various artists,
East-Westercism: Vol. 1
(Unitone, 2001)

Described as experimental drum 'n' bass, dub electronica, break beat and plain wired-arse, the music of East-Westercism is definitely interesting and will get under the skin and hang around awhile. It's the sort of music you don't really have to think about.

It's difficult to say exactly how many instruments are used on the nine tracks, or how much of the "music" is actually just clever electronic sleight of hand. But it doesn't really matter. It's like seeing a good movie with really outstanding computerization. You don't much care what the story is or even if the characters are interesting; you're watching for the novelty of what isn't. Who cares if musical instruments really aren't designed to make such sounds? What's cool is that they can.

Musicians represented here include Ansuman Biswa, Syzygy, Fluid, Force of Angels, Doppler 20:20, Pearl and Wagon Christ. There are several tracks that stand out. With a definite Egyptian flavor, "Cleopatra" calls to mind belly-dancers, snake-charmers, smoky rooms and sand blowing across the open desert. The same band, Summit, performs "Aeriel Desert," but the flavor speaks more of night-fires, tents and camels walking rhythmically atop the dunes.

In fact, it might be easier to describe the entire work in terms of the elements. There's air, fire, water, ice -- all uniquely combined to provide the ultimate listening experience.

[ by Sheree Morrow ]
Rambles: 15 February 2002



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