Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig — Intention
(Projekt 303, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-05-22Trance music means different things to different listeners, and this latest collaboration between drummer and percussionist Byron Metcalf, and bansuri flute player Mark Seelig plus guests is a case in point where “Trance” doesn’t need to involve any electronics or amplified instrumentation at all. All but one of the five tracks feature didgeridoo, played either by Rob Thomas or Dashmesh Khalsa, with the final cut featuring guests on water pot udu and tabla. Each of the five long pieces – the shortest being just under ten minutes and the longest being well over an album side, evolve slowly and gently guide the listener into mysterious worlds of alternate consciousness, layering bansuri, digeridoo and overtone vocals (by Seelig) over a repetitive yet spellbinding bed of hand drums, rattles, shakers, and more. The result takes a different path for each piece, but moves the listener into a tribal ambient world where sounds and feelings are folding and twisting together into something ritualistic and magical. While the overtone singing may sound like a synthesizer at times, the proceedings are a purely acoustic endeavor, merging powerful external visions with cosmic inner spaces into something of an explorative ceremony. The listener will find power and beauty among these primitive soundscapes, merging modern spirit with ancient traditions.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
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