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Fayman & Fripp
A Temple In The Clouds
Jeffrey Fayman & Momodou Kah: Percussion Robert Fripp: Guitar Soundscapes (tracks 1, 6, & 7) Steve Roach: Guitar & Synth Soundworlds, Shamanic Percussion, Ocarinas & Hybrid Grooves Produced by Steve Roach & Jeffrey Fayman
Trance Spirits by Steve Roach, Jeffrey Fayman, Robert Fripp and Momodou Kah represents the next step in genuine tribal ambient soundscapes. This amazing gathering of artists makes a magnificent leap into the future of acoustically-fused electronic music.
Five of the seven pieces are driven by a complex juggernaut of authentic African percussion, performed as long-form groove trance pieces by Fayman and Kah. As opposed to just using loops to conjure the desired mood, Trance Spirits is a real continuum of time, with subtle evolution within the tracks. Entwined with the shamanic / harmonic trance-inducing soundworlds created by Roach - and augmented by Fripp on three tracks - the combined effect unleashes the primal forces of nature with a boiling undercurrent of rich, transporting textures.
Projekt Records has had a great year for album releases and "Trance Spirits" is no exception. What we have here is a trance album that is dominated by percussive instruments. Jeffrey Fayman and Momodou Kah provided the African and Middle Eastern influenced percussion pieces, while Robert Fripp (King Crimson) adds a synthesized guitar on 3 tracks and Steve Roach blends his own guitar and synth sounds as well as Shamanic Percussion, Ocarinas, and hybrid grooves. At first I thought this was going to be a rough listen, after all, one doesn't generally associate meditation and reflection with percussive instruments! I have to say that this album just relaxes you right from the start though. By the time I reached the 2 minute point on the album I just felt like I was reflecting on life on a beach near a bonfire with African drummers all around me (use headphones!). I realize that that has the potential to sound stupid but the songs really take you there, it's astounding work really. In my opinion "Trance Spirits" reaches far beyond the boundaries of any certain "style". It's world beat sounds challenge any listener with an open mind to abandon the verse/chorus format that has dominated music for many millennium and go somewhere else. Somewhere that focus you and helps you to relax and consider life without the confines of popular music. For those used to popular music, it should be a refreshing change but may also come off as repetitive after the first few tracks. Album Grade: B / Cover Art Grade: A - Mark Fisher
In some odd way, think of Juno Reactor's Shango without the techno dance hall beats,and more emphasis on the trance elements and organic drumming, conjuring images of jungles and gliding across shadowy night cliffs. Or dancing with the Indians in some ancient nocturnal rite now forgotten in these times of technology and strip malls. While not totally revolutionary as the promos might say, as it is goa-trance and not a new genre, it is quite a feast for those into organic drumming. The beats are danceable but for some reason I don't feel like dancing to them so much as I do absorbing them into my mind. And the atmospheres to boot definitely give it that cryptic atmosphere aforementioned above. I'm not quite sure but I wouldn't be surprised if they did a Sepultura and got real tribal drummer(s) in here, which may be the case with our friend Momodou Kah, who provides the driving rhythms therein. And also the ubiquitous Robert Fripp of King Crimson fame is on here, providing his always interesting guitar lines. The guy seems alot more active in his older days than in King Crimson's prime, ever notice? I never heard all too much of their work, but I think it's on my list now... The title track is one of my favorites on here with it's sparse ambient sounds, and "Taking Flight" as well. "Offspring" also has a nice little way of linking together sounds into a nice little symphony, as Roach is known to do. I love the noise effect when it rises up! So I recommend this for fans more into organic music,goa and African percusion, and ambient styles. It may not be so much for the dance floor as it is for the mind, but hey give it a shot, I'm sure alot could dance to this given the right mood. I'll try to sometime, and look goofy with my little rave dancing to it. You watch some basement DJ is guaranteed to make a club remix of this stuff! Rating: 9. - KlingKlangBedlam
