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Waterbone: Tibet

All right, I am a sucker for Asian music. And when Asian music is set to trip-hop dance styles, and spiced up with street sounds, wild flutes and chanting monks, I’m there. I put this album into my car stereo in March, and it is still going strong three months later.

Waterbone went to Tibet with their recording gear to capture this wonderful ambience and performances from the choirs and the individual singers, and their liner notes list in detail every little trouble they had- from shy singers to rooms being demolished next door. If there were troubles and flaws on this album, I didn’t hear them.

The feel of this album is reminiscent of a blend of Enigma and Deep Forest with perhaps a sprinkle of Tangerine Dream, with a Tibetan twist all its own. There is an impulsive danceability in most of the tracks, and ever shifting and changing soundscapes within each track. This is kick back music, waiting in a traffic jam music, blast away to test the new car’s stereo music, and general get things done music. There is a rhythmic freshness here which does not grate, and over the several dozen playings, has grown on me. That, of course, is the sign of a real keeper.

Standout tracks are the elegantly grooving "Eastern Girl" with the Tibetan dialogue, "River of Souls" with vocal panning which reminded me of Deep Forest, and the monks and trumpets on "Tantra". But the ‘repeat’ button was hit for "Song for the Mountain", with its Indian chantress, the Enigmatic "August Moon" with its delicate female vocal, and "Pujari Vision" with its lovely male vocal and stately percussive groove. The entire album is filled with sonic delights, however, and will delight your ears through phones or on big speakers. This is a genuine sonic treat.

2002 Sunfell

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