on a lonely summer evening in 1982. I must have known it would be special because I recorded it all on cassette, eventually buying the LP. It might have mesmerized me more then than it would the modern listener today, but it might just be a work of widespread emotional resonance, an impassioned breakthrough for a release so dominated by electronica.

"Prologue" could be lifted from the intro to any number of earlier TANGERINE DREAM albums, an amorphous brew that passes barely filtered into "Eternal Spring". It is only halfway through this track that we realize the artists will actually play distinguishable notes, and very distinguished they are. One hypnotic sequence on a synth that sounds like a keyboard is overlaid by a counter melody on another synth. A far eastern flair is discerned but not forcibly so. As the exercise fades out, in fades "Westbound", certainly the most powerful piece here if not in the entire Kitaro discography. It too has a Tangerine Dream-esque feel with rhythmic keyboards and real percussion volleying back and forth, losing themselves in each others' auras, while exquisite violin contributions by Yasuo Kojima could induce goosebumps on a duck. As an aside, one of the Kitaro "Silk Road" albums contains a piece with the same title that sounds nothing like it. The laconic melody of "Silver Moon" is sometimes called "Silk Road" on other Kitaro releases. I'm really not trying to confuse you! It's also one track that uses mellotron, of the choral variety. "Peace" again accentuates violin with an appealing musical box accompaniment that craftily re-imagines some of the themes of "Westbound".

On the original LP, side 2 began in much the way of side 1, with an extended atmospheric piece. However, it more closely resembles some of MIKE OLDFIELD's work on "Incantations" than what came before. By this point it's quite clear that KITARO is a master of many trades, among them compilation and editing. When the mist clears and "Morning Prayer" emerges, its impact is not quite as arresting as on side 1, but just as well executed. "Tienshan" is similar but superior, with the lead synths sounding more like moogs, raspy and bubbly. At the end of the interlude-like "Four Changes", we hear birdsong, which fades into the opening acoustic guitar chords of the epic "Magical Sand Dancing". Taking his cue from the earlier electronic wizards, the integration of acoustic guitar augments the already ponderous mood with another dimension in reflection. while the weeping synths are reminiscent of TOMITA himself.

Without a whisper of audience sound, "In Person Digital" is KITARO's private concert to fans, to each and every one in their living room, dorm room, dedicated home theatres, yoga studio, or monasteries. I utilize the religious reference to imply levels of spirituality I can't fathom but know are there. Indeed, if Kitaro is the master of anything, and I think he is, it is of parlaying electronica into spiritual vision with authenticity. Your attendance is recommended.

 Dream by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.64 | 9 ratings

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Dream
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Symphony of dreams

Noticing that Kitaro was added to Prog archives recently, I recalled this album that I first heard years ago which features Jon Anderson on vocals. Being an absolute Yes maniac, I am always interested in hearing anything that a Yes member is involved in. Giving it a more serious listen now, I am enjoying it more than I remembered.

Since Dream is so far my only experience of Kitaro's music I cannot relate it to his other works, but it can be compared to some of Jon Anderson's solo stuff as well as with Anderson's contributions to the works of Mike Oldfield and Vangelis. One year before the release of Dream in 1992, Yes had released Union - an album that included some "New-Age"-like pieces such as Angkor Wat and Take The Water To The Mountain. These numbers might also give you an idea of what the vocal tracks on Dream sound like.

Anderson wrote the lyrics and contributed lead vocals to three tracks on this otherwise instrumental album. The vocal tracks are Lady of Dreams, Agreement, and Island of Life. His voice can also be heard on Dream Of Chant, which is as the title implies a chant. My favourite track is Agreement.

Dream is a nice addition to a comprehensive Jon Anderson and extended Yes-related collection.

 Asia (Live in Asia) by KITARO album cover Live, 1984
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Asia (Live in Asia)
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by tdfloyd

4 stars Asia is my introduction album to Kitaro. I had originally seen the video for Cloud on VH1's show named New Visions. The show had world, solo piano, and New Age music. In the wide band of New Age music was a musician named Kitaro. Never heard of him before but that is why I liked the show. Anyway, Cloud was not like 95% of the music being played. It was soothing to start but gradually built into a powerful instrumental song. Thundering drums and a guitarist who had spent some time listening to David Gilmour plus Kitaros soaring keyboards. Not very New Age like to me, but it's just a label.

