World Moods
(Neurodisc, 2003)

I have not been able to find out a great deal about NuSound, the musician(s?) behind this World Moods CD. Do not confuse them with NuSound Entertainment, a label specializing in gospel music; judging by the titles of some of the tracks and the vocals, I think the group is actually from France.

The album contains 12 tracks of instrumental and vocal compositions inspired by a range of cultures. The intro -- "Red Sands," which is advertised as a Middle Eastern groove but is definitely more Indian in character -- is followed by "Belo Horizonte," a sample of Brazilian-inspired music. Throughout the rest of the CD the listener is shuttled back and forth between the old and new world. In most compositions, the traditional instrumentation is enhanced by the possibilities of studio electronics, giving NuSound's music a new age semblance.

Experimenting with various musical styles in one composition is a risky business, and not all composers and arrangers are equally successful. NuSound has relied too much on technology to achieve the desired effects. The two numbers that actually stand out most are "Desert Flower" and "Nocturne." In both cases the integrity of the musical origins has been maintained to a greater extent than in many of the other tracks. Consequently these two compositions come across as less fused, having retained more of their artistic authenticity.

World Moods, although entertaining, does not really distinguish itself very much from other middle-of-the-road fusion music that seems to have become part of the musical landscape in our postmodern age.

- Rambles
written by Carool Kersten
published 10 July 2004

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