Exposé Online banner

Atman Featuring Anna Nacher — Tradition
(Drunken Fish Records DFR 45, 1996/1999, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 2001-03-01

Tradition Cover art

No newcomers to Exposé, this exotic Polish ensemble check in with another release. Atman’s sound is tough to pigeonhole, their forte being a bent for creating ambient drones and spacey improvisatory moves, over a repeated background motif. Instrumentation stresses acoustics: guitars, bass, zither, dulcimer, percussion, and vocals, giving their sound an old world rustic sheen. Comparison could be made with the Bulgarian group, Om Art Foundation. But Atman ventures further outside the playing field, which will hardly have them confused as New Age. Although improvisation plays a part in determining the results, there is nary a hint of a jazz sense anywhere. On the contrary, their expressive vocabulary blends folk styles (some Indian music too) with a modern attitude, and even a bit of Popul Vuh. The 13 pieces on Tradition skirt around quiet pastoral regions, with a tendency towards more free abandon when they start to let the improvisations fly. In this regard they employ the vocals of Anna Nacher, who really pulls out the stops with wild vocalisation that sometimes resembles Iva Bittová. The Polish language shares some phonetics with Czech, and Anna’s tone is similar as well. Shorn of her presence though, I tend to tire of Atman’s long-winded jams. Still a unique group worth checking into for fans of frontier-blazing music.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 21, 1999 releases, 1996 recordings

Related artist(s): Atman

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Red Jasper - The Winter's Tale – Hard on the heels of their fourth album A Midsummer Night's Dream, this latest offering from England's Red Jasper appears to be, conceptually at least, a companion piece to that album. The basic style...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues