Gestalt - Gomorrha Vs. Khan. 1999 Japan
CD reissue: 1999 Musea (France)
Gestalt were a band from Japan, who released this one long forgotten album, and into the mists of time they went. With a title like Gomorrha vs Khan, one might hope for a hard driven Krautrock sound melded with the melodic playfulness of the Canterbury scene. No such luck. Their sound isn't atypical of the 90s Japanese scene, and at first reminded me of Golden Avant Garde, a band that calls themselves "cyber rock". And the alien textures and clipped mid 70s King Crimson clinical sound does give off that impression. It's a bid tough sledding at first, but as the album goes, the ears warm up to it. And then comes the fantastic 'Wakt El Istikhad' which reminded me of the brilliant Happy Family. The Gomorrha side (latter half) has more of a Middle Eastern space rock sound, though again it's more crisp and darkly textured - not psychedelic in the least. 'Black Hole' is the highlight of the latter set. There is a Zeuhl underpinning here, but only in its most aggressive state. A fine album that will appeal to fans of turn of the century hard driving Japanese prog rock. Somewhere between Bondage Fruit, Ruins, Happy Family, and Koenji Hyakkei you will find the sound of Gestalt. Buy it if you see it, though product is scarce these days.