Andreas Vollenweider's Grammy-winning effort is dominated by the Swiss musician's electrically modified harp. Its distinctive sound runs throughout the album, supported by the usual tinkering synthesizer effects and light percussion. After an extended introductory interlude, the title track zips into a vaguely Caribbean-styled rhythm. "Water Moon" features a different, more organic harp sound; it's mixed with the windy tones of a flute, suggesting ghostly moonshafts lancing through falling rain. Vollenweider plays the harp strings off of guitar strings on the surprisingly twangy (for new age, anyway) "Drown in Pale Light." The composer weaves the album's instrumentals together with a goody bag of pan-ethnic influences; the album's margins are full of these little touches that nevertheless make a big difference. Down to the Moon will appeal to anyone looking for music that's as interesting as it is soothing.
One of the coolest albums ever cut by Japanese wood flute player Hozan Yamamoto – a set that has him working with very groovy backings from the Sharps & Flats ensemble – who almost give the whole thing an MPS label blending of funky jazz and world music sounds! The approach is wonderful – a bit more upbeat and swinging than some of Yamamoto's other records, as Nobuo Hara leads the larger group with a totally cool sound – which makes the flute lines a sweet exotic touch over straightforward, soul-drenched, big band jazz! We might even link the sound to some of Dorothy Ashby's grooviest albums for Chess/Cadet – although with flute, instead of harp.
Uxmal Records presents the new album from Panda On The Bamboo Tree, psychedelic downtempo project from Kapilavastu, Nepal.