A Universe to Come
New Earth Records
This is an album of beguiling trance music that draws on a variety of ethnic sources: Middle Eastern, South American Aboriginal, European, and Indian. There’s enough stylistic variation on the CD to keep you interested, while the overall trance quality relaxes your mind. You feel both uplifted and calmed.
The title cut is sung in Spanish accompanied by an Arabic drum beat and finger symbols, reminding us of Spain’s Moorish influence. Several songs come from the Hindu tradition: one sung by Jai Uttal (“Rahda Ramana”) and another by Krishna Das (“Shanti Puja”). “Ayahuasca Healing” features an ancient Ayahuasca chant, which comes from a shamanic lineage stretching back 12,000 years. The chant was recorded on location in Peru and is given a slow and steady drum backdrop as the words are sung by a master of the tradition from the Shippibo tribe. Another cut, “Temple Door,” partly sung in French with a background wail/drone, is a Zoroastrian prayer for peace.
Some of the music is slow, while some really makes you want to move, giving the album a balanced flavor. The only cut that doesn’t work for me is “In the Garden of Nowhere.” It seems to go nowhere, and maybe that’s the point, but it ends up sounding flat.
A Universe to Come succeeds because it respects the spiritual and ethnic basis of the music while adding a 21st century beat that makes it approachable to modern ears. Staying true to the music’s roots also gives the album a grounded feeling, which to me is a welcome change from the spacey, ethereal quality. If you like roots-based trance music, you’ll enjoy this recording.
RATING: 3 ½ Broomsticks
» Originally appeared in newWitch #01
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