Exposé Online banner

Azigza — Kriya
(Lionharp, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

Kriya Cover artCombining influences from around the world can be a dangerous enterprise for musicians. There will always be some who call foul at the “appropriation” of sounds from other cultures, preferring their World Music “pure” and true to its roots. Certainly for every success like Peter Gabriel or Afro Celt Sound System, there’s a failure like Rusted Root, who for all their sincerity (for all I know) come across as dilettante dabblers. Of course this idea of fusing different cultures goes back to Santana and the Beatles and other pioneers of the late 60s, but with a few exceptions, it’s never caught on in America, at least with a wide audience. The first time I saw Azigza in 1999, I figured them for another interesting failure, though their connection with the Gong crowd (due to the appearance of Gilli Smith) gave them a little something to set them apart. But from those shaky beginnings has grown something truly wonderful. Their meshing of Mahavishnu, King Crimson, and space rock with the musics of Eastern Europe, India, Africa, and the Middle East has coalesced into something uniquely theirs, and Kriya is pretty much brilliant from start to finish. I’m reminded of the potential shown by Sky Cries Mary, who came from similar places, but never quite gelled. Azigza’s success is due in large part to the technical prowess of the musicians, which is tempered by the good taste to know when atmosphere (courtesy of found sounds and voices) is more important than energy.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Azigza

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dreamworld - On Flight to the Light – From the Black Forest city of Freiburg in southern Germany hail the multi-talented Fichter brothers, Klaus and Rolf. In 1972 they released on the Brain label an album called A Meditation Mass, using...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues