Exposé Online banner

Land — Archipelago
(Periplum P0040, 1997, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-01-01

Archipelago Cover art

In the 70s (or was it the 60s? I can't remember...) Jon Hassell came up with his Fourth World Music concept. Soon after, other folks began to carry on in the same general terrain. Michael William Gilbert's early 80s releases – In the Dreamtime and Moving Pictures – were arguably the first to do so. Lately people like Rich Goodhart have continued the tradition, and now we can add Land to the list. What this American septet (which boasts three percussionists) does differently though, is to stress a more funky, even danceable temperament in parts, with Chapman Stick providing the grooves, and heavy accent on the drum work. In the percussion department the scenario is dominated by hand drums, and the playing is in an Indian style; one piece even includes the spoken “boles,” a kind of onomatopoeic solfege system for rhythm that Indian musicians use to transmit drum patterns. Keyboards by Jeff Greinke (a composer with numerous ambient projects to his credit), and trumpet provide the textural foundation, featuring more melodic motion, less trance inducing, than others in the genre. But for me the drummers really steal the show. American groups in this idiom, such as Land, usually steer clear of the hippie / drug / psychedelic trap that the Europeans so love to fall into; and the former are much better off for it. Spoiled in one spot by vocals, and in another by drum machine, Archipelago nevertheless has much to recommend it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Lesli Dalaba, Dennis Rea, Jeff Greinke, Land

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Soft Machine - Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 – The challenge for any archivist of the Soft Machine catalog has been to present just what it was like to attend a performance by the classic line-up of Wyatt, Dean, Ratledge, and Hopper. Now with half...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues