[Review] PoiL Ueda – PoiL Ueda

The new album by French artist PoiL, known for his eclectic Experimental Rock with very personal traits, merges with Junko Ueda‘s Japanese Medieval Epic sounds and storytelling. Released on March 03, 2023 via Dur Et Doux, self-titled contains 5 tracks that make up 2 suites of 3 and 2 songs respectively. The first suite and album opens with “Kujô Shakujô – Part 1,” which immediately emphasises the union of medieval Japanese songs with experimental European sounds. Extensive use of effects and atmospheric backgrounds blend with the vocal parts, giving depth to the sound, which is enveloping and highly original. The suite evolves with “Kujô Shakujô – Part 2” where the arpeggios are layered and a hypnotic bass line is added, and modulations continue through the use of effects. Japanese chants are at the centre of the sound, imprinting the track and the entire suite. Percussions are added to the sound in the final “Kujô Shakujô – Part 3,” characterised by a more Rock structure than the previous ones. Very elaborate sounds and intricate passages, with the addition of modern sounds and electronic modulations to which the traditional vocal parts fit perfectly. A very original, fresh and dynamic first part of the album, which in the 3-part suite increases in intensity as the minutes go by, involving the listener, exploring very refined and particular musical horizons. The second suite that makes up the disc begins with “Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い – Part 1,” which traces the sounds of the final part of the previous one. A perfect fusion of highly rhythmic Experimental Rock and traditional Japanese instruments and sounds, with a very intense vocal that interprets the lyrics with passion. The sounds are more modern and close to modern Experimental Rock, enriched by continuous tempo changes and intricate passages that characterise its development and evolution, always engaging and very technical. The album and suite end with “Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い – Part 2” where vocals and traditional instrumentation take centre stage. The track develops with the addition of ambient and atmospheric effects and sounds, showing the more traditional side of this project’s sound. An original blend that unites two very distant musical worlds, creating a sound with markedly personal and innovative traits. Japanese epic tradition and Experimental rock intertwine, creating elaborate, at times intricate, but at the same time engaging textures, rich in ideas and technical insights. The modern sounds of Experimental music and traditional ones dialogue perfectly, creating a unique, fresh and original record. A recommended listen for all lovers of Experimental sounds, another excellent release for the French artist who also makes us discover a world that is new to many thanks to the collaboration with Ueda, skilled in bringing Japanese tradition into a modern and innovative context.


01. Kujô Shakujô – Part 1 (07:07)
02. Kujô Shakujô – Part 2 (03:37)
03. Kujô Shakujô – Part 3 (07:22)
04. Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い – Part 1 (08:41)
05. Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い – Part 2 (04:28)


Antoine Arnera / Keyboards, Vocals
Boris Cassone / Guitar, Vocals
Benoit Lecomte / Acoustic Bass
Guilhem Meier / Drums, Vocals
Junko Ueda / Satsuma Biwa, Vocals
Stéphane Piot / Recording at Hacienda
RemyBoy / Mix & Mastering
Lilas Mala / Artwork
Clément Dupuis / Executive Production
Judith Saurel / Layout
Adrien Arnera / Administration

PoiL |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Dur Et Doux |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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