Mani Neumeier + Friends — Terra Amphibia: Deep in the Jungle
(Prudence 398.6686.2, 2003, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 2004-09-01Terra Amphibia is the project which occupies Mani Neumeier during time away from Guru Guru. World music and East Asian culture appropriation are Mani’s hobbies, which find him jamming and flirting with the natives and wildlife in Nepal, Bali, and other sundry hot Asian climes. Deep in the Jungle is the latest in this series of recordings that sees him surrounded by a vast percussion array, soaking in ethnic moods and having what seems a genuinely joyful time. While the instruments are native to the region, the compositions usually conform to Western preconceptions of structure and form. Mani shows an admirable sense of orchestration in forming these collages, where just the right cymbal or gong is placed in just the right spot. But there is more than drumming here. Guitarists and flute also add a welcome contrasting character, and a very necessary slice of melody (something surprisingly lacking in efforts like this). A few cuts feature chanting as well, and Mani often splices in natural sounds to deepen the sonic scope. It works splendidly. As does his penchant for shaking up the scene by exploring a different rhythmic mood and musical culture on each piece. A well-informed ethnomusicalogical listener might possibly pick out the influences from gamelan, Tibetan chant, and other sources. Some vocals in English tend to be somewhat jarring on a work like this, but they are kept to a limit. Probably not for all ears, this CD is nevertheless a good statement of Neumeier’s craft, and recommended.
Related artist(s): Mani Neumeier
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
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
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more