What do you get when you alchemize the instruments of a Balinese marching gamelan with spicy flavors of Balkan and Middle-Eastern traditional music and the sensitivities of jazz, then fortify the grooves with drum set, brass, woodwinds, strings, synthesizer, and soprano voice, throw in several voracious composers, and set them free at Burning Man?
File under: (Out of This) World Music! The Artists
Known for their phenomenally ecstatic and engaging live performances, Gamelan X is an ensemble of gifted American performers deeply inspired by the musical traditions of Indonesia, and yet too wanderlusty to confine themselves to any one genre. In their debut studio album, SATU (which means "one" in the Indonesian language), Gamelan X takes us on a rhythmic and melodic pilgrimage through an impossibly variegated musical landscape.
The core of the ensemble is built around the instruments of the beleganjur (Balinese marching gamelan), undergirded by analog synth bass, drum kit, and various auxiliary percussion. Interlocking patterns played on dozens of bronze gongs (ranging from a few inches to several feet in diameter) form the through-line of this wildly eclectic 67-minute sound-world odyssey. Over, under, in, and around these klanging, sparkling textures are woven sinewy string and woodwind melodies, punchy horn lines, extraterrestrial electronic textures and, just when you least expect it, a haunting, nearly-wordless lyric soprano that breathes otherworldly humanity into the mix.
What does the "X" stand for? That's one of life's great mysteries. One thing's for sure, though: you would have to travel light years to find anything remotely like this delightful record.
-- 続きを閉じる --