Japanese indie, rock, and electronic music
 

Tak Matsumoto Group – TMG I

Shay
May 07 2006

The current situations have limited my time in front of the computer. So it’s only fitting to feature an outstanding guest article. A review! Guest writer/musician extraordinaire Jack Hsu gives us a critique of Tak Matsumoto Group’s TMG I release. Enjoy:

Tak Matsumoto is the guitarist/composer/producer for the Japanese group B’z. This Rock/Pop/Metal band has been compared to Aerosmith because B’z is a band that has been around for 20 years in Japan. One of the most successful Japanese bands of all time, B’z has sold over 80 million records in Japan alone. They have cooperated with artists in the past such as guitarist Steve Vai, bass player Billy Sheen (Mr. Big), and put up a concert with Aerosmith in the 2002 world cup concert.

Tak Matsumoto plays the blues, jazz, funk, metal and hard rock with a little Asian spice, creating an “east meets west” musical fusion. On this TMG I album, it sounds like 80’s metal mix with dark oriental solos here and there, it is an unique sound being created by Tak Matsumoto himself.

In 2003, a variety of famous artists ranging from singer Eric Martin (ex-Mr. Big), legendary bassist Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees, Rubicon, Shaw/Blades project), percussionist Brian Tichy (Slash’s Snakepit/Pride & Glory), Chris Frazier (Steve Vai) and Cindy Bachman (Lenny Kravitz). They collaborated with Tak Matsumoto and formed Tak Matsumoto Group.

The First Song “Oh Japan ~ Our Time Is Now” starts out with piano Japanese scales playing by Takanobu Masuda with synthesized drums and rapping vocals from Tak himself, it reminds me of Linkin Park. In the verse and the chorus part of the song, the guitar is very heavy and has an 80’s metal style. It ends with Tak’s guitar solo with mix of blues and oriental scales.

Oh yes, there’s more greatness,

In the Second Song “Everything Passes Away”, the intro is one of my favorite licks in the album. The intro plucking melody being played by a Japanese Instrument called “Koto” with reverb effect just adds that much more flavors to the track and intensify the song.

The Sixth track “The Greatest Show On Earth” is one of my favorite tracks on this album. The intro of the track, which is being played by an oriental instrument that plays a fast Japanese melody, gives the track a different feel and gives it its own originality. Tak play Asian pentatonic scale for the guitar solo, which sounds very different, compared to any western hard rock solos.

Tak Matsumoto Group, which consisted of all these famous cooperation members, is really just Tak Matsumoto’s solo album because the sound is just so unique and different. It is fusion of hard rock and oriental music that I have never heard of. I defiantly recommend this album, which has great musicianship, and talent.

TMG Official Site
Tak’s les Paul Press Release
B’z Official Site

Jack Hsu is an accomplished musician and good writer. Check him and his band, the Hsu-Nami out at hsu-nami.com! Thanks Jack & ROCK ON!

Japan / music / Reviews

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