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

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Gathering - Mandylion – I've heard this group mentioned in the same breath as The Third and the Mortal, so I decided to check out one of their releases. Hailing from the Netherlands, The Gathering is Rene Rutten...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues