Posted by: antyx | February 24, 2008

Blending the Sound: World, Ethnic & Indeginuous vs. Electronic Music

World, Ethnic & Indeginuous vs. Electronic Music


<Original Post from My Page>

Someone, on first hearing the words Electronic Music, almost certainly draws in his mind a bass driven and repetitive structure of music gerne. Unfortunately as it almost happens everytime, in almost every aspect of human civilization, quality musical productions are overshadowed by commercial and promoted artists. This phenomenon also happens in electronic music, one large category of gernes, that consumes most of my listening time. Strangely enough, through deep music searching that has lasted over 7 years, i’ve discovered plenty of talented music artists who seem to be unknown to the wide music audience. Offcourse the source for all this wonderful music was the internet and particularly through the SoulSeek Filesharing Network, which i have been using several years now. These artists seem to incorporate their own personal philosophy about life, the supernatural, nature and space. They somehow magically blend complex and detailed electronic sound experimentations with various world music samples, instruments and chants. This particular orientation to music production can sometimes be tricky enough because it’s quite hard to produce something unique with not too many ethnic elements and not too many electronic sound effects that overshadow each other. So i’ve tried to list 10 artists that have dared to blend two so unrelated music gernes and have captured my interest:

1. Shpongle
I have already mentioned this UK duo in my previous posts, though i think they deserve a place in this list. These two artists, Simon Posford and Raja Ram clearly reflect by their music, their religious background, their ties to nature, global civilization as well as their both talents on music production. With their 3 albums, and a 4th one coming soon enough in 2008 i hope they have greatly influenced the global psychedelic and ambient scene. Their music blends ambient soundscapes, electronic sound effects, natural instruments (guitars, flute), Terence McKenna voice samples, latino music, chants and plenty of outworldy sounds their mind come up with. Their name “Shpongle” is a word invented as a successful way of describing their sound. That word is used by them in various ways (Shpongled, Shpongleyes, Shpongolia, Shpongleland) somehow linking this word with a world that can only be described by their unique sound. Notable albums: Are You Shpongled? (1998), Tales of the Inexpressible (2002)

2. Ott
Also a notable UK artist, who has produced and mastered some of Shpongle’s tracks. His talent can been shown through his 2 personal albums and also through his debut Hallucinogen in Dub album, a collection of Hallucinogen’s (Simon Posford) mixed and redubed tracks. His sound can be labeled as dub and uses various sound elements in his productions. His music can be characterized as 21st century dub, always keeping a good balance of natural dub sounds, tribal chants and electronic sound effects. Notable albums: Hallucinogen in Dub, Blumenkraft (2003)

3. Entheogenic
This French duo seem to have a notable discography, where their music is often compared to Shpongle. They somehow share plenty of elements but nevertheless their sound is unique. Spacey synths, strings, female signing, natural instruments, some key elements able to describe their sound. Their inner philosophy is also expressed through their name, which reveals some pagan beliefs, love to nature and space contentiousness. They are widely known amongst the ambient scene and have built a notable audience throughout their discography timeline. Notable albums: Spontaneous Illumination(2003), Entheogenic (2002)

4. The Mystery of the Yeti / The Infinity Project
The Mystery of The Yeti and The Infinity Project were 2 pioneering ambient/psy projects of the 90’s. They existed before Shpongle and before the big psychedelic boom of the late 90’s. It was consisted by a bunch of psytrance artists and its main theme was a mystical and esoteric journey into otherworldly realities, altering perceptions with the use of psychedelic drugs found in nature. Creepy and earthly sounds could be heard across the 2 album releases. This project surely belong to the past. It litteraly made way for a whole ambient/psy scene whereas today dozens of psychill artists exist. Their most notable album is: Part 2

5. Celtic Cross
Simon Posford’s projects always take a place on my music list so this one couldn’t be an exception. This project dating back to 1998 was unfortunately not continued in the years to follow. As the name of this formation reveals the main cultural influence is Celtic music blended with psychedelic elements and various mysterious speech samples. Their first and only album Hicksvile (1998) had a big impact on the ambient and psychedelic scene and is considered a classic piece of 90’s electronic music.

6. Banco De Gaia
Toby Marks, a talented UK musician has a vast discography under his name. From 1991 he has been producing music, that incorporates techno/ambient/eastern elements. He is clearly influenced by eastern and Tibet culture and reflects that into his productions. He has released over 8 albums, making him able to build a large audience. His most noticeable albums are: The Magical Sounds Of Banco De Gaia (1999), Last Train To Lhasa (1995)

7. The Peaking Godess collective
A newly appeared ambient formation from Switzerland, that has released only a single album in 2007. This project is consisted by 4 talented musicians, where each one also produces music under their solo acts. Their debut album “Organica” was a notable 2007 ambient release, though they seem to be still quite unknown, according to the statics. Their sound shares plenty of spacey ambient elements, some terrence mckenna speech samples as well as natural instruments (flute, guitar, percussions). Their debut albums shows some very promising newly appeared artists who produce their solo work under the alias: Ajja, Master Margherita, Flootting Gooves, Dymons

8. Ganga Giri
For me a newly discovered Australian artist, who’s music cant easily fit into ambient or psychill. An accurate characterization would be “worldbeat”, where the sound of the didgeridoo and percussions he plays can be heard throughout his albums. He also uses electronic sound elements, and tribal beats. He has produced 7 albums till now, though his talent built up throughout his discographic timeline. His sound is purely indeginous and probably would annoy some listeners that are not used to this type of music. Notable albums: Tribe Vibe (2002), Beats Around The Bush (2003)

9. Outersect

Another notable artist that fuses Hindu music elements with electronic sound is this solo US artist who produces under the name of Outersect. He has produced only a single album in 2007, Caldera but nevertheless seems to be very promising. His productions are filled with eastern elements, layered with electronic dubs and effects.

10. Kaya Project
A solo project of Seb Taylor, a very talented producer. His name reveals his devotion to nature and can be clearly seen through his music. His most noticeable albums is: Walking Through (2004)

A video with the music of Entehogenic (only music) just to give you a rough idea what kind of sound i am talking about in the above list:


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