KEHELL -- Japanese "fusion" - "Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"            
prog rock, jazz fusion, jazz rock, jazz, pysch/trance, space, electronic, ambient, essentially eclectic excellence

Eclectic Earwig Reviews

Kehell: Galileo (CD, 44: 05); Musea Parallele MP 3034.AR
Musea, 138 rue de Vallieres
57070 Metz, France
FAX: +33 (0)3 87 36 64 73

Kehell is Shigekazu Kamaki on guitars, guitar-synth, and pedal-synth with Yasuyuki 
Hirose on bass and Toru Hamada on drums. This is Japanese prog fusion with smooth 
jazz fuzak and guitar rock yearnings. What do I mean? Well, Kamaki seems to want to be 
a jazz rock fusion composer/musician but many times he breaks out into 
Beck/Montrose/Satriani rock riffs and flurries of guitar-hero effects in the midst of 
moments that one might expect . . . ah, more fusion and less flash. Kamaki's 
compositions and stylings flirt with fusion but exhibit genre-schizophrenia. Songs will 
flow Satriani rockin' out then late 90's fusionesque then Yellowjackets smooth jazzish 
and then back to Ronnie Montrose or Rick Derringer bombastic glitter. (That was just 
tracks 1 and 2.)

	Things get more interesting on "Colony #2" where some swiftly executed 
Holdsworthian* chordal passages intro the song but . . . you guessed Kamaki is back in 
the straight up rock riffs, only to outro in a mirror of the intro. "Replica" is a tad Bill 
Connors in guitar voicings up front but quickly descends into pentatonic and do, re, mi . . 
. rock. I am sorry but the bland fuzak backgrounds for Kamaki's rock riffs grate, oh so 
frequently. Yeah, there's a strong melodic leaning but this has been done before by so 
many rock bands trying to be fusion groups. Kamaki's Kehell is almost fusion, not really 
prog, sorta smooth jazz, flirts with rock and never lands squarely in any genre.

	If you're a guitar-head like myself you'll find Kamaki a solid musician that is 
confident and poised for attack but I dunno, his style seems "automatic", pristine, 
mechanical, precise, perfect but sterile and soul-less. The whole band is similarly tight 
and faultless in each song's needs. I just found little happening in Galileo to make 
this reviewer say, "Wow, this is very cool". On "Kaiper Belt" Kamaki does experiment 
with a variety of time signature mutations. Kamaki needs to decide whether he wants to 
play soul-fired jazz rock fusion or keep on pulling out predictable rock riffage buried in a 
sandwich of near-fusion. Musicianship is great but there's an identity crisis in Kehell. 
	~ John W. Patterson

*Footnote: I was inspired to seek out Kehell due to some amateur reviewer's comments 
posted many moons ago at about them doing Holdsworthian jazz better 
than the awesome Scott McGill's Hand Farm. NOT! McGill still reigns supreme in this 
regard. Kehell doesn't even come close. 

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