Wow, wow and wow. That's about all I could say after my first listening of Trance Spirits. The sheer power of the tribal rhythms on this disc is totally captivating, so much so that it was easily the disc I played the most in 2002. "Taking Flight" begins with soaring bright metallic timbres, but it doesn't take long at all for the insistent percussion to come crashing in. This is take-no-prisoners, aggressive tribal ambient music. Nine minutes later, the drums leave as quickly as they came, and you can pick up your jaw off the floor and catch your breath just for a moment before the title track ensues, and then we're off and running again. The rhythms are fast and hard-hitting for a while, then shift into a slower, deeper mode. All the while, there is a constant ebb and flow of sound washing over the drums, the glue that holds it all together, keeping it from spinning out of control. The coolest assortment of sounds emanates from this track. This is virtually unbridled musical passion. Also appearing on the disc are Momodou Kah on percussion, with whom I'm not familiar, and then a familiar but surprising name, Robert Fripp. Yes, he plays guitar, but not like you often hear him. He is aptly credited with "guitar soundscapes," and that's exactly what they are, cool textures that hint at something only remotely guitar-like, but his contributions are most welcome. Steve plays guitar too, very much in the style of Streams & Currents, for example on "OffSpring," which is dominated by his floating guitar colorings. "Seekers" has a bit more of a futuristic sound, filled with hypnotic loops that remind me more of Steve's work with Vir Unis on Blood Machine, or Vir's solo disc Mercury And Plastic. The disc is incredibly strong throughout, but if I were forced to pick a favorite it might be "Year Of The Horse," another bubbly rhythmic piece that has its roots more in the future than the past, though elements of both remain. "In The Same Deep Water" ends with strength, another percussion-laden piece that doesn't let up, but somehow leaves you wanting even more. I do not make this statement lightly: Trance Spirits is my favorite ambient CD, ever. - Phil Derby
| 4 out of 5 stars | Like a desolate eerie spiritual float in a Lycia landscape, Steve Roach and Jeffrey Fayman's tracks on the excellent Trance Spirits take you on a wild ride through a sub world of exotic rhythms and essences of deprivation. Deprivation as in loss of reality, as in loss of will and loss of effort, this album of tribal mind travel is the perfect unyielding fear magnet. Wrapping it's sonic tendrils around you and lacerating your spiritual being with its tonal hooks, this soundscape (as called by Roach/Fayman) of desolation invades and grasps, transporting the listener to unvisited worlds of imagination.
Steve Roach has long created such aural distractions, often in collaboration with other masters of sound manipulations. This is another in that vast body of work that has set the standard for ambient music. What began with the likes of Tangerine Dream, Michael Hoenig (hear "Departures From The Northern Wasteland" for a 70s ambient treat that is way ahead of its time), and Vangelis is now perfected in as many ways as can be conceived by Steve Roach and his many collaborators. This is Roach's movement into a polyrhythmic world. With the installation of two percussionists to drive the music over the terrain of his otherworldly musical emanations, this collection of songs become the soundtrack for imagination and dreams. Boosted periodically with Robert Fripp's usual exceptional guitar experimentations, pushing the limits and restraints of the instrument to new and dimensional places, "Trance Spirits" paces itself frenetically. Like an edgy depressive, the album moves from foot to foot, becoming a mind altering travel pod over changing landscape or a wandering soul, lost in a fog of disbelief.
Momodou Kah, a percussionist of extraordinary talent creates sound tapestries that personifies the sound treatments already laid out by the other musicians. The absolutely unreal and incredible drumming found on "Year of the Horse" must be heard to be believed. The concerted and relentless drumming simulates the sound of a galloping horse in such a fevered and convincing way, you can fall into the belief that you travel on the back of a hellish stallion bent on delivering you to the brink.
This album is a must have CD that will complement your ambient collection. If you joy in all things Steve Roach, Trance Spirits completes the circle. Jeffrey Fayman's collaboration promises great things from this instrumentalist when he delivers an album of his own. Having collaborated earlier with Fripp on A Temple in the Clouds, Fayman shows that his vision of ambience is as thoughtful and imaginative as anyone in this genre. This CD of largely shamanistic approach, in a landscape flecked with Lycia desolation, leaves you waterless with a thirst for more. Once the journey is completed, you can only hit the replay button to rejoin and visit the other worlds that await you when this disc is playing.
