Nine Suns, One Morning

Nine Suns, One Morning

by The Silence


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Nine Suns, One Morning

Masaki Batoh announced the official demise of Ghost in 2014. Since then, the guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter has been prolific with the Silence. Nine Suns One Morning marks their third full-length outing in a year. Their self-titled debut blended electric and acoustic instruments in spaced-out, organic song forms. Hark the Silence was looser, with longer rockist jams offering plenty of improvisation. This date synthesizes the two and goes further. Batoh's bandmates -- keyboardist Kazuo Ogino, Ryuichi Yoshida on reeds and woodwinds, Futoshi Okano on drums, and Jan Stigter on bass and acoustic guitars -- are a well-seasoned crew more than capable of authoritative experimentation. While these nine tunes contain well-scripted arrangements, there's also space for individual expression. In terms of production, the overall feel is raw and kinetic. "Ritual of the Sun" commences as a free jazz jam with squalling saxophone, but spirals off into funky psychedelic rock balanced by cosmic keys, choogling bass and percussion, and edgy guitar work. By contrast, the title cut weds expansive psychedelic pop to vintage-sounding prog amid several time signature changes. Lilting flutes are juxtaposed with distorted guitars, quick pizzicato basslines, hypnotic tom-toms, and overdriven keyboards. Yoshida plays a huge role. His multi-tracked saxophones guide the riff on "Big Buddha Eyes Opening Ceremony," holding the band steady as Batoh's vocals and Ogino's keys nearly float into space. The Silence deliver a lilting ballad in the melody, angling it sharply between straight-ahead guitar rock, free sax skronk, vintage R&B(!), and knotty modern prog. Second single "Look Up the Vault (A Pure Myth of Angelic Winter Water)" is syncopated, French-inflected Saravah styled funk with classical guitars, wafting flutes, and honking saxes as Batoh improvises vocally. A gossamer cover of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations" is beautifully delivered with artful textural touches. At a little over two-minutes long, "Machine Guns" could have been played by John Zorn's Naked City. "Guillon" is a mini-suite where keys, saxophones, and guitars exchange repetitive contrapuntal statements; they're appended by constantly rolling drums. Halfway through it cracks wide open and becomes an intense and ecstatic cosmic jam before the bass re-introduces the theme and winds it out. The filthy read of "Louie Louie" is urgent, trashy, and utterly without irony. At 13-minutes-plus, "The Shadow" makes for a truly grand finale. All the band's strengths are displayed in an array of colors, textures, and dynamics. Swinging post-bop and free jazz, Zappa-esque horn charts, Floyd-esque groove modal improvisation, freakout guitar psych, and angular space-prog are all sketched into an enveloping whole as the track moves from warm and fluid to taut to redlined bleat and back again. Ida Suraya Klint contributes backing vocals to add a more spectral and spiritual vibe to the track. As solid as their first two records are, Nine Suns One Morning surpasses both. It's mature and sophisticated, sure, but more than this, its wildly imagined journey through the musical cosmos is a hell of a lot of fun.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2016
Label: Drag City
UPC: 0781484065029
catalogNumber: 650
Rank: 143395

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Silence   Primary Artist
Masaki Batoh   Vocals,Guitar (12 String Electric),Group Member
Kazuo Ogino   Organ,Piano,Gut String Guitar,Tambura,Group Member
Ryuichi Yoshida   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Okano Futoshi   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Junzo Tateiwa   Percussion
Jan Stigter   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Ida Suraya Klint   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Kazuo Ogino   Arranger,Producer
Dan Osborn   Layout
Ryuichi Yoshida   Arranger
Megumi Asakura   Paintings
Yoshiaki Kondo   Engineer

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