Hiroki Tamaki & SMT - Time Paradox. 1975 Japan

Certainly one of the more bizarre albums out there, Hiroki Tamaki & SMT provide plenty of sophisticated variation for the discerning progressive rock fan. Starting out in hoedown / Ennio Morricone "Spaghetti Western" fashion, the album seamlessly moves east to India, back to the west via a brass rock piece, symphonic rock, indigenous (Japanese) atmospheric music, and finally we get to the title track. It's the grand payoff, as the album culminates on a high note. A brilliant progressive horn rock composition, with loads of ideas, funky wah-wah guitar, violin shredding, gothic chanting, and heavy rocking bits. As mentioned, violin is the dominant sound throughout, and we are left to presume that Tamaki is indeed the main protagonist on said instrument (for the record - he is the violinist). But for a Westerner like me, it's pure guesswork as both the LP and CD are entirely in Kanji.

Personal collection
LP: 1975 Nippon Columbia
CD: 1998 P-Vine

This is an album I traded for at a swap meet in the early 90s from a well known Japanese dealer. I had no idea what it was, but he recommended it, so why not? I wasn't paying attention when the CD came out (probably not too many people were honestly), and then when I went to look for one a few years ago, the P-Vine version was long gone and sold out. Eventually I sourced one on ebay.

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