Exposé Online banner

Ancient Future — Asian Fusion
(Narada Equinox ND-63023, 1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-02-01

Asian Fusion Cover artAround 1980, Ancient Future released two excellent albums of acoustic world-music, the second of which (Natural Rhythms) remains a landmark of the genre, with its surreal eccentricity and sonic experimentation, which even included live improvisations with Balinese rice-paddy frogs! The band then disappeared for some five years, then reappeared as a very typical new-age four piece, with Matthew Montfort (guitars) being the only surviving member of the original three-piece lineup. Their 'new' sound only contained vague references to what they once were all about, and lacked any real distinction. Several more albums were released, and none of them seemed to foster much of the original brilliance of those formative years... that is, until now. On Asian Fusion, the latest release, they have finally recaptured the spirit of their earliest endeavors, while dispensing with a lot of the new-age blandness that has clearly marred their more recent efforts. Part of it is no doubt due to the extensive use of guest musicians, also a staple of the early albums - but beyond that, they are making conscious moves into some new directions, the results being truly credible and cohesive, rather than the sometimes-academic attempts typically offered by other artists in the genre. In addition to Montfort, the core lineup now includes Ian Dogole (percussion), Jim Hurley (violin), and Doug McKeehan (keyboards), with Bill Douglass (bass) featured on almost every track. The album's twelve tracks offer a variety of perspectives, from the upbeat jazz-meets-Japanese-traditional "Bookenda (the Adventurer)" to the tranquil Javanese gamelan-styled "Sunda Straits," the compositions throughout this set are inspired, and the playing is tight, eloquent and well focused - overall this is a very worthwhile album, and a welcome return to form for the band.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 2, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Ancient Future

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Born Again Floozies - 7 Deadly Sinners – After last year's five-song debut EP Novelties, Addenda & Ephemera, the release of this Indianapolis band's first full length CD was a highly anticipated event here at Exposé central. Sporting a...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues