Far East Family Band - Parallel World 1976

Far East Family Band was one of the absolute best psychedelic/prog bands from Japan, while producer Klaus Schultze was (and is) at the top of the electronic krautrock pile. Even with such strong credentials from the outset, this album is more than the sum of its parts. The two musical forces meld perfectly, with the best parts of their musical identities at the forefront without obscuring the other. Parallel World is how every collaboration would go down in a perfect world (a perfect world that is parallel to ours I would suppose).

"Metempsychosis" is sort of a prelude track, working a tribal groove not too far removed from Schultze's "Moondawn." Schultze's presence is felt even more with his cascading Moogs on "Entering," which eventually crashes head on with the full blast of the Far East Family Band on "Times." Yeah, they're probably echoing Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun" a bit too much, but I'll forgive them as I think "Times" is ultimately a superior track. We then get an extended 'sad Japanese man' psychedelic ballad with "Kokoro." It's my least favorite track here, but the quality of this album is so high that it would be a highlight on a lot of other albums. Side two consists of the "Parallel World" song suite, and of course is not to be missed. "Amanezcan" provides some modular Moog haze, while the band cranks up the voltage into some fine psychedelic funk beats on "Origin" and "Zen." The rest of the album lets the sonic DMT kick in as we're treated to some cosmic sounds that rival those on Tangerine Dream's Alpha Centauri.

Parallel World is one of the best psychedelic/prog albums of the 70's. It's definitely the best the Far East Family Band ever sounded, and it's a high point for Klaus Schultze as well. This reaches farther out into the space rock aether than most of the space rock luminaries ever managed, and deserves the ear of all the heads out there.

4.0 out of 5 stars Kamikaze Hyperdrive March 9, 2002
By Hawklord

Proteges of Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, and Klaus Schulze, The Far East Family Band released a handful of LPs back in the mid to late 70s before the group's main synthesist/keyboardist, Kitaro, went onto a solo career and eventual international stardom as the doyen of new age music. Parallel World (their third release) is in fact a very good album from the 70s psych/prog/electronic sound nexus. The opening track "Metempsychosis" is pure cosmic Zen electonica, with its hypnotic, unobtrusive tribal drumming and whir of electronic effects. The sprawling epic title track (over 30 minutes in length) is like a stereo wet dream for space cadets: whoosing synthesizers, elegant mellotron, wordless chants, and some effective psychedelic guitar textures. In general, the whole album evokes quiet images that you might associate with being levitated or suspended in space. If you like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, or even newby spacers like the Orb and Future Sound of London, you'll like FEFB.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands down the best Far East Family Band album June 5, 2008
By Barry P. Saranchuk

This is a killer album produced by Klaus Schulze,...and he makes all the difference too! Don't believe me(?),...buy Tenkujin and hear what they did without him at the helm.
This has a slight vocal nod to the Moody Blues(at times),but these guys head for deep space where the Moodies were too stiff to follow. This also features Kitaro on keyboards,....but it's no "light fare". This is Kosmic Musik of the first degree...buy it if you like Kraut Rock.


1. Memempsychosis     4:44   
2. Entering - Times    15:52   
3. Kokoro             9:07     
4. Parallel World    30:07
i. Amanezcan
ii. Origin
iii. Zen
iv. Reality
v. New Lights
vi. In The Year 2000

Total Time 60:00


- Fumio Miyashita / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Hirohito Fukushima / guitar
- Masanori Takahashi / keyboards
- Akira Ito / keyboards
- Akira Fukakusa / bass
- Shizuo Takasaki / drums

Recorded, produced and mixed by Klaus Schulze

1 comment:

Mihailo said...

Excellent album, enjoyed so much. Quoted reviews are right (there are more at progarchives).