I have many of his albums and the live ones usually have more muscle than the original versions of the songs. Asia is no exception. I still return to this album often as Kitaro strikes a balance between instrumental rock, symphonic prog and contemplative New Age.

A strong 4 stars.

 Dream by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.64 | 9 ratings

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Dream
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars My first approach to Kitaro. It happened when, many years ago, as a YES fan I read about Jon ANDERSON singing in this album. The day after I had the CD in my hands and I liked it since the first listen. I was actually a bit into Newage and I knew of Kitaro as a newage artist, but from the albums that I know, if there's one progressive it's this one. Let's not forget that Kitaro has been in Far East Family Band, so he knows how to make prog and psych music.

Dream is a concept album, even if most of it is instrumental. There's of course a lot of keyboards and you have to reach the third track to listen to Jon's voice. "Symphony of the Forest" is a perfect intro. Not properly an ouverture, but sets the mood which is then carried on by "Misterious Island". I don't know what the concept is about, really. The two recurring elements are the "Lady Of Dreams" and the "Island".

What I know is that the album is very good. In particular, the guitar of Hiroshi Araki sounds very Floydian. The riff in the middle part of "Lady of Dreams" which also features an ascending sequence of chords similar to "In The Flesh", could have found a place on "The Wall".

Add to this the vocals of Jon Anderson at his best, even if on three tracks only, backed by his daughter Deborah. In brief, this is for what I know the most symphonic album of this keyboards mastermind. One of my favorites at the time it was released and still the one that I prefer in the huge Kitaro's discography.

 Ten Kai (Astral Voyage/Astral Trip) by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.91 | 4 ratings

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Ten Kai (Astral Voyage/Astral Trip)
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars So you've got it all figured out that Japanese composer Kitaro is merely a soft New Age artist, eh? Wrong - his roots lie in Seventies prog-rock band Far East Family Band, and his first several years of solo albums starting with 1978's `Ten Kai' are mostly full-blown space-music discs, very much comparable in parts to Klaus Schulze, Vangelis and even moments of Eloy and Pink Floyd. But it all started with this superb and eclectic instrumental debut, loaded with deep-space electronic soundscapes with light Eastern flavours and drifting ambience, but it's also frequently experimental and maybe even a little trippy!

Opener `By the Sea Side' is an unhurried twinkling and bubbling electronic contemplation of drowsy panning synths over gentle rushing waves, and `Soul of the Sea' slowly grows to life with exotic percussion, relaxing acoustic strums and fanfare- like Eastern-flavoured trilling synth and Moog themes. Gurgling Moog, droning electronics and ringing sitar strains groan throughout the psychedelic `Micro Cosmos', a piece that would have been right at home on the Krautrock-lite early Deuter albums, the cool `Beat' lurches with slinking sequenced programming and trailing wisps over Klaus Schulze-like atmospheres, and first-side closer `Fire' eventually reveals Pink Floyd and Eloy-like powerful spacey lead synth themes dominating hazy guitar strums and pounding drums.

`Ten Kai's second side more-or-less forms a continuous extended suite, starting with `Mu's dreamy mandolin trickles over panning pulses, `Dawn of the Astral's contemplative and delicately spacey drifts that grow in stature around rumbling drums, `Endless Dreamy World's floating sustained ambience and `Kaiso's tranquil ringing acoustic guitar and joyful humming organ. The first half of sumptuous album closer `Astral Voyage' (sometimes listed as `Astral Trip', with some versions of this album itself alternatively called either of these two titles) is a low-key placid meander permeated with Eastern mystery, but as it slowly rises in the second half it once again lightly calls to mind German proggers Eloy, as well as a few of Jean-Michel Jarre's more serene `Oxygene' moments.

Although it goes a little further, `Ten Kai' is a sublime example of deeply immersive space-music full of wonder and coming from a place of love, not the isolating and suffocating darker works of the earlier Berlin School of progressive-electronic music, even if they proved to be an initial inspiration to the artist. It's accessible and melodic without being simplistic or remotely commercial, and Kitaro's exquisite musical skills and keen ear for tasteful, atmospheric compositions is completely evident throughout the entire album. Listeners only aware of his "New Age" status who connect with vintage prog-electronic sounds should definitely take a chance on discovering just how much Kitaro has to offer, and there's no better place to start than `Ten Kai'.

Four stars.

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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