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

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Garden Wall - Principium – Garden Wall are an Italian neo-prog four-piece who have recently released this, their first album. If the name of the band sounds familiar to you, recall Garden Wall was one of the names Genesis...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues