The Japanese band Yuka & Chronoship is formed in 2009 by keyboardist, vocalist and composer Yuka Funakoshi. The band is influenced by the progressive rock of the late seventies. Yuka Funakoshi (keyboards) and three leading studio musicians; Shun Taguchi (bass), Takashi Miyazawa (guitar) and Ikko Tanaka (drums) are presenting with their second album “Dino Rocket Oxygen” an album full of musical craftmanship and technical virtuosity to you. The band released in the year 2011 their beautiful debut album “Water Reincarnation” on the French label Musea and has announced that in 2015 their third album will be distributed by the British Cherry Red Records label.
Yuka Funakoshi - piano, keyboards, vocal, chorus & composition; Takashi Miyazawa - guitars, programming & mix; Shun Taguchi - bass, keyboards, chorus & production; Ikko Tanaka - drums & electronic drums
The debut album “Water Reincarnation” is an album full of symphonic rock and jazz fusion. The beautiful album has great melodies and vocal harmonies which gives the album a more softer atmosphere with jazz influenced symphonic rock. It is one of the best debut albums I have listened to. The keyboard and piano work of Yuka Funakoshi is just amazing. And I think that the frequent use of piano and the acoustic guitar also influenced my opinion that the album has a more lighter atmosphere than this symphonic beast that includes three suites which names you can find back in abbreviated form in the title of this successor “Dino Rocket Oxygen”. The included three suites are; “Dinosaurs suite”, “R is for Rocket suite” and “Oxygen suite”.
“Dinosaurs suite” is divided into the parts; “Which Came First, The Dinosaur Or The Egg?”, “Dance With Dinosaurs” and “Ruler Of The Earth”. The first part opens with the sound of a heartbeat and the full symphonic sound of the Mellotron. Later on followed by the electric guitar and the classical piano. It is a short intro before the complete band burst out into the second part “Dance With Dinosaurs”. Hammond organ, synths, piano, electric guitar solo's and a rhythm section that is on fire. Bombastic symphonic rock that is even more complete when it seamless goes into part three “Ruler Of The Earth” with fat synth and soaring guitar solo's.
It is and overwhelming suite and the band don't slow down yet because the first part “Cutting Gravity” of the second suite “R is for Rocket” also starts up tempo. Later on in this part the band slows down a little bit with melodic guitar parts on a bed of orchestral keyboards. The second part is called “Skygazer” and reminds me of their debut album, because of the beautiful melody lines, piano parts, vocal harmonies and an almost poppy atmosphere. The music is still keyboard dominated. The next part “An Arrow Of Glittering Music” is a short intermezzo on acoustic guitar that has a Steve Howe (Yes) vibe. Then the sounds of a helicopter brings us to the next part “Blue Astronaut Helicopter”. Again you will hear delicious synth melodies and the technical virtuosity of all of the members. The musical craftsmanship on this album is of a very high level. The parts with a more jazz fusion flavor reminds me of the also Japanese band Kenso. This second suite is closed with “Beyond The Fence”, one of the highlights of this overwhelming album. Yuka shows here that she is an amazing pianist and keyboard player which can compose the most beautiful melody lines.
If this is not already enough, the band gives us a third suite called “Oxygen” which is divided into the parts “O”, “O2” and “O3”. “O” has a lot of rhythm changes and this up tempo piece includes great drum work. Then the band slows down with beautiful piano parts and delicate keyboard work in the melodic and diverse second part “O2”. The third part of the third suite is called “O3”. The intro gives you the feeling that you are floating in outer space, but then the piece develops into another composition of epic proportions. This is one of the pieces that has vocals, most of the album is instrumental.
The second album “Dino Rocket Oxygen” of the Japanese band Yuka & Chronoship is an overwhelming experience. You can find bombastic symphonic rock, jazz fusion orientated pieces and beautiful melodies on this keyboard dominated album. The musical craftsmanship and the level of technical virtuosity of the members of Yuka & Chronoship are just amazing. Very recommended to the lovers of keyboard dominated symphonic rock and the open minded music lover. The connection to the music of the seventies is illustrated by the Roger Dean band-logo on the album cover.