DISC | The sound mixes from these sessions are superb. Rich, deep and emotionally infused, the ensuing textures that fill this disc are spectacularly expressive. The echoed background textures on these tracks create a world that can be heard from every angle. The stereo mixes and use of L/R channels to blend the instruments while splitting the textures between channels at times is simply stunning.
PACKAGING | A four page booklet accompanying the disc provides a descriptive credit list that gives the listener the information necessary to acquaint themselves with the instrumentalist. Artwork that joins with the concept of the music fill the pages. Overall credits are provided on the back of the booklet A fine package that is standard for Projekt recordings.
THE FINAL SAY | Any Steve Roach release is a must have. However, when he is in cahoots with the best of the best, such as Fayman, and Fripp, the potential for 'tranceportation' is at its highest. A recommended purchase. - Matt Rowe
The spirits seem restless as the opening track "Taking Flight" propels us into an altered state, twirled by hypnotic drumbeats, whirled by surreal audio textures. Is it a Gnawan ritual from a torch-lit square in Marrakesh? No, this is a more mysterious rite, employing ancient and modern musical devices to traverse layers of consciousness. Jeffrey Fayman provides the ecstatic hand-drum rhythms, assisted by Mamodou Kah. Together they blend African, Arabic and Middle-Eastern sounds in non-traditional ways, evoking the multilayered power of the Burundi Drummers or a circle of djembe players, entranced by their own dizzying spirals. Trance Spirits follows the 2000 recording A Temple In The Clouds, which featured Fayman's synthesizer work overlaying guitar textures recorded previously by Robert Fripp. The King Crimson guitarist contributes some of his signature looping frippertronic Soundscapes, to this recording as well, but they appear here as textures underlying only three tracks. Steve Roach provides most of the ambience, on guitar, synthesizer and various organic sound sources. The flow of interaction between Roach and Fayman, who have worked together on Roach's recordings as well as in live performances, is evident. Most of the CD is swept away in an enveloping storm of percussion, originating from hands on skins as well as fingers on knobs, but there's an occasional oasis of quiet drift amidst the propulsive grooves. The Fripp-flavored "Off Spring" eases the listener into a dreamy solace, until the insistent electronic pulse of "Seekers" initiates a chase through labyrinthine back-alleys. Fayman's experience creating music for Hollywood "coming-attraction" reels serves this project well, lending a cinematic scale to this CD. It's well suited to accompany tense chase scenes and disorienting dreams, as well as the infinitely more complicated visions of the listener's own trance journeys. - Jeff Towne
September 2002: This is the second teaming of the trance soundscape artist Roach and the inspired, urban shaman drumming of Fayman. This disc had the addition of the drum master Momadou Kah and guitarist Robert Fripp (of King Crimson, Brian Eno and David Bowie fame). For all of the brilliance of their first release, this surpasses it as a musical experience. The teaming of Fripp, who developed ambient music with Eno in the early 1970s and is one of the most innovative electric guitarists in rock history, with Roach, the modern trance master who developed his craft in the microprocessor era, is alone worth the price of admission. Their duet, "Year of the Horse," is primarily a brilliant Fripp solo with reverb, sustain and pulse on the guitar that makes it sound like an orchestra. However, when joined by one or both of the drummers on the CD, Roach and Fripp blend together so perfectly that you have to listen very closely to figure out who is playing which part. While both Fripp and Roach have put out fine solo albums, they seem to flourish when they work in collaboration with other musicians. This trance/tribal drumming disc is a brilliant showcae for both artists. Musically, this is as demanding as anything these artists have put out, but the changes come faster. The listener can hear and appreciate the structure of the music as opposed to having to stay awake through a half-hour of gradual metamorphosis. New age fans might find this disc more disruptive than meditative, but as music it is pure brilliance. -WM
