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

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

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alejandro Lomelin - Luz de Intenso Azul – Luz is the instrumental solo project of keyboardist Alejandro Lomelin, of the Mexican band Caja De Pandora. For the most part this is a work of simpler repetitive piano figures and introspective...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues