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Beginning to Melt [Import]

Jansen/Barbieri/KarnAudio CD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $48.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Medium UK
  • ASIN: B000001HSA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,238 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Beginning To Melt
2. The Wilderness
3. March Of The Innocents
4. Human Age
5. Shipwrecks
6. Ego Dance
7. The Orange Asylum

Editorial Reviews

import feat. members of Japan

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
(5)
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's all a matter of opinion August 10, 2010
Format:Audio CD
When you look at the substantial number of both mediocre and moderately favorable reviews that can be found all over the web, the jury is still out on this album. But perhaps either view is right. Even though it's predecessor Stories Across Borders is superior in almost any respect, Beginning To Melt should not be considered a mere collection of leftovers and outtakes. The earlier albums (including their ambiguous but seriously ingenious debut Worlds In A Small Room) were released without Karn as a key member, although he did contribute considerably. Enough to make a fair comparison anyway, and there is not a lot to complain, really.

Let's not forget that these musicians are from noble musical heritage, and had long since earned their laurels by the time they gathered in mixed line-ups to do the fantastic jamming that can be heard on all their albums under the JB(K) moniker.

Their music is exclusively about atmosphere, and this album delivers in generous amounts. The spaced-out soundscapes that Barbieri pulls out of his magic hat are restrained only by the wildly inventive percussion of Jansen, and Karns bass playing that is both frantic and withheld at the same time. And NO, this is not Japan minus one. Even when Jansen's voice resembles that of his brother David Sylvian. Where Japan's music became increasingly arty and free of form towards the end of their existence, J/B/K run a much tighter ship, even though it all sounds deliciously loose and improvised.

Co-contributors like David Torn, Rob Dean and a certain Steve(n) Wilson add to the discipline, and that may be why it is harder than some will make you believe to determine which tracks are group-efforts and which are done in smaller ensemble.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent and somewhat incoherent collection. April 11, 2005
Format:Audio CD
"Beginning to Melt", the first album released under the name of the three members of Japan other than David Sylvian, is really not quite the group album it claims to be-- essentially, its a sampler of material by these guys-- three of the seven tracks feature the trio, with one song each being a duet between each member and David Torn and one piece by Barbieri and his wife.

The group pieces are by far the best on the record-- the title track is a rambling piece, with a milky rolling bassline courtesy of Karn and a laid back beat and bizarre synth and guitar effects that doesn't quite ever get boring. "Human Age" features vocalist/guitarist Robby Aceto to great effect, although Karn's bass is mixed way too low-- what he's doing is fascinating when it can be dug out, Aceto's voice and playing are decent enough and he holds his own with this fantastic ensemble, the song itself has a feel similar to the Rain Tree Crow stuff that was more vocally oriented. The final piece featuring the three principles is "Ego Dance", which also features long departed (and out of public view) Japan guitarist Rob Dean on guitar. Unfortunately, this reunion is somewhat

Richard and Suzanne Barbieri contribute "The Wilderness", a decent song which is about what you'd expect, soaring vocals and a great synth cloud. The three Torn duets are also somewhat interesting, although only Karn's rose above the level of background music and even that isn't entirely engaging.

Regardless though of how the material is (and much of it is good), this feels like a compilation and not a record, and this hurts the album too much (odd, since the second full length JBK release suffered from a lack of any individual identity). Nonetheless, a few of the songs are good enough to make this worth having for fans of these gentlemen, but its not a particularly engaging piece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Japan May 18, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album is almost Japan or Rain Tree Crow. Very very good and just about what you may expect from these guys. It could have only been if David Sylvian was on it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri.... yes! January 30, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri really work well together. This album is no disappointment. If you're one of us who thoroughly enjoys the solo works of the members of Japan, i do recommend this album. Try it, you'll like it....
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exactly What Fans of These Artists Would Expect June 13, 2009
Format:Audio CD
The other review posted here is obviously someone who hasn't listened much to all of the previous works of these musicians. If you are not familiar or have not listened to these guys before, then beware because they follow a pattern of spacey, progressive, new-age, experimental, instrumental "jam" music. It is exactly the thing that they all have done previously in their career on all of the recordings they participated on.
Since I already had in my collection many recordings that these guys appear on, I knew exactly what this album would sound like. It perfectly met my expectations.

Albums such as David Sylvian, Japan, Rain Tree Crow, David Torn solo albums, Jan Garbarek w/David Torn, and most important of all Mick Karn's solo albums (and his albums with Torn and Terry Bozzio) clearly indicate and predict what the music will sound like on this album, and on any other project albums featuring any of the network of these musicians. Basically, you've heard their work before so you know exactly what to expect when you check out another of their recordings.

Having said that, this album is not the best recording of these artists, but a good one. 3 & 1/2 stars
Just like the albums of all of the network of artists listed above, these albums will all have some good strong tracks with grooving musical arrangements and strong performances, AND some more subtle relaxed tracks with less intensity and fewer arrangements. Those tracks may be dull or boring to some people yet still enjoyable to others. In some cases, those quieter, subtle tracks can have strong qualities for some listeners.
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