October 2002: 3 1/2 stars out of 4 | Jeffrey Fayman's day job is blowing you out of your seat with music for film trailers, including Minority Report and Lord of the Rings. But he also makes his own music. Trance Spirits is a follow-up to his 2000 cd, A Temple in the Clouds, which used guitar tracks recorded by Robert Fripp years earlier with Fayman's obfuscating synthesizer atmospheres added. Fayman is still employing Fripp tracks on a few pieces, only now as color rather than substance. But he's also enlisted synthesist Steve Roach to co-create the soundscape. Roach brings out the rhythmist in Fayman, who, along with percussionist Momodou Kah, orchestrates pounding trance grooves descended from Africa, which Roach layers in swirling synthesizers and guitars, ghost ocarinas and mysterious growls from the edge of the abyss. The rhythms can become tiresome and tend to obscure as much as they counterpoint the textures, but the thundering opening of "Taking Flight" and Roach's haunting ode, "Seekers," play like soundtracks to a shaman's fever vision. - John Dilberto
En este álbum se evocan sonidos tribales en un ritual sonoro, hipnótico y lleno de misticismo y fuerza. El Artista | Si dijéramos que Steve Roach es un artista prolífero sería un término subestimado ya que estamos hablando de alguien que es capáz de grabar tal cantidad de discos por año por dos simples razones: porque tiene los medios y los recursos para hacerlo y su gran talento para expresar cada vez que tiene algo nuevo que decir, musicalmente hablando. Steve Roach aprendió a tocar los sintetizadores de forma autodidacta, basado en la influencia de Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze y Vangelis. Actualmente es uno de los más importantes compositores e instrumentistas en el género de la música ambiental electrónica en la que su estilo es denominado paisajista por la detallada estructura e hipnótico sonido que fusiona lo místico, lo hipnótico, lo tribal y lo experimental.
El disco | "Trance Spirits" es el trabajo conjunto de Roach junto al percusionista Jeffrey Fayman y el guitarrista Robert Fripp, contando con la participación adicional del maestro percusionista Momodou Kah. En este álbum se evocan sonidos tribales en un ritual sonoro, hipnótico y lleno de misticismo y fuerza. Un viaje shamánico a través de ritmos mayormente orgánicos acompañados de efectos sintéticos muy sutiles pero presentes durante toda la producción. Un balance perfecto entre lo natural y lo artificial. Una aventura al oído de quien se aventure a escuchar. Esta producción está editada bajo el sello Projekt Records característico por grabar artistas de tipo minimalista, experimental, gótico y avant gard.
La rcomendación | A diferencia de la profunda investigación que conllevan las producciones de Steve Roach, "Trance Spirits" no incluye en su interior ningún tipo de información para complementar la audición del disco. En esta ocasión la propuesta es sencilla: escuchar y dejarse llevar por los evocadores ritmos de un ritual ancestral o quizás postmoderno en un viaje o mejor dicho en un trance que no sólo percibe el oído sino todo el interior. El arte es sencillo y a la vez impresionante. Figuras similares a glifos en piedra que representan cada pieza del álbum, realizada por Sam Rosenthal, cerebro principal del sello Projekt Records. - Iohann Rashi
This 74 minute CD from 2002 features a brooding collaboration between ambient legend Roach and soundtrack artist Fayman. Added to this interaction are Robert Fripp (contributing guitar soundscapes on three of the CD's seven tracks) and Momodou Kah (providing a tribal percussive presence). Expect dense trance music here: expansive regions of atmospheric drones punctuated by tribal percussion and astral tonalities. The drumming is softly relegated to the midground where it provides a constant propulsion for the drifting aural presence. Those sonic clouds roil and ooze with haunting moods that envelope the audience, lifting them from the earth and elevating them into realms that exist only in the mind. The electronic textures are quite ethereal, existing in multilayers and generating a twinkling atmosphere of gentle sound. Harmonic interplay of these dronish elements produces a wondrous melodic sense of transcendental concentration, creating an environment for the conscious to wander freely, unfettered by physicality. Awe and sedation are in store for those who get lost in those realms. The percussion introduces a backbone to the music, providing meandering rhythms as guidance through the ethereal mists. These softly resounding tempos never dominate the tuneage, satisfied to remain in their support position. Fripp's guitar is pretty excellently hidden amid this soundscape. First off, his guitarscapes mutate traditional guitar into a versatile instrument of heavenly grace and soft-spoken voice. Much of his string-manipulations are indistinguishable from ambient electronics, allowing his contributions here to blend into the holistic clouds, adding spice without disrupting the sonic mood.