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New Tribal Electronics by Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf, & Rob Thomas

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STEVE ROACH, BYRON METCALF & ROB THOMAS: Monuments of Ecstasy (CD on Projekt)

This 2015 release features 66 minutes of ceremonial music.

Drum circles accompany didgeridoo and languid electronics to produce tribal tuneage of a celebratory nature.

While the emphasis is on percussives, the rhythms found in this music are soft and soothing instead of harsh and demanding. The beats are carefully muted, resulting in an antediluvian reverence. This gentility hardly impedes the rhythms from becoming quite complex, on occasion even driving, although retaining a pleasant fragility. Different percussive instruments are used, generating beats of unique character, from thumping to chugging to rumbling.

The electronics are mainly atmospheric, consisting of tonal threads that unfurl into elongated structures that seemingly undergo scarce variation. Evolution occurs among these tenuous drones, but in such a crafty fashion that one hardly notices any change. In more than one instance, the electronics muster a stronger presence, offering gritty pulsations of a tenderly demonstrative quality.

The didgeridoo provides additional textural flows, but these are more guttural than the delicate electronics. These breathy expressions generate a presence that alternates between droney flows to chords whose subtle wobble achieves a birdlike character at times.

These compositions are extremely vaporous. Despite the ongoing rhythms, the music remains calm, mesmerizing, communicating a mood of deep veneration for spirits that guide humanity away from stress and into the embrace of their own psyches.

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